According to SEMI, global spending on fab equipment for front-end facilities is expected to grow 20% year over year in 2022 to an all-time high of $109 billion, marking a third consecutive year of growth following a 42% surge in 2021. Fab equipment investment is expected to remain strong in 2023.

"The global semiconductor equipment industry remains on track to cross the $100 billion threshold for the first time as shown in our latest update of the World Fab Forecast,”said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI. “This historic milestone puts an exclamation point on the current run of unprecedented industry growth.”

SEMI: Global fab equipment spending expected to hit record $109 billion this year-SemiMedia

The SEMI report shows that global industry capacity has increased by 8% this year, following a 7% increase in 2021. Capacity is expected to continue to grow by 6% in 2023. The fab equipment industry last saw a YoY growth rate of 8% in 2010, when it topped 16 million wafers per month (200mm equivalents) – nearly half of the 29 million wafers per month (200mm equivalents) projected for 2023.

More than 85% of equipment spending in 2022 will come from capacity additions at 158 fabs and production lines, which is expected to drop to 83% next year as capacity increases at 129 known fabs and production lines.

SEMI noted that the foundry industry will account for the majority of equipment spending in 2022 and 2023, accounting for about 53%, followed by memory at 33% and 34% in 2022 and 2023, respectively. These two industries also account for the largest share of capacity increases.