Sat, May 18, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Semiconductor firms’ revenue to rise

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s semiconductor firms can expect to see their revenue increase by 12 percent sequentially this quarter, bolstered by strong demand for smartphones and tablets, research house Industry and Technology Intelligence Services (ITIS) forecast.

Chip giant Intel’s drive for more touch-screen notebook computers, running Microsoft’s Windows 8 system, would also boost demand for Taiwan’s touch sensor chips and driver integrated circuits used in flat-panel screens this quarter, the researcher said in a report on Thursday.

“As a whole, the semiconductor industry bottomed out in the first quarter and will grow quarter by quarter this year,” ITIS said in the report.

Revenue is expected to reach NT$455.4 billion in the current quarter from NT$405.9 billion last quarter.

In the first quarter, semiconductor companies reported a 2.2 percent quarterly decline in revenue after global suppliers of chips used in mobile phones and tablets piled up excessive inventory and notebook makers suffered from sluggish demand.

Chipmakers, which account for the biggest portion of the sector’s revenue, are expected to report 11.3 percent revenue growth to NT$236.6 billion this quarter.

Led by Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光導體), chip packagers and testers are expected to see revenue grow 15.5 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$106.5 billion, up from NT$92.2 billion, the strongest growth among the four sub-sectors, ITIS’s statistics showed.

Memorychip makers are expected to see revenues increase by 7 percent this quarter to NT$45.4 billion from NT$42.4 billion last quarter.

The researcher on Thursday retained its revenue forecast for the full year at NT$1.79 trillion, up 9.3 percent from NT$1.63 trillion last year, supported by robust demand for mobile applications, especially low-cost devices in China.

ITIS forecast that local contract chipmakers will enjoy the strongest growth at 10.1 percent this year.

The researcher said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s top contract chipmaker, would benefit from its strong technological prowess.

The researcher expected TSMC’s advanced 28-nanometer chips to account for 30 percent of its revenue by the end of this year, which would help boost TSMC’s profits.

TSMC holds almost 100 percent of the world’s 28-nanometer chip market. Almost all 28-nanometer chips are used in mobile devices. TSMC plans to triple 28nm chip production and revenue this year from last year.

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