LED Fab Equipment Spending to Decline 18% in 2012

Market research firm, Semi, forecasts
that spending for LED manufacturing equipment will decline 18 percent in 2012
following a massive 36 percent increase in equipment spending in 2011. At the same time, Semi
projects that worldwide LED manufacturing capacity will reach two million wafers
in 2012 (4″ equivalent per month), a 27 percent increase over 2011.

Semi
says that for several years, capacity for the production of LEDs rapidly expanded
driven by high-brightness HB-LEDs used in TV backlighting applications, which
were granted lucrative government incentives and economic development funding
in China. Semi estimates that a 40 percent decline in world MOCVD purchases in
2012 will reduce overall LED equipment spending for the first time in over five
years. Semi says that spending for non-MOCVD equipment, however, particularly
in lithography, etch, test and packaging equipment will increase in 2012, as manufacturers
optimize their production lines and improve their product designs.

Semi
notes that while HB-LED demand continues to grow in solid state lighting, HB-LEDs
used in LCD TV backlighting units, approximately 40 percent of the total HB-LED
market, failed to reach growth expectations in 2011.

Semi says China continues
to lead in LED manufacturing equipment spending with an expected $719 million
in spending planned for 2012, followed by Taiwan ($321M), Japan ($300M) and Korea
($260M). Taiwan will continue to lead in capacity at 25 percent of the world LED
capacity, followed by China at 22 percent of world LED capacity.