Both Samsung and TSMC are expecting to increase their capex to record levels in the last quarter of the year, says IC Insights. Samsung is building memory infrastructure to address mid- to long-term demand and plans to increase Q4 spending by 81 percent to 7.9 billion dollars compared to Q3. For all of 2019, the Korean company’s capex is still down by 8 percent with respect to 2018, though, mainly because of a cautious start of the year.
Like Samsung, TSMC started the year off with relatively low capex, increasing to moderate levels in Q2 and Q3. Now that the foundry is seeing strong demand for its 7nm processes and 5nm technology is just around the corner, investment levels are spiking. The Q3-to-Q4 64 percent increase to 5.1 billion dollars exceeds the previous record of 3.8 billion dollars in Q1 2014 by 36 percent.
ASML’s quarterly results largely mirror the spending trend of Samsung of TSMC. The equipment maker forecasts a revenue of 3.9 billion euros in Q4, which is at least a billion more than any preceding quarter.