Mon, Oct 29, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan to overtake US as No. 2 maker of semiconductors

SUNNY FORECAST The nation will account for 18 percent of production worldwide, second only to Japan, a report by a market researcher said

STAFF WRITER , WITH AFP

The nation will overtake the US to become the world's second-biggest microchip supplier this year, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday, citing a report by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

The nation will account for 18 percent of global semiconductors, behind Japan with 24 percent, the report said.

12-INCH WAFERS

The semiconductor sector has been boosted by the continuing expansion of plants producing 12-inch wafers in Taiwan, ITRI analyst Peng Kuo-chu (彭國柱) said.

Peng said that memory chip production and contract chipmaking had become the mainstay of the global semiconductor sector since 2000, with Taiwan and South Korea reporting the biggest output expansion in 12-inch wafers since then.

In the three months to December, the nation's semiconductor makers are forecast to churn out 595,000 12-inch wafers, 16 percent more than a year ago, Peng said.

Output of 12-inch wafers has grown more than 10 percent in the last five quarters, he said.

The US and South Korea are expected to tie for third place, with a 17 percent market share each.

PRODUCTIVE REGION

Boosted by output expansion from countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and China, semiconductor output in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan will account for 47 percent of the world's total, the report said.

The ITRI report came on the heels of a report by technology researcher Gartner that said major chip makers would scale back capital spending next year, citing a gloomy outlook for the sector.

Gartner cut next year's global spending outlook for chip equipment to US$44 billion -- a 4 percent drop from the forecast it made in July.

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