SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Market research company Gartner Inc. is forecasting 2003 to be a growth year in capital expenditure with equipment for packaging and assembly scoring a 26 percent rise over 2002 and wafer fabrication equipment scoring a more modest 9 percent growth.
The overall growth in spending on equipment in 2003 over 2002 is likely to be 11 percent Gartner said in its capital spending and equipment forecast update teleconference on Tuesday (July 8, 2003)
However such a spending revival would almost entirely have to occur in the second half of 2003 and therefore Gartner is suggesting clients guard against the possibility of a flat 2003 and a recovery delayed until the first half of 2004.
Gartner's semiconductor and packaging equipment predictions are being made on the basis of an 8.3 percent growth in the semiconductor chip market in 2003 compared with 2002, one of the more bearish predictions for 2003.
The San Jose-based market researcher sees the possibility of chip market growth being as strong as 12.3 percent or as weak as 1.3 percent, which would be a lower percentage growth than the 1.9 percent Gartner recorded for the market in 2002.
Similarly for 2003 Gartner foresees capital spending growth being as strong as 15 percent or as weak as 1 percent. In 2002 capital spending collapsed 38 percent from its 2001 levels.
Wafer fab equipment spending in the 2003 calendar year is forecast to be in the range of 1 percent to 16 percent after a flattish first-half. But packaging and assembly equipment has already shown signs of leading the recovery and Gartner's worst case for that market in 2003 is 17 percent growth while the best case is 35 percent growth.
Overall Gartner sees capital expenditure being most likely to move forward by about 9 percent to achive an historically modest $30 billion annual worldwide market figure. But in 2004 capital expenditure should ramp to $40 billion before hitting a $60 billion peak in 2005. After that Gartner believes capital spending should slump back as the chip industry is gripped by another down cycle.
Gartner sees a similar long-term pattern for semiconductor equipment purchase which is a fairly consistent proportion of capital spending. Gartner said that in 2003 spending on semiconductor equipment excluding test equipment should move ahead to exceed $20 billion thereafter rising to hit about $28 billion in 2004 before hitting its peak at about $42 billion in 2005.