Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in 2021 surged 44% to a record high of $102.6bn, from $71.2bn in 2020, with China claiming the largest market for the second time with sales expanding 50% to $29.6bn.

That’s according to new research carried out by SEMI, an industry association representing the global electronics product design and manufacturing supply chain, which highlighted Korea as the second-largest equipment market.

Focusing on the North American semiconductor market, SEMI projects that annual semiconductor equipment spending in the region increased by 17%, which continues to recover from a contraction in 2020.

According to the US Department of Commerce, demand for semiconductors in the US are as much as 17% higher in 2021 than it was in 2019, however, consumers aren’t seeing commensurate increases in the available supply.

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Speaking on the research, Ajit Manocha, President and CEO of SEMI, said, “The 44% increase in manufacturing equipment spending in 2021 highlights the global semiconductor industry’s aggressive push to add capacity.”

“This drive to expand production capabilities extends beyond the current supply imbalance, as the industry continues to ramp up to address a wide range of emerging high-tech applications that will enable a smarter digital world with countless social benefits.”

Alongside geographical growth trends, the SEMI research also showed that global sales of wafer processing equipment rose 44% in 2021, while the other front-end segment sales grew 22%.