SAN FRANCISCO — The market for semiconductor manufacturing equipment is set to contract for a second straight year in 2013 but rebound strongly in 2014, according to the fab tool trade group SEMI.
SEMI, in San Jose, Calif., says it now expects total semiconductor equipment sales to fall to about $36.3 billion this year, down about 2 percent from 2012. Last year, semiconductor equipment spending declined by about 12 percent compared with 2011.
But SEMI expects a strong rebound in fab tool spending next year following two consecutive quarters of conservative investment by chipmakers. The trade group projects that total equipment spending will rise 21 percent in 2014, reaching nearly $44 billion. If so, it would be the second biggest spending year ever for semiconductor capital equipment, trailing only the record $47.7 billion spent in 2000.
SEMI's latest 2013 forecast, issued at a press event here on the eve of the industry's annual Semicon West tradeshow, represents a decline from a previous SEMI forecast, which called for total equipment spending to be about $37.4 billion.
Speaking at a press event on Monday, Dan Tracy, senior director of industry research and statistics at SEMI, said a slowly improving global economic outlook was beginning to move the needle in the right direction for the semiconductor and semiconductor equipment industries. "This year, things are moving forward," Tracy said.
Dan Tracy, senior director of industry research and statistics, speaks at the Semicon West press conference Monday.
Citing data compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics Service, Tracy said the semiconductor industry is set to grow by a single-digit percentage each year through 2016. Tracy also said that SEMI's book-to-bill ratio -- the ratio of bookings to billings for semiconductor equipment suppliers based in North America -- has been growing steadily since last November.
As has been the case every year since 2011, SEMI expects semiconductor equipment spending to be driven largely by foundry spending in both 2013 and 2014. The trade group expects tool spending by foundry customers to exceed $16 billion this year and exceed $18 billion next year.