Fab Investments Planned for Japan


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Fab Investments Planned for Japan

By Dan Tracy, SEMI Industry Research and Statistics

The semiconductor industry has seen many changes over the past decade, with the pace of change accelerating as a consequence of the recent financial crisis. Japan remains the country with the largest installed fab capacity base and, as a result of this and advanced packaging activity, is the largest market consuming semiconductor materials. While some companies in Japan have sold or consolidated their semiconductor businesses, companies like Toshiba, Flash Alliance/Partners, Elpida, Fujitsu, and others continue to invest in advanced process technologies while expanding manufacturing capacity.

With new investments underway this year and anticipated for 2011, 300 mm fab capacity in Japan is expected to increase by 9 percent in 2010 and is currently forecasted to grow another 13 percent in 2011. In total, an estimated $6.0 billion to $6.5 billion on fab-related spending (construction, facilities, and equipment) is expected next year.

Leading 2011 investment activities in Japan is the alliance between Toshiba and Sandisk, Flash Alliance and Flash Partners, with well over $3.0 billion combined in spending expected. Most of it will be spent in continuing the Fab 4 expansion and completing construction and beginning to equip Fab 5. Outside of the Flash Alliance JV, Toshiba could spend another $500 million on expanding and upgrading its 300 mm fab in Oita and its 200 mm fab in Kitakami.

Elpida could spend up to $700 million in upgrades and expansion of the E300 fab. Fujitsu continues to invest in 300 mm capacity and technology, while Panasonic expands its 200 mm fab capacity. Renesas Electronics, Sharp, and Sony also have fab investments planned for next year. Finally, Nichia is expected to invest about $250 million in LED fab capacity. Both Toyoda Gosei and Sharp are also now expanding LED capacity and other Japanese companies are considering investing in LED epi/chip manufacturing as well.

Over the past ten years, semiconductor manufacturers in Japan have spent over $150 billion on semiconductor equipment and materials, including $40+ billion spent for packaging and test. Looking ahead to next year, device makers in Japan will continue to move forward with new investments for advanced technologies and additional capacity.

The author, Dan Tracy, will present SEMI year-end forecasts on chip equipment and materials to the audience at SEMICON Japan 2010 Market Seminar on December 1. The program also features presentations by iSuppli, Gartner and WSTS. For more information, please visit: http://www.semiconjapan.org/en/sessions/technical/ctr_040629

The SEMI Industry Research and Statistics group provides timely market and trend information for market research, competitive analysis, and sales forecasting. We focus on the global semiconductor capital equipment, selected materials markets and fab forecasting data. Please visit www.semi.org/marketinfo for additional information. Also, visit www.semi.org/fabs for updates on fab investment plans and SEMI fab database offerings.

November 2, 2010