Macronix International Co (旺宏), the world’s biggest supplier of NOR flash memory chips, yesterday said it plans to allocate NT$41.5 billion (US$1.48 billion) to expand 12-inch wafer capacity for advanced 3D NAND and NOR flash memory chips, as it has technology readiness and there is robust market demand.
Some of the new chips will be designed for vehicles, Macronix said.
The company aims to this year become the world’s largest supplier of NOR flash memory chips used in automobiles.
Photo courtesy of Macronix International Co
The outlay is for a second-phase expansion of Macronix’s Fab 5 in Hsinchu, and the company expects to ship the first chips from the new production line in the fourth quarter of next year, while the line would begin contributing revenue in 2023.
“We will be very careful and disciplined in carrying out this capital expenditure plan,” Macronix president Lu Chih-yuan (盧志遠) told investors during a quarterly online conference.
“It is a multi-phase capacity expansion plan,” Lu said.
The capacity expansion would help boost Macronix’s profit growth and enhance its flexibility in product allocations, Lu said.
The Fab 5 is to have an installed capacity of 40,000 12-inch wafers per month, up from 20,000 wafers, he said.
The new investment would not compromise its gross margin, he said.
Gross margin improved to 39.1 percent last quarter, the highest since the second quarter of 2018.
Macronix’s net profit surged 45 percent to NT$1.93 billion last quarter on higher shipments and better prices, compared with NT$1.33 billion a year earlier.
On a quarterly basis, net profit soared 110 percent from NT$916 million, the company said.
Earnings per share increased to NT$1.04, from NT$0.72 a year earlier and NT$0.5 last quarter, it said.
The company is upbeat about this quarter, expecting full factory utilization on the back of robust demand.
“We expect this situation to extend into this quarter. We are optimistic about the fourth quarter,” Lu said. “We do not see any negative indicators.”
The company expects strong demand for read-only memory (ROM) chips due to seasonal factors, Lu said.
Macronix is a long-term ROM supplier to Nintendo Co.
ROM chips accounted for 27 percent of Macronix’s total revenue last quarter, compared with 26 percent in the first quarter. NOR memory chips made up 50 percent, while NAND memory chips contributed 16 percent. The remaining 7 percent was from foundry services.
Macronix expects to strike a deal with a potential buyer for its 6-inch fab this summer.
The fab has contributed NT$1.3 billion to NT$1.4 billion a year in revenue.
CONSIDERATIONS: The NSTC instructed the park to assist laid-off workers and urge companies to use furlough programs to ease the effects of falling demand Firms in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), which houses major tech companies, reported laying off 496 employees last month amid weakened global demand, Hsinchu Science Park Bureau director-general Wayne Wang (王永壯) said yesterday. Wang told a news conference that 48 companies in the science park laid off employees last month, including one hard disk supplier which let go 241 employees as part of a plant closure due to falling demand. Other companies reported sporadic layoffs as they adjusted to weakening demand, he said. Wang made the remarks after local media reported the layoffs over the weekend. Although the global economy is struggling with high
DEJA VU: Echoing the probe into real-estate giant Evergrande Group, the bank is under Beijing police scrutiny after last week, telling investors it is ‘severely insolvent’ Chinese authorities said they recently opened criminal investigations into Zhongzhi Enterprise Group Co’s (中植企業) money management business, days after the embattled shadow banking giant revealed a shortfall of US$36.4 billion in its balance sheet. Police in Beijing said in a statement on WeChat that they took “criminal mandatory measures” against multiple suspects, identifying one by their last name, Xie (解). They urged investors to report cases or provide leads to the authorities, including filing complaints online. Xie Zhikun (解直錕), the group’s founder, died in 2021, but several of his relatives are executives at the company. The statement did not elaborate on what
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck have promised to solve investment subsidy issues for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and Intel Corp, despite the country’s budget woes. Uncertainty over the funding to TSMC and Intel has arisen after a ruling by the German Federal Constitutional Court, which cast doubt over subsidies for construction of local semiconductor chip plants. On Nov. 15, the court ruled that the German government’s decision last year to reallocate 60 billion euros (US$65.74 billion) of unused funding from COVID-19 pandemic support measures to its Climate and Transformation Fund
NEW TREAD: The Taiwanese shoe brand paired with TSMC to turn silicon waste into a circular economy good, following its success making shoes from coffee grounds Ccilu International Inc (馳綠國際), a Taiwan-based footwear brand, has become the first company in the world to turn silicon waste from contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) into eco-friendly shoes. Last year, the global footwear industry saw the first pair of pressure-relief slippers made from recycled silicon waste by Ccilu. The brand continued to unveil follow-up collections, including sports shoes and massage slippers made from the same materials. In an interview with CNA, Ccilu CEO Wilson Hsu (許佳鳴) recalled the company’s innovation of the first pair of slippers made from silicon waste after its silicon waste treatment partner, Semisils Applied Materials