SANTA CRUZ, Calif. New fab construction during the second quarter set an industry record in both numbers and dollar value, according to data reported by Strategic Marketing Associates.
Work began on 15 new semiconductor fab projects during the quarter ended June 30, with planned capacity of almost 500,000 200-mm wafers a month. That's more than in any quarter in history and equal to almost the entire capacity of facilities started in 2003.
"Work began on $18.4 billion worth of new facilities worldwide in the second quarter," said George Burns, president of SMA, a market researcher based here. "This pushed the value of new fab starts so far this year above $25 billion, which exceeds the total value of new facilities started throughout 2003."
Since the surge in new construction began in the fourth quarter of 2003, the industry has started construction on more than $35 billion of new fabs. "While this is not as high as the $58 billion the industry started construction on in the last boom of 1999-2001, the rate of today's boom is much higher," he said.
Burns said it remains an open question whether new construction activity will maintain momentum to surpass the industry record for an entire year, which was set in 2000 at $38 billion..
Of the $18 billion worth of fabs starting construction in the second quarter, 46 percent, or $8.4 billion, were in Japan. Five Japanese companies (Elpida, Fujitsu, Matsushita, NEC and Toshiba) began work on 300-mm fabs.
Based on value, South Korea was next with three projects (all by Samsung) totaling $3.4 billion, followed by the U.S., with two projects valued at $2.25 billion, although one of those is located in Ireland. Both projects are led by Intel Corp.
Infineon Technologies AG began work on two projects valued at $1.15 billion, one in Germany and one in the United States. Two Chinese companies HHNEC and ZNG each broke gound on one 200-mm project valued at $1 billion and $600 million, respectively. In Taiwan, ProMOS started a 300-mm fab valued at $1.6 billion.