The global semiconductor industry’s fab equipment spending is soaring to meet manufacturing demand. Intel is parting with its cash in buckets, followed by second and third place spenders, Samsung and Qualcomm. The USA has held onto its significant market share, with equipment manufacturers representing $2.1 billion in billings. Samsung’s booming spending records struck the $17 billion mark, but experts expect even higher spending in 2018.
Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturing Growth Drivers
SEMI’s recent report pins the record billing highs on the mobile and automobile industries, which are steadily nudging closer to the Internet of Things. Both applications need 3D NAND and Logic 10nm/7nm, and memory growth has been as significant a driver. DRAM equipment demand is slowing down rapidly, but power devices are faring well.
Manufacturing growth has accelerated across the board, proving that the US industry is alive and well. American semiconductor businesses do most of their manufacturing domestically, generating one of America’s most profitable exports, second only to aircraft and automobiles. The fresh bout of spending will fuel further growth in what has become a vital presence in the global industry. The semiconductor sector is projected to reach almost $400 billion, so North America’s spending couldn’t be more relevant or necessary. Many still believe that the United States’ fabs had dropped off in the Nineties. While it did lose significant market share in the Eighties, it has since recovered convincingly.
Outlook for the Third and Fourth Quarter of 2017
The United States dominates several niches from 15 sub-sectors. The Nasdaq has put a green light on investments in seven of its segments, including memory, wafer fabrication, semi-analog, and wafer components. Intel is, of course, an important player, and demand for servers and data centers has put it in a strong position. As new chip designs surface, North America may have even better days ahead.