Mobile devices with cloud computing capabilities will drive the technology industry in the coming years and enhance business productivity, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said yesterday.
In an interview with the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, Chang said Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad have drawn business away from the PC market, leading to a slowdown of sales in the PC sector that had been responsible for driving the fast growth of the semiconductor industry during the past 30 years.
With the development of cloud computing, there will be mobile devices lighter than current smartphones and tablets that would be able to access large amounts of Internet data anywhere and at anytime, he said.
This will provide more opportunities for the semiconductor industry in the next decade, Chang added.
According to Chang, the revolution brought about by personal computers was aimed at improving corporate productivity, while the revolution driven by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs focused on improving the quality of people’s lives and increasing the convenience of social networking.
However, the technology industry will face large changes as cloud computing gains popularity, allowing people to save and retrieve data from data servers, he said.
Once cloud computing technology matures, tablets will replace personal computers as the main device for greater corporate productivity, he added.
TSMC is the world’s largest contract chipmaker. The company has a market value of almost NT$2 trillion (US$66 billion), leading all other Taiwanese companies.
TSMC’s customers include leading semiconductor component suppliers for smartphones and tablet PCs.
Chang has forecast that during the next 10 years TSMC will post a compound annual net profit growth rate of 10 percent, with its shareholders’ average return on equity exceeding 20 percent.
TSMC is planning large investments in capital expenditure and research and development to cement its leadership in a changing industrial environment, he said.
Chang also forecast that the output value of the semiconductor industry would grow at an average rate of between 3 percent and 5 percent in the next decade, indicating growth in profits of less than 3 percent to 5 percent.
The share price of TSMC fell 1.06 percent to close at NT$75 yesterday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, where the benchmark TAIEX dropped 1.69 percent. The stock rose 6.76 percent last year, compared with the TAIEX’s 21.18 percent decline, according to the stock exchange’s data.