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Samsung, Intel, TSMC to Account for Over Half of Semiconductor CapEx in 2014

Apr 08, 2014 | By CENS

According to market consultancy IC Insight, which tracks the semiconductor industry, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Intel Corp., and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) are predicted to account for 51.8% of total semiconductor industry capital expenditures (capex) this year.

Samsung and Intel are each forecast to spend at least US$11.0 billion this year, and TSMC slightly less than US$10.0 billion, reports IC Insights, which recently completed its forecast of 25 semiconductor makers' 2014 capital expenditure and ranked the top-10 spenders.

Based on the IC Insights' rankings, Taiwan's industry executives feel that in the long run only the top-3 spenders can invest in costly R&D of advanced process technologies when the industry migrates to the 10-nanometer process node.

IC Insights statistics show that total semiconductor capital expenditure reached US$57.4 billion in 2013, with the top-10 spenders accounting for 80% and the top-3 for 55.5%. Based on the IC Insights statistics, industry executives say that proportional capex spending by big players is rising steadily.

The organization puts global semiconductor capital spending for this year at US$62.2 billion, an increase of 8% year on year. The top-10 spenders are forecast to account for 81% of the total outlay. Among the top-10, six companies are forecast to spend at least US$3.0 billion, and nine are forecast to spend more than US$1.0 billion.

IC Insights points out after keeping their combined spending essentially flat in 2013, the top-10 spenders are forecast to boost capex spending by 10% in 2014.

Last year, only TSMC, GlobalFoundries Inc., Toshiba Corp., and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) among the top-10 spenders raised spending in 2013. This year, all the top-10 spenders but Samsung are forecast to invest more than last year in capital equipment, with SanDisk Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. posting the biggest increase at at 86% and 58%, respectively.

SanDisk stated that this large increase is needed to expand production of advanced 3D NAND flash memory with its manufacturing partner Toshiba. While SanDisk's capital spending level is expected to be much higher than in 2013, the higher spending is not expected to result in a significant boost to its NAND flash capacity. The two companies' combined capital spending for this year is forecast to be US$1.06 billion, according to IC Insights.

Micron is expected to increase its spending by US$1.12 billion in 2014.

IC Insights expects SK Hynix to raise 18% in spending in 2014 based on the company's excellent sales in 2013 (43% growth) and its aggressive rebuilding program for its fire-damaged China DRAM fab.

The IC Insights report points out that over  2012-2014, Samsung is forecast to spend US$35.3 billion, about 60% of which to target memory production. In the meantime, Intel is predicted to be second to Samsung in total outlay with US$32.6 billion. Such huge outlays are enough for each company to construct and equip eight or nine US$4.0 billion leading-edge 300mm wafer fabs. (KL)

2014 Top-10 Suppliers' Semiconductor Capital Spending Forecast

Forecast rank
Company
2013 spending (in US$1 M)
2014 spending (US$1 M)
YoY Chang (%)
1
Samsung
11,560
11,500
-1
2
Intel
10,611
11,000
4
3
TSMC
9,709
9,750
0
4
GlobalFoundries
4,500
5,500
22
5
SK Hynix
3,146
3,700
18
6
Micron
1,935
3,050
58
7
Toshiba
1,630
1,950
20
8
SanDisk
859
1,600
86
9
UMC
1,098
1,200
9
10
SMIC
651
880
35
Top 10 total
45,699
50,130
10
Others
11,731
12,100
3
Total cap spending
57,430
62,230
8
Source: IC Insights



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