Wed, Apr 11, 2018 - Page 12 News List

TSMC revenue up 60% on AI demand

HITTING THE TARGET:High-performance computing chips would be the strongest growth driver this year, due to the widening use of AI applications, the company said

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the sole chip supplier for Apple Inc’s latest iPhone series, yesterday reported that revenue last month soared 60 percent sequentially to a new record high, backed by resilient demand for artificial intelligence (AI) applications and cryptocurrency graphics processing units (GPUs).

Revenue leapt to NT$103.7 billion (US$3.55 billion) last month, compared with NT$64.64 billion in February, according to a company statement.

That brought TSMC’s aggregate revenue in the first three months of this year to NT$248.08 billion, hitting the chipmaker’s target range of US$8.4 billion to US$8.5 billion.

Last quarter’s results were 10.62 percent lower than the NT$277.57 billion in the fourth quarter last year, given slack demand for smartphones during the slow season.

On an annual basis, revenue grew 6.1 percent from NT$233.91 billion.

For the full year, TSMC has said that it aims to grow revenue by between 10 and 15 percent in US dollar terms.

High-performance computing chips would be the strongest growth driver this year, due to continuing expansion of AI applications in electronic devices as well as continuing demand for cryptocurrency GPU, the world’s largest contract chipmaker told investors on Jan. 18.

Mobile phone chips, its biggest revenue source, would be little changed this year, it said.

TSMC’s client MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday also reported that revenue rocketed 58.2 percent to NT$20.11 billion last month, compared with NT$12.71 billion in February.

On an annual basis, revenue slid 3.4 percent from NT$20.82 billion.

Revenue last quarter totaled NT$49.65 billion, in line with the company’s target range of NT$48.3 billion to NT$53.2 billion, the world’s No. 2 mobile phone chip designer said.

That represented a drop of 18 percent from NT$60.4 billion in the previous quarter, due mainly to weak demand from China because of seasonality. On an annual basis, revenue fell 11.46 percent from NT$56.08 billion.

Separately, United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world’s No. 3 contract chipmaker, yesterday reported that revenue last month rose 4.2 percent to NT$12.41 billion from NT$11.91 billion in February.

First-quarter revenue totaled NT$37.5 billion, edging up 0.21 percent from NT$37.42 billion in the same period last year.

Last quarter’s figure was 2.38 percent higher than the NT$36.63 billion a quarter earlier.

The figure was slightly better than the firm’s forecast of a “flattish” first quarter, citing weak demand for its 28-nanometer chips.

Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進), which makes controller chips used in LCD panels, yesterday said that revenue totaled NT$2.39 billion last month, up 25.8 percent from NT$1.9 billion a month earlier.

Vanguard spokesman D. L. Tseng (曾棟樑) attributed the growth to an increase in wafer shipments, according to a company statement.

On an annual basis, revenue slipped 0.14 percent from NT$2.4 billion a year ago.

First-quarter revenue grew 2.59 percent year-on-year to NT$6.43 billion from NT$6.26 billion, reaching the chipmaker’s target range of NT$6.2 billion to NT$6.6 billion.

Compared with NT$6.38 billion a quarter ago, revenue rose 0.78 percent last quarter.

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