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Taiwan's semiconductor output forecast to grow 7.1% in 2018

2017/11/11 17:10:34

Taipei, Nov. 10 (CNA) The production value of Taiwan's semiconductor industry is expected to grow more than 7 percent annually in 2018 as demand increases for integrated circuit devices for artificial intelligence applications, according to the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK).

In a report released earlier this week, the IEK, which is under the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute, said the production value of Taiwan's IC industry is expected to hit NT$2.64 trillion (US$87.42 billion) in 2018, registering the world's highest growth of 7.1 percent.

The forecast growth for 2017 is 0.5 percent, with output of NT$2.46 trillion, the IEK said.

The fast development of the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) is expected to boost Taiwan's semiconductor industry in 2018, and by 2020, its annual output is likely to reach NT$3 trillion, according to the IEK.

It said that with the fast development of AIoT, innovations in electronics chips for such applications are expected to gain momentum, which will boost demand for IC design, IC manufacturing, and IC packaging and testing services.

The AIoT will bring new business to Taiwan in the fields of semiconductors, communications, electronic components, flat panels, smart vehicles, smart machinery, green energy, agricultural technology, biotech, and medical care, the IEK said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's semiconductor industry is expected to continue to invest in AI chip production, as demand grows for chips made on the sophisticated 10 nanometer and more advanced processes, the IEK said.

Its forecast reflected the outlook of Morris Chang (張忠謀), chairman of the world's largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), who said last week that his company had been investing heavily in AI and IoT.

That investment has contributed significantly to TSMC's bottom line, Chang said, adding that the company will continue to invest in new technologies.

He said AI will primarily impact on health care, leading to the development of applications that, for example, can prevent strokes.

The global tech world has merged the two acronyms for artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things into AIoT, in recognition of AI as the backbone of IoT development.

(By Wei Shu and Frances Huang)
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