United Microelectronics Co (UMC, 聯電) is expected to overtake GlobalFoundries Inc as the world’s third-largest foundry this quarter, as strong demand for display driver and power management chips is estimated to help drive its revenue up 13 percent, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.
UMC would see its revenue expand to US$1.57 billion this quarter from a year earlier, with a global market share of 6.9 percent, compared with GlobalFoundries’ estimated revenue of US$1.49 billion, with a market share of 6.6 percent, the Taipei-based researcher said.
TrendForce attributed the growth to rising customer orders for display driver, power management and Internet of Things chips.
Photo: David Chang, EPA-EFE
That would boost the utilization rate at UMC’s 8-inch factories and its chip prices, as well as its shipments of 28-nanometer chips, TrendForce said.
GlobalFoundries is streamlining its factory operations, after selling an 8-inch fab in Singapore to Taiwan’s Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進) at the end of last year for US$236 million.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) is expected to retain its top position, with revenue forecast to surge 21 percent year-on-year to US$12.55 billion this quarter and a market share of 55.6 percent.
Samsung Electronics Co would rank fourth, with revenue likely to expand 16.4 percent to US$3.72 billion and a 16.4 percent market share, TrendForce said.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), the biggest chipmaker in China, would rank fifth, with a market share of 4.3 percent, as its revenue is predicted to grow 15 percent to US$963 million this quarter, benefiting from rising demand for radio frequency and power management chips, TrendForce said.
However, SMIC’s revenue this quarter would decline 11 percent quarter-on-quarter, as it was forced to stop shipping chips to HiSilicon Technologies Co (海思), the chip designing arm of Huawei Technologies Co (華為), from Sept. 14.
SMIC was also added to a US blacklist due to its ties with the Chinese military.
Tower Semiconductor Ltd, which sells chips under the Tower Jazz brand, seized the sixth spot with revenue of US$340 million, up 11 percent from a year earlier. The Israeli company is expected to have a market share of 1.5 percent this quarter.
Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (力積電) and Vanguard ranked seventh and eighth, with revenue growing 28 percent and 24 percent to US$312 million and US$297 million respectively this quarter, TrendForce said.
The two firms would have market shares of 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent respectively, it said.
China’s chip industry is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, after US sanctions on local champions — from Huawei Technologies Co (華為) to Hikvision Digital Technology Co (海康威視) — spurred appetite for homegrown components. Nineteen of the world’s 20 fastest-growing chip industry firms over the past four quarters, on average, hail from the world’s No. 2 economy, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. That compared with just eight firms at the same point last year. Revenue at China-based suppliers of design software, processors and gear vital to chipmaking is increasing at several times the pace of global leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co
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