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Semiconductor equipment spending to drop by 45%, says Gartner

10 March 2009 | By Síle Mc Mahon | News > Fab Management

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KLA TencorPerpetuating the general feeling of gloom in the semiconductor industry, Gartner’s report on capital equipment spending for 2009 sees the figure being spent in this area dropping by almost a half. The projected 45.2% decline in spending in this sector will result in a mere US$16.9 billion being spent, compared to the 2008 spend of US$30.8 billion.

Gartner’s analysts have, however, predicted an upturn in the spending trends for 2010, with an expected 20.1% increase to US$20.3 billion marking the beginning of a slow recovery for the equipment industry.

On a sector-by-sector basis, Gartner forecasts the following for 2009:

  • Worldwide wafer fab equipment spending will drop by 46 percent (following a 31% drop in 2008)
  • Lithography equipment spending will show a greater decline than the overall market at 52%, despite the growing need for advanced 193nm immersion tools.
  • Packaging and assembly equipment will fall by 47% in 2009, following a 30% decline in 2008; however, a recovery could be seen in this sector in the second half of the year.
  • Automated test equipment spending will drop by 34% in 2009. Test equipment sales will be dominated by increased shipments to the Asia/Pacific region, which will account for 70% of the total market.

“The dramatic crisis in world economics that came to light late in the third quarter and fully engulfed the fourth quarter of 2008 slowed capital spending in all segments of the semiconductor market,” said Klaus Rinnen, managing Vice President for Gartner’s semiconductor manufacturing group. “The overspending on memory in the past three years, combined with a retrenching consumer market, presents little potential for an upside until 2010.”


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