Global Wafer Fab Equipment spending to reach $35.4 billion in 2013

Telecom Lead Asia: Worldwide wafer fab equipment (WFE)
spending is projected to surpass $35.4 billion in 2013, a 7.4 percent increase
from 2012, according to Gartner.

The market research firm said that the global WFE
spending declined 8.9 percent at $33 billion in 2012, as compared to spending
of $36.2 billion in 2011.

“The need for new equipment was stronger than
originally anticipated, because strengthening demand for leading-edge devices
required higher production volumes as yields had yet to reach mature levels.
However, demand for new logic production equipment will soften as yields
improve, leading to declining shipment volume for the rest of the year,”
said Bob Johnson, research vice president at Gartner.

 Wafer fab manufacturing capacity utilization will
decline into the mid-80-percent range by the middle of 2012 before slowly
increasing to about 87 percent by the end of 2012.

 Leading-edge utilization will return to the
high-80-percent range by the second half of 2012, and move into the
low-90-percent range through 2013, providing for a positive capital investment

The firm said the nodes such as foundry, NAND flash and
DRAM will be ramping in 2012.

 “Production is getting back to more-normal
levels, following a period of inventory correction. Capital spending restraints
through the second half of 2012 will also slow new capacity additions, with the
result that overall utilization rates will return to normal levels at the start
of 2013. Leading-edge utilization will stay in the low-90-percent range through
most of 2013, providing continued impetus for capital investment,” Johnson

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