300mm Fab Investments to Boom in 2023

Article By : EE Times Staff

According to SEMI trade organization, 300mm fab investments will grow by 13% year-over-year in 2020 and experience a record high in 2023...

Global demand for 300mm capacity remains robust, driven by growth in cloud services, servers, laptops, gaming, and healthcare technology. According to SEMI trade organization, 300mm fab investments will grow by 13% year-over-year in 2020 and experience a record high in 2023.

In its latest report, SEMI covers the installed base of 300mm fab capacity, current and near-term market trends, and forecasts to 2024. After a surge in 2020, semiconductor fab investments are expected to continue to increase in 2021, but at the reduced rate of 4% year-over-year. SEMI then predicts a 2% slowdown in 2022, followed by a 20%, or $70 billion, record high in 2023. The year 2024 will, however, experience a 4% downturn, SEMI said.

(Image: SEMI)

38 new fabs

SEMI has made the conservative projection that at least 38 new 300mm fabs will open from 2020 to 2024. Asia will be well represented since Taiwan and China are set to add eleven and eight 300mm volume fabs, respectively. The chip industry will then command 161 300mm volume fabs by 2024, SEMI said.

(Image: SEMI)

Over the same time interval, SEMI said it expects per-month fab capacity to increase by about 1.8 million wafers to reach over 7 million.

+164% in Europe/Mideast

Between 2020 and 2024, SEMI expects Europe/Mideast will increase 300mm fab spendings by 164%, Southeast Asia by 59%, Americas by 35%, and Japan by 20%.

In the meantime, China is set to increase its global share of 300mm capacity from 8% in 2015 to 20% in 2024, reaching 1.5 million 300mm wafers per month in 2024. Non-Chinese organizations will represent a “substantial portion of that growth”, but Chinese-owned organizations are speeding up their capacity investments. SEMI expects they will account for 43% of China’s fab capacity in 2020 and reach 50% by 2022 and 60% in 2024.

According to SEMI, Korea will lead the regional investments (between US$15 billion and US$19 billion), followed by Taiwan (between US$14 billion and US$17 billion) and China (between US$11 billion and US$13 billion).

Power devices to stand out

Memory will drive the 300mm fab spending growth for the years to come. Current and forecast investment indicate an upward trend in the upper single digits for each year from 2020 to 2023. The year 2024 will stand out with double-digit growth of 10%, SEMI said.

Zooming in on the different product sectors, SEMI said investments for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and 3D NAND will be uneven between 2020 and 2024. Logic/microprocessor contributions will, however, improve steadily during the same period, while power-related devices will be “the standout sector in 300mm fab investments”, with over 200% rise in 2021 and double-digit growth in 2022 and 2023.

To develop this report, SEMI said it has examined 286 fabs/lines from 2013 and 2024 and more than 50 companies and organizations from around the world.

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