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North America: A critical player in the advanced semiconductor market

North America is still home to Intel, Texas Instruments, Micron, Globalfoundries, Freescale, Fairchild, Microchip, ON Semiconductor, Shin-Etsu MicroSi, as well as significant operations of Samsung, and other manufacturers.

Though these companies are headquartered in North America semiconductor device manufacturing has spread from Texas and California in the 1960s to the rest of the world.  Today leading semiconductor manufacturers typically have facilities all over the world.

According to the SEMI fab database, in 2014 North America accounted for 15 percent, not counting discretes, of the global total installed fab capacity.

Comparing regions across the world, the highest fab equipment spending in 2015 will occur in Taiwan, with US$ 11.9 billion, followed by Korea with US$ 9 billion.  The region with the third largest spending, the Americas, is forecast to spend about US$ 7 billion.  Yet growth will decline in the Americas, by 12 percent in 2015, and decline by 12 percent in 2016.  Fourth in spending is China, with US$ 4.7 billion in 2015 and US$ 4.2 billion in 2016. In other regions, Japan’s spending will grow by about 6 percent in 2015, to US$ 4 billion; and 2 percent in 2016, to US$ 4.2 billion.  The Europe/Mideast region will see growth of about 20 percent (US$ 2.7 billion) in 2015 and over 30 percent (US$ 3.5 billion) in 2016. South East Asia is expected to grow by about 15 percent (US$ 1.3 billion) in 2015 and 70 percent (US$ 2.2 billion) in 2016.

North America had the second largest regional fab capacity up until 2002 when Taiwan and South Korea took over second place behind Japan.  Due to the continued presence of device manufacturers, North America still represents a significant portion of the new equipment market though it has declined since 2011 when it had the largest market share for new equipment.  Since then spending has declined though a large installed fab base in North America still claims a significant portion of the wafer fab materials market.

Comparing global wafer fab market share, North America represent 18 percent of the Wafer Fab Materials market compared to a 15 percent share of global fab capacity. This is due to the advanced device manufacturing that occurs in the region which requires more advanced materials that realize higher average selling prices.

The semiconductor manufacturing market in North America is still innovating and whether it be for advanced manufacturing or chip design, North American companies have proven adept at evolving with the industry.