LONDON – Leading foundry chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has seen its sales in 2013 running at 25 percent higher than in 2012 with the prospect of strong second half to the year.
TSMC has reported net sales for April of NT$50.07 billion (about $1.69 billion), an increase of 13.5 percent from March 2013 and up 23.5 percent over April 2012.
The company's revenues for the first four months of the year were NT$182.83 billion (about $6.16 billion), an increase of 25.1 percent compared to the same period in 2012.
At the most recent analysts' conference call Morris Chang, chairman and CEO said that in 2013 TSMC would grow at much higher rate than the 10 percent he forecast for the foundry sector as a whole. Chang applies a top-down view and said that for 2013 TSMC's estimate of global GDP remains unchanged at about 2.6 percen growth. The semiconductor market he forecasts wlll grow at about 4 percent. The fabless industry is set to grow at 9 percent and the foundry sector at 10 percent.
Much of TSMC's current success is based on its commanding position in the supply of 28-nm CMOS and the demand for it for mobile applications. In the call Chang said that TSMC would triple production and revenue from 28-nm wafers in 2013 compared with 2012. The high-K metal gate variant will start shipping in higher volume than the oxynitride version of 28-nm in third quarter of 2013, Chang said.
April sales at rival foundry United Microelectronics Corp. were flat sequentially and its year-to-date sales of NT$10.28 billion (about $350 million) was up by 3.9 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Manufacturing capacity utilization at UMC was 78 percent in 1Q13, down from 80 percent in 4Q12.
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