Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said it is to start high-volume production of its most advanced 20-nanometer (nm) chips next month, a move the chipmaker expects will give its revenue a double-digit boost next year.
The move would also make TSMC the world’s leading contract chipmaker supplying 20nm chips.
Analysts say that mass 20nm chip production could put TSMC in a position to dethrone Samsung Electronics Co as the supplier of Apple Inc’s next-generation A8 chip next year.
TSMC chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said in October that 20nm chips would start contributing to the firm's revenue in the second quarter of next year, following the launch of mass production in the first three months of next year.
“The 20nm system-on-a-chip is the most critical ramp-up TSMC has carried out in years. We will start high-volume production of this chip next month,” TSMC president and CEO Mark Liu (劉德音) said in a keynote speech at the company’s annual supply chain management forum in Hsinchu.
Liu said TSMC is on track to ship the chips to its clients on schedule. Thus far, the world’s top contract chipmaker has taped out 20 of the 20nm chips, Liu said in his first public speech after being promoted to co-CEO last month.
The company is expected to ship 165,000 20nm chips to Apple next year, accounting for 10 percent of its revenue that year, Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Eric Chen (陳慧明) said.
Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams forecast Apple orders to account for 6.5 percent of TSMC’s overall revenue next year, adding that Qualcomm Inc and MediaTek Inc (聯發科) are to become key clients for TSMC next year.
In the speech, Liu highlighted TSMC’s progress on the 16nm technology front, saying that the company recently initiated the production of 16nm chips and planned to begin mass production within a year.
TSMC is expected to make US$5.4 billion in revenue from advanced 28nm chips this year and the figure could further increase next year, Liu said.
The company, which commands more than 90 percent of the global 28nm chip market, said earlier this year that 28nm chips would be the biggest contributor to revenue this year, since production capacity and revenue are set to triple on an annual basis.
Last quarter, 28nm chips made up 32 percent of TSMC’s revenue of NT$162.58 billion (US$5.48 billion).
As a result, Liu said TSMC’s revenue would show a 17 to 18 percent annual growth this year and grow by double-digit percentage points next year, supported by continuing demand for mobile applications.
That figure would beat the 9 percent annual growth forecast for the contract chipmaking industry, as well as the semiconductor industry’s 5 percent growth.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a