Taipei, Feb. 15 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) had the second largest wafer capacity in the world at the end of 2019, while the Taiwanese manufacturing giant remained the world's largest contract chipmaker, according to U.S. based market advisory firm IC Insights.
In a report released earlier this week, IC Insights said TSMC had monthly production capacity of about 2.50 million 8-inch equivalent wafers at the end of 2019, up 3 percent from a year earlier, accounting for 12.8 percent of the global market.
TSMC's monthly wafer production capacity included its share in two major subsidiaries: Taiwan's smaller contract chipmaker Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp., and a Singapore-based joint venture with the Netherland's NXP Semiconductors N.V., Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte. Ltd., IC Insights said.
IC Insights noted that TSMC is adding a new facility at its Fab 15 complex in Taichung and setting up a new fab near its Fab 14 compound in Tainan, which are expected to boost production capacity further.
Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea took the top spot in wafer production capacity worldwide by rolling out 2.94 million 8-inch equivalent wafers a month at the end of last year, little changed from a year earlier, the report said. The South Korean company has 15.0 percent of the world market, the report added.
Unlike TSMC, IC Insights said, Samsung used about two-thirds of its wafers to produce dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips and NAND flash memory chips.
IC Insights said Samsung has major construction projects underway, including large new fabs in Hwaseong and Pyeongtaek in South Korea, and Xi'an, China.
Micron Technology Inc., a major U.S. DRAM supplier, came in third with production capacity of 1.84 million 8-inch equivalent wafers a month at the end of December, up 9 percent from a year earlier, accounting for 9.4 percent of the global total, IC Insights said, adding the U.S. producer received a boost from a new wafer plant in Singapore last year.
SK Hynix Inc., a South Korean company secured the fourth spot with capacity of 1.74 million 8-inch equivalent wafers a month at the end of 2019, up 7 percent from a year earlier, with 8.9 percent of the global market, IC Insights said. SK Hynix assigned more than 80 percent of its wafers for DRAM production, it added.
Kioxia Holdings Corp., whose predecessor is Toshiba Memory of Japan, came in fifth with monthly wafer production capacity of 1.41 million 8-inch equivalent wafers at the end of 2019, up 3 percent from a year earlier, making up 7.2 percent of the global total.
According to IC Insights, the top five firms had 53 percent of total global production capacity.
TSMC, U.S.-GlobalFoundries Inc., Taiwan's Microelectronics Corp., China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., and Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. were the world's top five contract chipmakers in 2019, IC Insights said.
The five top contract chipmakers had combined monthly capacity of 4.8 million 8-inch equivalent wafers at the end of last year, representing about 24 percent of the global total, IC Insights said.