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Samsung leads chip capex ranking

March 27, 2014 | Peter Clarke | 222906248
Memory makers and foundries will make the biggest increases in chip manufacturing capital expenditure in 2014, according to market research firm IC Insights. This is in total market of $62.23 billion, set to increase by 8 percent compared with 2013.
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Despite strong 2014 spending increases led by SanDisk and Micron Technology the top five ranking is unchanged, led by Samsung and Intel with spends of over $11 billion each.

The lead foundry TSMC is ranked third with slightly less than $10 billion and collectively these three companies will be responsible for 52 percent of a total semiconductor industry capex in 2014. The top five companies are responsible for 66 percent of the forecast total spend of $62.23 billion.

Nine of the top 10 companies are forecast to spend more than $1 billion in 2014 which represents a threshold of sustainability in leading-edge chip manufacturing. That said tenth-ranked SMIC with an annual increase of 35 percent to follow on from a 30 percent increase in spending in 2013 is striving to join the billion-dollar capex club.

SanDisk cut back its capital spending by 28 percent in 2012 and by 12 percent in 2013, according to IC Insights. Now it is set to implement a capital spending percentage increase of 86 percent, needed to expand production of advanced 3D NAND flash memory with its manufacturing partner Toshiba.

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