GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s third-largest silicon wafer supplier, yesterday said that its board of directors has decided to build a new advanced fab in South Korea for US$438 million to meet strong demand.
The much-anticipated fab, the company’s fifth 12-inch fab in Asia, is set to enter volume production in 2020, one year earlier than GlobalWafers’ original plan, it said.
The company said it plans to build a fab with production capacity of 150,000 12-inch wafers per month adjacent to an existing GlobalWafers fab in Cheonan, 80km south of Seoul.
“Demand is so strong that we have to build the new fab ahead of schedule. The business outlook remains intact,” GlobalWafers spokesperson Lee Chung-wei (李崇偉) told the Taipei Times by telephone, shrugging off market rumors about softening demand.
“The new fab will be fully utilized once it starts production based on the orders on hand. All our capacity is earmarked for clients with long-term supply relationships with the firm,” Lee said.
With Hynix SK Inc and Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電) recently breaking ground on new plants, silicon wafer demand should increase, Lee said, adding: “Those are potential orders for us.”
The uptake of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IOT) and autonomous cars would increase demand for microprocessors and memory chips, and subsequently the consumption of silicon wafers, he said.
The Hsinchu-based company said its capacity is fully booked until 2020 and it would start to negotiate new supply contracts with clients for deliveries from 2021 to 2025.
The average selling prices of the company’s products would continue to increase, as prices for new contracts would likely be equal to, or slightly higher than current prices, the firm said in August.
GlobalWafers reported a 3.5 percent decline in revenue to NT$5.01 billion (US$162.45 million) last month, from a record-high NT$5.19 billion in revenue in August.
That brought the firm’s third-quarter revenue to an all-time high of NT$15.16 billion, up 5.5 percent from NT$14.37 billion in the second quarter of the year, GlobalWafers said yesterday.
The firm has seen its quarterly revenue break records for 11 straight quarters.
In the first nine months of the year, cumulative revenue totaled NT$43.44 billion, up 28.65 percent from same period last year.
GlobalWafers shares yesterday closed at NT$275 in Taipei trading, down 18.28 percent from last week’s close.
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,
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
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
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping