A recent Semi™ report titled SEMI Reports Shift in Semiconductor Capacity and Equipment Spending Trends reveals an important new trend in semiconductors: "spending trends for the semiconductor industry have changed. Before 2009, capacity expansion corresponded closely to fab equipment spending. Now more money is spent on upgrading existing facilities, while new capacity additions are occurring at a lower pace, to levels previously seen only during an economic or industry-wide slowdown".
Looking at the semi-equipment booking should be the first step in any attempt to assess future semiconductor trends. While talking is easy, spending billions of dollars is not. Vendors look deeply into their new design bookings and their future production needs before committing new dollars to long lead purchases for their manufacturing future needs. In the past decade it was relatively simple, as soon as a new process node reached production maturity vendors would place new equipment orders knowing that soon enough all new designs and their volume will shift to the new process node. But the Semi™ report seems to tell us that we are facing a new reality in the semiconductor industry – a Paradigm Shift.
A while ago VLSI Research Inc. released the following chart with the question: Is Moore’s Law slowing down?
Click here to read more ...