Surprisingly strong demand for chip equipment has been the story of 2016, driving sales to levels above $50B in a recent forecast upgrade, by VLSIresearch. The outlook is also positive for 2017 and expected to reach $55B, growing more than 7%. Risto Puhakka stated that “Equipment has been growing as IC sales improved. Plus, IC Inventories are moving into a normal state.” However, the weakness in Electronics is troubling, where there has been inventory accumulation. Equipment sales are better than fundamental drivers indicate as reported by VLSIresearch in a recent edition of The Chip Insider.
Memory, Foundry, and China continue to drive Wafer Fab Equipment (WFE). Deposition, Litho, and Etch Lead WFE. Deposition and etch have benefited tremendously last two years. Sales are expected to 5%, reaching $34B in 2016.
Leading-edge, high-end test is driving tester demand. High-end test continues to expand with sales expected to cross the $4B bar in 2017.
Assembly equipment sales outlooks for both 2016 and 2017 are good, as growth drivers shift into advanced packaging.
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