Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, is not likely to be affected by Intel Corp’s rumored acquisition of chipmaking partner Altera Corp, industry analysts said yesterday.
Analysts familiar with Taiwan’s semiconductor sector said that because Altera has already shifted most of its orders to Intel from TSMC, the deal would not affect the Taiwanese company significantly.
In 2013, Altera — one of the world’s leading designers of field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) — inked a deal with Intel to fabricate its 14-nanometer wafers and FPGA chips, industry insiders said.
Other leading Taiwanese companies in the field that have partnerships with Altera, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), are also not expected to be affected by the rumored acquisition, they said.
Taiwanese integrated circuit design companies would also not be impacted because they have never established a presence in the global FPGA market, but news of the possible acquisition could have short-term effects on the share prices of some domestic semiconductor vendors.
Intel’s acquisition of Altera is expected to cost at least US$10 billion and would be the biggest in the company’s history.
Beset by tepid demand for its staple PC chips and lackluster sales in the smartphone central processing unit (CPU) market, Intel’s acquisition of Altera is aimed at breathing new life into the world’s largest semiconductor maker, analysts said.
Though both companies declined to verify the rumored acquisition, the market reacted favorably to the development on Friday last week, as Intel shares rose 6.4 percent to close at US$32 in New York, while Altera shares surged 28.39 percent to close at US$44.39.
Should the deal be completed, Altera’s major FPGA chip vendor rival Xilinx Inc would also likely be in play, with Qualcomm Inc and IBM Corp said to be possible suitors.
Because Xilinx is one of TSMC’s major customers, analysts said the acquisition of Xilinx could have far greater consequences for the Taiwanese chipmaker than the possible Altera deal.
TSMC shares fell 2.06 percent to close at NT$142.50 on Friday in Taipei.
The domestic semiconductor sub-index closed down 2.37 percent on Friday last week, with ASE dropping 5.74 percent to NT$41.05 and rival Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密) shedding 2.29 percent to NT$51.1, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
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