YG PRESS NEWS – Wafer fab equipment industry: an horizon of uncertainties

Product Related

The lackluster performance of wafer fab equipment in Q1 2023 has created a sense of uncertainty throughout the entire semiconductor supply chain.

  • The total WFE revenue is estimated to decrease by -8.3%, from US$101 billion in CY2022 to US$93 billion in CY2023.
  • The Q1-23 declined by -7% QoQ and is expected to decline by a further -11% in Q2-23.
  • A very high US$20 billion-US$25 billion revenue per quarter is estimated as the new normal. 

According to Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, in the Wafer Fab Equipment Market Monitor, following three consecutive years of record-breaking year-over-year (YoY) growth, the total revenue for the semiconductor equipment industry, known as WFE (Wafer Fabrication Equipment), is projected to experience a decline of -8.3%. The revenue is expected to decrease from US$101 billion in the calendar year 2022 to US$93 billion in the calendar year 2023. In the first quarter of 2023, there was a decline of -7% compared to the previous quarter (QoQ), and it is anticipated to face a further -11% decline in the second quarter of 2023.

This downward trend in revenue is accompanied by a reduction in order intake. Despite these challenges, it is estimated that the new normal for quarterly revenue will be in the range of US$20 billion to US$25 billion, which is still relatively high. The primary cause of this decline is attributed to memory chip manufacturers postponing or even canceling equipment orders, despite the significant lead times and high fab utilization rates. To compensate for these lost orders, equipment vendors are striving to secure bookings in the logic or specialty devices and advanced packaging sectors.

Adding to the industry’s woes, the geopolitical situation is creating further obstacles for US, European, and Japanese equipment vendors, as it hampers lucrative regional shipments. Consequently, certain process technologies, such as etch and clean, deposition, ion implantation, metrology, and inspection, have shown substantial revenue declines when compared quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). However, one exception to this trend is the patterning segment, which is anticipated to experience a positive YoY revenue growth of around 24% in 2023.

On a brighter note, the service and support revenue stream is showing steady growth at 1% YoY, supported by an annual increase in the installed base of approximately 6% YoY… For more information about this analysis, please contact us!

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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