Samsung leads chip capex ranking

March 27, 2014 // By Peter Clarke
Memory makers and foundries will make the biggest increases in chip manufacturing capital expenditure in 2014, according to market research firm IC Insights. This is in total market of $62.23 billion, set to increase by 8 percent compared with 2013.

Despite strong 2014 spending increases led by SanDisk and Micron Technology the top five ranking is unchanged, led by Samsung and Intel with spends of over $11 billion each.

The lead foundry TSMC is ranked third with slightly less than $10 billion and collectively these three companies will be responsible for 52 percent of a total semiconductor industry capex in 2014. The top five companies are responsible for 66 percent of the forecast total spend of $62.23 billion.

Nine of the top 10 companies are forecast to spend more than $1 billion in 2014 which represents a threshold of sustainability in leading-edge chip manufacturing. That said tenth-ranked SMIC with an annual increase of 35 percent to follow on from a 30 percent increase in spending in 2013 is striving to join the billion-dollar capex club.

SanDisk cut back its capital spending by 28 percent in 2012 and by 12 percent in 2013, according to IC Insights. Now it is set to implement a capital spending percentage increase of 86 percent, needed to expand production of advanced 3D NAND flash memory with its manufacturing partner Toshiba.