Fri, Oct 10, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan Semiconductor reports record monthly sales

AGENCIES , TAIPEI

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufac-turing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, said yesterday that its net sales last month rose 3.2 percent from August to an all-time high of NT$18.91 billion (US$560 million) as a result of higher wafer shipments.

The company's sales last month were up 48.30 percent from NT$12.76 billion a year earlier, TSMC spokesman Lora Ho (何麗梅) said in a statement.

Its sales in the nine months to last month rose 20.3 percent from a year earlier to NT$144.13 billion.

Rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) said its sales last month rose 7.3 percent from August to NT$7.52 billion and were up 25.05 percent from NT$6.01 billion a year earlier.

In the nine months to last month, sales increased 22.55 percent to NT$61.14 billion.

TSMC, which in April received government approval for its initial investment to build a chip plant in China, said yesterday that it has invested NT$1.89 billion (US$56 million) in its Chinese subsidiary as part of its plan to set up a NT$33.75 billion plant there.

The subsidiary, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (Shanghai) Ltd, plans to have the plant up and running in the second half of next year.

A number of chip plants or "foundries," which manufacture semiconductors based on the designs of their clients, have already sprung up in China. So far, UMC has yet to submit an application with the government to invest in China.

TSMC faces further hurdles in its China plans.

The company has not applied for second-phase approval from the government before it can convince government officials that it will continue to build plants in Taiwan to prevent the exodus of jobs and technological prowess to China.

The government also wants TSMC to prove that its advanced, 300mm chip plant in Taiwan is running at "mass-production" levels before it gains second-phase approval.

TSMC's public relations manager, Tzeng Jinnhaw (曾晉皓), said the company has yet to submit an application for second-phase approval, but believes it already meets the government's requirements.

The government has so far offered no definition of "mass production" levels. Nor has it said how many phases of approval TSMC may have to go through.

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