Europe, Japan, Korea will lag in fab building

December 14, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Out of 62 front-end chip manufacturing facilities that will begin operation between 2017 and 2020 Europe, Japan and South Korea will construct just four each, according to data compiled by industry body SEMI.

SEMI tracks the planning and construction of wafer fabs and its list includes facilities and lines ranging from R&D and pilot lines to high volume fabs. On its list of 62 upcoming facilities China is building 26. China is followed by the Americas region with 10 facilities and Taiwan with nine. Most of these 62 are set to be volume fabs with only 7 described as R&D or pilot facilities.

Front-end semiconductor facilities and lines starting operation by region and year (all probabilites). Source: SEMI.

SEMI also breaks its tracking down by IC type due to be made. The list is dominated by leading-edge manufacturing with 20 foundry fabs and 13 memory fabs being planned or under construction. The significance of LEDs as a replacement for incandescent bulbs is attested to by seven fabs going updedicated to LED production. The relative scarcity of manufacturing plans for power semiconductors and MEMS reflects the small size of these die and the tendancy to manufacture of 200mm-daimeter wafers. Frequently such manufacturing is expanded by the repurposing of already constructed wafer fabs.

Front-end semiconductor facilities and lines starting operation 2017 to 2020 by product type (all probabilites). Source: SEMI.

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