Semiconductor equipment sales will grow worldwide over the next two years, according to SEMI's Capital Equipment Forecast.Global trade association SEMI has projected that semiconductor equipment sales will grow worldwide over the next two years, resulting in a three-year period of progress.

The projections, which were released Tuesday in the mid-year edition of the SEMI Capital Equipment Forecast, suggest that the total semiconductor equipment market will grow 7 percent in 2015, reaching a value of $40.2 billion. Semi believes that the market will grow another 4 percent in 2016, resulting in a $41.8 billion value.

SEMI’s forecast suggests that investments by memory and foundry fabs will drive the spending of the equipment market, which experienced 18 percent growth in 2014. Also, front-end wafer processing equipment is expected to grow nearly 10 percent in 2015 to $32.1 billion. Forecasts for test equipment, assembly and packaging equipment are expected to fall in 2015 to $3.5 billion.

"Memory and foundry device manufacturers are continuing to invest in leading-edge process technologies to enable mobility and interconnectivity,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “We expect capital spending to post growth throughout the remainder of 2015 and into 2016.”

Taiwan is expected to maintain its crown as the world’s largest chip equipment customer, as SEMI pegs it to spend a total of $10.9 billion in 2015. South Korea, whose projected $8.6 billion in 2015 spending would make it the second largest buyer, is also expected to experience the highest year-over-year increase in 2015. North America is expected to spend the third most in 2015, at a rate of $6.5 billion. Semi projects all three of the regions to hold the same place in the rankings in 2016.

The mid-year Capital Equipment Forecast wasn’t the only thing announced by SEMI Tuesday, as the company also publicized the results of its board elections.

Stephen S. Schwartz, CEO of Brooks Automation, and Toshikazu Umatate, senior vice president and general manager of the Semiconductor Lithography Business at Nikon Corporation, were both elected to the SEMI International Board of Directors.

Current board members Bertrand Loy, president and CEO of Entegris; Dave Miller, president of DuPont Electronics & Communications; Kyu Dong Sung, CEO of EO Technics; and Xinchao Wang, chairman and CEO of JCET, were re-elected to two-year terms.

“These two distinguished industry leaders will be tremendous assets to the SEMI Board of Directors,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “We also appreciate the continued service of those re-elected to the Board their counsel and wisdom is valued as SEMI responds to new industry challenges, inflections, and opportunities.”

Also, SEMI’s Executive Committee confirmed two individuals are chairmen. Yong Hong Han Lee, chairman of Wonik, was confirmed as SEMI executive committee chairman, while Tetsuo Tsuneishi, chairman of the board of Tokyo Electron, was named SEMI vice-chairman.