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Chip fab kit spend to rise 3.9 per cent this year

Shift to 300mm wafers

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Chip makers are forecast to spend 3.9 per cent more on semiconductor production equipment this year than they did in 2002, according to the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) organisation.

SEMI reckons chip makers will spend $20.52 billion in 2003, up from $19.75 billion in 2002. Most of that investment will be made to equip fabs in China, Japan and South Korea - spending will continue to decline in the US, and Europe will see single-figure growth.

SEMI's equipment spending figure is less bullish than recent Gartner figures, which put the industry's capex at $29.9 billion this year, up 7.9 per cent on 2002's spending.

Look further ahead, SEMI said it expects spending to grow 24 per cent in 2004 to $25.4 billion and 18 per cent in 2005 to $30 billion before contracting 2.7 per cent in 2006 to $29.22 billion as the cycle passes its peak.

Driving the growth will be the implementation of 30mm wafer production, SEMI said. Wafer processing kit will account for $17.3 billion of spending next year - more than 68 per cent of the total equipment spend.

This year, the big areas of spending are assembly and packaging kit, and testing equipment, which will grow at a rate of 30 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively. ®

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