What does it all mean?
It's unclear if Tsai is still the heir apparent at TSMC. But what this clearly means is that Chang is reassuming control of the foundry giant. Chang has been the founding chairman of TSMC since 1987.
Observers believe that Chang's goals include plans to jumpstart the foundry giant's growth and reassume its technology leadership position.
For example, TSMC has acknowledged that there have been some snags in terms of its 40-nm ramp. During a recent conference call with analysts, Tsai acknowledged that the company had some ''yield'' issues with its new 40-nm process. TSMC claims the issues have been fixed.
Meanwhile, IBM Corp. and its foundry partners--such as Chartered and Samsung--are slightly ahead of TSMC in high-k technology. IBM's ''fab club'' plans to ship a high-k/metal-gate scheme at the 32-nm node by year's end.
TSMC has recently demonstrated a functional SRAM cell, based on its upcoming 28-nm process, which includes high-k and metal gates for the gate stack.
The 28-nm process will also include a second gate-stack option, based on more conventional silicon dioxide. As previously reported, TSMC is expected to move into 28-nm production in the first part of 2010.
On the business front, TSMC, UMC, SMIC and others lost share in the first quarter. But TSMC's business is booming in the second period. Amid one of the toughest periods in its illustrious history, TSMC also recently vowed that it will continue to invest in R&D despite the downturn.
Silicon foundry giant TSMC saw its fortunes tumble in the first quarter, but it sees a rebound. TSMC posted sales of NT$1.56 billion ($1.164 billion) and a net of NT$39.5 billion ($44 million) for the first quarter.
First quarter revenue decreased 54.8 percent while net income decreased 94.5 percent over the previous year. Compared to fourth quarter of 2008, first quarter results represent a 38.8 percent decrease in revenue, and a decrease of 87.5 percent in net income.
Going forward in Q2, revenue is expected to be between NT$71 billion and NT$74 billion ($2.136-to-$2.226 billion). The management further expects that 2009 capital expenditure will be around $1.5 billion.