Asia leads chip making growth

 

Spending on chip making equipment increased worldwide last year, with growth in Asia far outpacing other regions, according to newly published research data..

Gartner reported that the global semiconductor production industry grew 5.9 percent to reach a total value of US$44.5 billion in 2007.

By far the strongest regional growth was seen in Asia, where chip and other semiconductor makers increased spending on equipment by 14.9 percent during the year.

"Uneven investment behaviour, with weakness in logic/foundry and strength in memory-related capacity spending, once again impacted relative equipment market share positions, as well as the regional sales picture in 2007," said Klaus Rinnen, managing vice president of Gartner's semiconductor manufacturing research group.

Sales of equipment for 45nm chips, the current cutting edge of chip mass production, remained subdued, according to Rinnen.

"45nm investments [became] more meaningful in 2007, but still accounted for less than 10 percent of total investment for the year," he said.

Research firm In-Stat reported recently that semiconductor manufacturing capacity in Asia has been rising with major contributions from the pure-play foundries and memory makers.

"The increasing interest by the integrated device manufacturers in the fab-lite model will continue to drive this growth," said In-Stat.

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