LONDON – Morris Chang, the chairman and CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., has cut his forecast for the annual growth of the global semiconductor industry in 2012 to 2 percent, according to reports. Chang was speaking during the presentation of the foundry chip company's fourth quarter 2011 financial results and the 2 percent figure is a reduction from a 3 to 5 percent prediction given three months ago.
Chang said he still expects growth in the communications market and that TSMC's own sales are likely to pick up in the second quarter after a flat first quarter.
TSMC's manufacturing utilization in 4Q11 was about 80 percent and this is expected to move to 80 to 85 percent in 1Q12, according to a China Post reports that quoted an unnamed Samsung Securities analyst. Strengthening demand for 28-nm and 40-nm production could raise the manufacturing capacity utilization to 90 to 95 percent in 2Q12 the report said. Shipments could increase sequentially by a double-digit percentage in Q2.
Apple is expected to launch the iPad3 in March and there is speculation as to whether TSMC or Samsung will be the manufacturer of the A6 processor expected to power the tablet computer.