The semiconductor industry is seeing strong growth on the back of global smartphone and tablet sales, which now account for around a quarter of all semiconductor sales.
Overall smartphone and tablet silicon spending has reached £314bn, the highest recorded level, according to figures released by the industry association SEMI.
Meanwhile, semiconductor equipment spending is expected to hit $44.3bn this year, the highest since the internet boom of 2000.
North America led the growth with capital spending up over 60 per cent, closely followed by Europe, which is expected to take the lead in 2012.
"The spending pace is expected to decline six per cent to $41bn in 2012, yet will remain the second highest annual level on record," said Christian Gregor Dieseldorff, senior analyst for fab information in the SEMI Industry Research and Statistics group.
"However, the number of new volume fabs starting construction is historically low, with potential implications for industry capacity plans in 2012 and beyond."
The figures were released at the start of the 41st annual SEMICON show in San Francisco. The association also announced a new chairman, Doug Neugold, president of semiconductor processors at ATMI.
"This is a very important year in the evolution of the semiconductor market," Neugold said.
"Out of a $1.3tn market, mobile and smart devices now account for over $300bn for the first time, an amazing accomplishment driven by the growth in smart portable devices."
Another important area of growth is the LED market. The technology is most commonly used in flat screens and the lighting industry. This year China had 57 fabrication plants dedicated to LED technology, with Taiwan close behind on 43.
Neugold also welcomed two new members to the SEMI board: David Miller, president of DuPont Electronics & Communications, and Ho-Ming Tong, chief R&D officer at the ASE Group.
Miller's background in semiconductor materials and diversifying silicon into consumer devices will be welcome, he said, while Tong's experience of manufacturing advanced semiconductor technology in Asia will be valuable to the association.
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