Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has become the world’s largest integrated circuit chip supplier in terms of the final market value of its sales

TSMC emerges as world’s top semiconductor maker



Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has become the world’s largest integrated circuit chip supplier in terms of the final market value of its sales, the company’s acting spokeswoman said Thursday. Counting the final market value, TSMC’s IC chip sales reached an estimated US$54.6 billion last year, TSMC acting spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun said at a media event at the company’s flagship production complex in the Southern Taiwan Science Park. The sales figure surpassed those of IDM (integrated device manufacturer) giants such as Intel and Samsung, Sun said.Founded in 1987, TSMC has consistently scored a 40% increase in compound annual growth rate, Sun said, adding that the company’s consolidated revenues amounted to US$17.1 billion last year.

As a pure-play foundry, Sun said, TSMC has created a contract chip manufacturing service model to speed up technological innovation in the semiconductor industry.

Authoritative market research data show that the average compound annual growth rate of the global semiconductor production was only 5% between 1999 and 2012, Sun said.

In contrast, the production value of the IC design sector posted a 16% compound annual growth rate during the same period and TSMC’s compound growth rate reached 17%, she said.

All these figures indicate that TSMC and its fabless clients have created a win-win scenario, Sun said.

With IC chip manufacturing technology becoming ever more complex, difficult and costly, the number of companies investing in the research and development of advanced technologies has been declining steadily, Sun said, adding that only four companies are set to produce wafers or chips on the 20 nm process.

Besides taking the lead in the development of 20 nm technology, Sun said, TSMC also has a broader range of IC technologies than other wafer foundries.

Moreover, TSMC never competes with its customers, she added.

According to Sun, TSMC will begin 20 nm production in the first quarter of next year and the new operation will contribute to the company’s revenues from the second quarter.

Sun further said the 20nm technology will not be short-lived and its production volume in the first two years will not be lower than that of the 28 nm technology. Moreover, the 16 nm finFET process technology will be an extension of the 20 nm technology, and the production facilities needed for both of them are 95 percent the same, she said.

“Therefore, there will be no big problems transitioning from 20 nm to 16 nm technology,” Sun said, adding that TSMC will outpace its rivals in 16 nm technology development.

TSMC opened its Fab 14 to the press for the first time Thursday, demonstrating its technological strength and competitive edge.

Wang Ying-lang, head of the TSMC’s Fab 14, said the company will invest an additional NT$500 billion (US$17 billion) to expand its production capacity and create 7,000 new jobs.

TSMC has invested NT$4.5 trillion (US$153 billion) in Fab 14, which is about 42% of its overall revenues for 2012, Wang said.

Fab 14 is spread over an area of 116 hectares. The complex’s Phases 1 to 4, the size of 14 soccer stadiums, have been churning out products on the 0.13 micron to 40 nm technologies, Wang said.

The complex’s Phase 5 represents TSMC’s capability to develop leading-edge technology, build advanced capacity, and satisfy customer demand, he said.

“It also lays the foundation for TSMC’s next wave of growth,” Wang said, referring to the plan for the facility to produce wafers on the 20nm and 16 nm processes.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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