Paul van Gerven
18 March 2021

Samsung and TSMC’s combined capital expenditures will reach at least 55.5 billion dollars this year, IC Insights expects. This represents an all-time high percentage of total semiconductor industry outlays held by the top two spenders. With no other companies presently able to match these huge spending sums, the duo will likely put even more distance between themselves and their competition this year with regard to advanced IC manufacturing technology.

Even with governments involved, there’s little chance of catching up, IC Insights believes. The market research firm estimates that governments would need to spend at least 30 billion dollars per year for a minimum of five years to have any reasonable chance of success.

“Without extremely quick and decisive action by other IC producers or governments, Samsung and TSMC are well on their way to world domination of leading-edge IC process technology, the cornerstone of all of the advanced consumer, business and military electronic systems of the future,” IC Insights states in a press bulletin.

Historically, Intel has been among the top two leading industry capital spenders for 25 out of the past 27 years, but it’s now starting to fall behind. The company spent only half of what Samsung spent in 2020 and is expected to fall far short of both Samsung and TSMC this year.