LONDON Ė Only six of the top 35 chip-making companies are planning to increase capital expenditure in 2012 compared with 2011, according to market analysis company IC Insights Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.).
The six are Intel, Samsung, Hynix, TSMC, UMC, and Rohm. Those six are likely to be responsible for about two-thirds of fab spending in 2012. Back in November 2010 another market analysis firm, Gartner, produced a ranking which showed 11 companies in the billion-dollar-per-year capex club in 2011. It is not clear from IC Insights how many are still in that club but according to IC Insights there are just three companies in the five-billion-dollar-per-year capex club.
With an increase of $1.7 billion, Intel is expected to post the biggest dollar increase in capital expenditure for 2012, though it is likely to trail Samsung in overall capex for the year. The third club member is TSMC.
Despite the fact that just six companies are increasing spending on an annual basis IC Insights has raised its forecast for total semiconductor capital spending for 2012 to $63.3 billion from $60.7 billion.
As a result the total 2012 semiconductor industry capital expenditures are now forecast to decline by 3 percent this year as compared to the previous expectation of an 8 percent decline.
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