The semiconductor industry’s capital expenditure reaches $152 billion in 2021

Recently, IC Insights pointed out that the capital expenditure of the global semiconductor industry has increased significantly this year to cope with the chip demand that is likely to continue for many years in the future. It is expected to spend $152 billion this year on building new fabs and purchasing production equipment, which is higher than last year’s $113.1 billion and a year-on-year increase of 34%. This is the strongest year-on-year increase since 2017 when it was 41%.

TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries are the foundries leading the entire industry in capital expenditures, with an investment of $53 billion, accounting for 35% of the semiconductor industry’s capital expenditures in 2021. As the world’s largest foundry, TSMC plans to spend between $25 billion and US$35 billion to increase manufacturing capacity due to record service demand, to prepare for the upcoming N3 process node in 2023 and the mass production of the N2 process node in 2025, which requires the purchase of a large number of new production tools and the construction of new fabs.

“It took 50 years for the semiconductor business to turn into a half a trillion-dollar business,” said Khaldoon Al Mubarak, CEO of Mubadala, in an interview with CNBC. “It is going to take probably eight to 10 years to double [by 2030 ~ 2031]. And it is going to double right after that, probably in four to five years.”

Intel-led microprocessor (MPU) and microcontroller (MCU) manufacturers are expected to increase capital expenditures to $23.5 billion this year, an increase of 42% compared to 2020. The market size of microprocessors and microcontrollers is expected to reach US$103.7 billion in 2021, an increase of 14% compared to last year, and continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1% until 2025, when it will reach a scale of $127.8 billion. At the same time, manufacturers of memory and NAND flash memory are expected to spend $51.9 billion this year on building new fabs and purchasing production equipment, among them, the two were 24 billion and 27.9 billion U.S. dollars, respectively, and capital expenditures increased by 34% and 13% year-on-year.