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Gartner: WFE spending to decline 8.9% in 2012

Gartner: WFE spending to decline 8.9% in 2012. Image courtesy of Intel.

Worldwide wafer fab equipment (WFE) spending is predicted to total $33billion in 2012, a decline of 8.9% from the $36.2bn spent in 2011.

According to market analyst firm Gartner, the market will return to growth in 2013 when WFE spending is projected to increase 7.4% and surpass $35.4bn.

"In 2012, WFE started off the year strong, as foundries and other logic manufacturers ramped up sub 30nm production," commented Bob Johnson, research vice president at Gartner. "The need for new equipment was stronger than originally anticipated, because strengthening demand for leading edge devices required higher production volumes as yields had yet to reach mature levels. However, demand for new logic production equipment will soften as yields improve, leading to declining shipment volume for the rest of the year."

The report states that production is returning to regular levels following a period of inventory correction. It forecasts that utilisation will begin to climb again in Q2 2012 and then return to normal levels at the start of 2013, providing a positive capital investment environment.

Simon Fogg

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