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7/10/2014
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Chipmaking Spending Boom Coming

Spurred by improved economy and optimism over Internet of Things and wearable devices, semiconductor industry forecasts two years of growth.

After years of underspending on chipmaking equipment, the semiconductor industry is set for two consecutive strong growth years, according to the SEMI industry organization.

The SEMI trade body is forecasting the global market will grow by 20.8 percent in 2014 to reach $38.4 billion and to expand another 10.8 percent in 2015 to exceed $42.6 billion.

One of the reasons for the underspending has been that over the last decade the industry move towards fabless and fab-light business models has been accelerating, leaving only a few foundries and large IDMs prepared to spend on equipment. However, with a more healthy general economy and optimism around wearable electronics and the Internet of Things, there is an eagerness to invest in production capacity for sub 20 nm logic, for 3D NAND flash memory, in DRAM technology upgrades for mobile applications, and expansion of advanced packaging capacity for flip-chip, wafer bumping, and wafer-level packaging.

2014 midyear equipment forecast by market region (Source: SEMI)
2014 midyear equipment forecast by market region (Source: SEMI)

As a result, all the regions of the world that SEMI tracks separately are forecast to see equipment spending increases in 2015. Front-end wafer processing equipment is forecasted to grow 11.9% in 2015 to $34.8 billion, up from $31.1 billion in 2014. Test equipment and assembly and packaging equipment is predicted to experience growth next year, rising to $3.1 billion (+1.6%) and $2.6 billion (+1.2%), respectively. The forecast indicates that next year is on track to be the second largest spending year ever, surpassed only by $47.7 billion spent in 2000.

Read the rest of this article on EETimes.

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zaious
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zaious,
User Rank: Strategist
7/10/2014 | 11:21:14 PM
Re: Hardware
Hardware industry definitely needs a boost. The cloud and IoT will spurr more innovation, see more investments from comapnies. This is going to be a good revival for them for a while.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 4:49:30 PM
Re: Hardware
You have to make hardware if you want some barrier against major software companies who can create the same app with better distribution.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 4:46:25 PM
Ah, a lot of chips are going to flow into the cloud
In fact the growing appetite for services through software will power a large part of this boom, not small devices. They will flow out of the cloud, powered by servers running new generations of chips and designed to be lean and mean machines. Cloud servers are not the same thing as personal computers, even though the former evolved out of the latter. Much investment is going to go into producing cloud servers on a massive scale.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 3:33:07 PM
Hardware
Hardware is making a comeback!

After ten years of software domination and everything moving to the cloud, I think that devices and the proliferation of them is going to be a great thing. The previous decade was necessary to make way for wearables. I'm excited to see what kinds of cool devices will come our way, especially in the VR space. 
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