Siliconware Precision Industries Co (SPIL, 矽品精密), the world’s second-largest chip packager, yesterday said its board had approved NT$9.6 billion (US$32.06 million) in capital spending for next year to boost its advanced chip testing and packaging capacities.
The figure represented a drastic decline of 42 percent from the company’s record-high NT$16.5 billion in spending for this year.
“We will continue to invest in advanced technologies,” SPIL spokesman Byron Chiang (江百宏) said. “Part of the budget will be used to fund research and development.”
Chiang said that the reduction in capital spending did not mean that the chip packager was bearish about market demand.
“We will keep the budget flexible and review the figures regularly to reflect the rapidly and constantly changing market,” the spokesman said.
The company remains cautious about its prospects in the current quarter, Chiang added.
Company chairman Bough Lin (林文伯) forecast early last month that the semiconductor industry would face a seasonal decline this quarter due to excessive inventory.
Lin warned that the quarterly drop would be bigger than the traditional seasonal slowdown because of weak sales of PCs and certain smartphones.
The firm’s equipment utilization rate for high-end flip-chip and bumping equipment is expected to increase to between 90 and 94 percent this quarter, compared with 80 percent last quarter, as customer demand for advanced chip packaging services continues to rise, Lin told investors.
Advanced chip packaging services accounted for 31 percent of the NT$19.09 billion in revenue that the chip packager posted last quarter.
Meanwhile, United Microelectronics Corp (聯電), the world’s No. 3 contract chipmaker, on Wednesday said that its board had approved allocating NT$1.82 billion to boost advanced 28-nanometer chip production capacity.