300mm Fab Capacity to Double

According to a recent SEMI Fab Database report, device manufacturers continue to invest significantly in additional 300mm fab capacity despite the steep pricing declines experienced by memory. In total, worldwide 300mm capacity will double from the beginning of this year by the end of 2008 as 25 new 300mm high-volume fabs come online. By the end of 2008, only 73 300mm fabs will provide over 6.2 million wafers per month. The fab landscape is changing; fewer but larger fabs are being constructed.

Having reached record levels in 2006, fab construction spending is expected to decline only slightly this year, with Taiwan and Japan accounting for the largest share of worldwide construction spending at 30% and 20% respectively, followed by China with over 16%. These investments are for 300mm and Memory (DRAM and Flash), as device manufacturers are expecting a significant increase in demand for DRAM and Flash. The study also revealed that even foundries have retained their ambitious capex plans for 2007. Fab construction expenditures are expected to increase 40% to reach to record levels of $10B in 2008, with South Korea expected to have the largest growth followed by Southeast Asia.

According to the SEMI report, fab equipping will grow by 5% this year and another 5% increase projected in 2008. In 2007, Taiwan is expected to account for over 24% of fab equipment spending, followed closely by Japan at almost 22%. South Korea is expected to represent about 17% of worldwide spending for fab equipment. These investments will result in a 17% increase in worldwide fab capacity this year and about an 11% increase in 2008. Memory products will comprise about 38% of all worldwide capacity this year and 40% in 2008.

More info: SEMI Worldwide Fab Database Reports »