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Semi Capex Forecast to Exceed $100B for the First Time in 2018

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
IC Insights raises its full-year spending growth forecast for this year from 8% to 14%.
IC Insights recently released its May Update to the 2018 McClean Report.  This Update included a look at the top-25 1Q18 semiconductor suppliers, a discussion of the 1Q18 IC industry market results, and an update of the 2018 capital spending forecast by company.Overall, the capital spending story for 2018 is becoming much more positive as compared with the forecast presented in IC Insights’ March Update to The McClean Report 2018 (MR18).  In the March Update, IC Insights forecast an 8% increase in semiconductor industry capital spending for this year. However, as shown in Figure 1, IC Insights has raised its expectations for 2018 capital spending by six percentage points to a 14% increase.  If this increase occurs, it would be the first time that semiconductor industry capital outlays exceeded $100 billion.  The worldwide 2018 capital spending forecast figure is 53% higher than the spending just two years earlier in 2016.

Although Samsung says it still does not have a full-year capital spending forecast for this year it did say it will spend “less” in semiconductor capital outlays in 2018 as compared to 2017, when it spent $24.2 billion.  However, as of 1Q18, with regard to its capex, its “foot is still on the gas!”  Samsung spent $6.72 billion in capex for its semiconductor division in 1Q18, slightly higher than the average of the previous three quarters.  This figure is almost 4x the amount the company spent just two years earlier in 1Q16!  Over the past four quarters, Samsung has spent an incredible $26.6 billion in capital outlays for its semiconductor group. Wow!

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Thirteen Top-15 1Q18 Semi Suppliers Register Double-Digit Gains

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018
Samsung extends its number one ranking and sales lead over Intel to 23%.
IC Insights will release its May Update to the 2018 McClean Report later this month.  This Update includes a discussion of the 1Q18 IC industry market results, an update of the 2018 capital spending forecast by company, and a look at the top-25 1Q18 semiconductor suppliers (the top-15 1Q18 semiconductor suppliers are covered in this research bulletin).

The top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1Q18 is shown in Figure 1.  It includes eight suppliers headquartered in the U.S., three in Europe, two in South Korea, and one each in Taiwan and Japan.  After announcing in early April 2018 that it had successfully moved its headquarters location from Singapore to the U.S. IC Insights now classifies Broadcom as a U.S. company.

The top-15 ranking includes one pure-play foundry (TSMC) and four fabless companies.  If TSMC were excluded from the top-15 ranking, Taiwan-based fabless supplier MediaTek ($1,696 million) would have been ranked in the 15th position.

IC Insights includes foundries in the top-15 semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not a marketshare ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.  With many of our clients being vendors to the semiconductor industry (supplying equipment, chemicals, gases, etc.), excluding large IC manufacturers like the foundries would leave significant “holes” in the list of top semiconductor suppliers.  As shown in the listing, the foundries and fabless companies are identified.  In the April Update to The McClean Report, marketshare rankings of IC suppliers by product type were presented and foundries were excluded from these listings.
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TSMC Continues to Dominate the Worldwide Foundry Market

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
only eight companies held 88% of global foundry market last year.

Research included in the recently released 50-page April Update to the 2018 edition of IC Insights’ McClean Report shows that in 2017, the top eight major foundry leaders (i.e., sales of ≥$1.0 billion) held 88% of the $62.3 billion worldwide foundry market (Figure 1).  The 2017 share was the same level as in 2016 and one point higher than the share the top eight foundries represented in 2015.  With the barriers to entry (e.g., fab costs, access to leading edge technology, etc.) into the foundry business being so high and rising, IC Insights expects this “major” marketshare figure to remain at or near this elevated level in the future.TSMC, by far, was the leader with $32.2 billion in sales last year.  In fact, TSMC’s 2017 sales were over 5x that of second-ranked GlobalFoundries and more than 10x the sales of the fifth-ranked foundry SMIC.


Figure 1
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