Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday posted its lowest monthly revenue in six months at NT$36.85 billion (US$1.2 billion) for last month, reflecting the chipmaker’s forecast of higher-than-normal supply chain inventory levels this quarter.
Last month, TSMC saw its revenue drop 4.1 percent from a -record-high of NT$38.43 billion in October.
On Wednesday, rival United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) reported its revenue dropped 2.43 percent month-on-month, to NT$10.44 billion last month.
During the first 11 months of this year, TSMC has accumulated NT$384.67 billion in revenue, up 45.6 percent from NT$264.19 billion a year ago. That puts the chipmaker well on track to hit its goal of growing 40 percent in revenue this year, a goal set by company chairman and chief executive Morris Chang (張忠謀).
Supply chain inventory is expected to rise above seasonal levels this quarter, after approaching seasonal levels in the third quarter, Chang told investors on Oct. 28.
This year will be the “year of surges” for the semiconductor industry and for his company as well, Chang told his firm’s equipment suppliers last week.
TSMC was unable to meet strong customer demand this year even though it has doubled its workforce and boosted spending on increasing capacity, he said.
To safeguard its leading position in technology and capacity, TSMC is scouting for land to build more plants, including its “Fab 16” plant planned for 2015, which was shown in the firm’s roadmap released on Dec. 3.
“TSMC has inquired more than once about leasing land to expand its plants,” Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區) director-general Yang Wen-ke (楊文科) said.
TSMC spokesperson Elizabeth Sun (孫又文) said the company has not decided on the site for Fab 16 yet.