Thanks to a persistent chip shortage United Microelectronics Co (UMC, 聯電), the world’s third-largest contract chipmaker, yesterday posted record-high revenue for last month.
Revenue rose 10.21 percent to NT$15.53 billion (US$547.02 million), compared with NT$14.09 billion in January last year.
On a monthly basis, revenue edged up 1.57 percent from NT$15.29 billion.
Photo: David Chang, EPA-EFE
UMC told investors on Jan. 27 that chip demand had significantly outpaced what it could supply, and that its utilization rate would be close to 100 percent this quarter from 99 percent last quarter.
The company plans to spend US$1.5 billion in capital expenditure this year, which would increase capacity by 3 percent from last year, UMC said at that time.
Growing 5G smartphone penetration, rising demand for notebook computers due to the work-from-home trend and a robust pickup in automotive chips boosted demand for 8-inch and 12-inch wafers, UMC copresident Jason Wang (王石) told the Chinese-language Commercial Times yesterday.
The supply-demand imbalance is likely to carry into 2023, as chip demand continues to grow and it would take 14 and 18 months to add manufacturing equipment, Wang said.
Memorychip maker Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子) yesterday reported that consolidated revenue soared 87.45 percent to NT$6.9 billion last month, compared with NT$3.68 billion a year earlier. That represented a 1.4 percent increase from NT$6.81 billion in December.
Macronix International Co (旺宏電子), a supplier of chips for Nintendo Co’s game consoles, yesterday said its consolidated revenue expanded 9.09 percent to NT$3 billion last month from a year earlier.
On a monthly basis, revenue dipped 9.36 percent from NT$3.31 billion.
The company said it is “upbeat” about business this year and sees no “dark clouds” on the horizon.
This year would be an “even better” year than last year, it said.
Tesla Inc temporarily halted some production at its auto assembly plant in California because of problems with its supply chain, but work has begun to resume, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an e-mail on Thursday. “We are experiencing some parts supply issues, so took the opportunity to bring Fremont production down for a few days to do equipment upgrades and maintenance,” Musk said in an all-staff message seen by Bloomberg. The factory was “back up and running as of yesterday,” and would rapidly ramp up to full production of Model 3 and Model Y cars “over the next several days,”
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