LONDON – Sales at foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) in February were down 13.2 percent from January at NT$41.18 billion (about $1.39 billion), but were up 21.5 percent over the same month a year before.
It is normal for sales to decline sequentially in February – due to the shorter month and Chinese New Year holidays – but the reported sales decline was larger than the average of 6.1 percent that TSMC has experienced over the previous ten years.
Nonetheless TSMC's revenues for the year-to-date totaled NT$88.62 billion (about $2.99 billion), an increase of 29.4 percent compared to the same period in 2012.
Rival foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) reported February sales of NT$8.73 billion (about $295 million), down 7.6 percent from January but up 3.4 percent on February 2012. UMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) has year-to-date sales of NT$18.18 billion (about $613 million), up 5.2 percent on the same period a year before.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.