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In its updated World Fab Forecast report for 2015 and 2016, SEMI projects that semiconductor fab equipment spending (new, used, for Front End facilities) is expected to increase by 11 percent ($38.7 billion) in 2015 and another 5 percent ($40.7 billion) in 2016. Since February 2015, SEMI has made 282 updates to its detailed World Fab Forecast report, which tracks fab spending for construction and equipment, as well as capacity changes, and technology nodes transitions and product type changes by fab.
Capital expenditure (capex without fabless and backend) by device manufacturers is forecast to increase almost 6 percent in 2015 and over 2 percent in 2016. Fab equipment spending is forecast to depart from the typical historic trend over the past 15 years of two years of spending growth followed by one of decline. For the first time, equipment spending could grow every year for three years in a row: 2014, 2015, and 2016.
The SEMI World Fab Forecast Report, a "bottoms up" company-by-company and fab-by-fab approach, lists over 48 facilities making DRAM products and 32 facilities making NAND products. The report also monitors 36 construction projects with investments totaling over $5.6 billion in 2015 and 20 construction projects with investments of over $7.5 billion in 2016.
According to the SEMI report, fab equipment spending in 2015 will be driven by Memory and Foundry ─ with Taiwan and Korea projected to become the largest markets for fab equipment at $10.6 billion and $9.3 billion, respectively. The market in the Americas is forecast to reach $6.1 billion, with Japan and China following at $4.5 and $4.4 billion, respectively. Europe/Mideast is predicted to invest $2.6 billion. The fab equipment market in South East Asia is expected to total $1.2 billion in 2015.