TSMC sales forecast to grow 25% year-on-year in Q1

03/01/2021 02:25 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, March 1 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, is expected to post a 25 percent year-on-year increase in sales in the first quarter of this year, according to market advisory firm TrendForce Corp.

In a research note, TrendForce said that with its production capacity fully utilized, TSMC's sales for the first quarter are estimated at US$12.91 billion in the January-March period, up 25 percent from US$10.31 billion a year earlier.

Due to the increase in sales, TSMC is expected to cement the lead over its peers by taking a 56 percent share in the global pure wafer foundry business, TrendForce said.

TrendForce's forecast was in line with TSMC's own estimate made in mid-January, which pointed to a range between US$12.7 billion to US$13.0 billion for the first quarter.

The advisory firm said that TSMC continued to benefit from its efforts in developing the 5 nanometer process, the latest technology the chipmaker launched into mass production since the second quarter of last year. The 5nm process is expected to account for about 20 percent of TSMC's total revenue in the first quarter of this year.

In addition, TrendForce said that TSMC is expected to continue to see solid demand for its 7nm process from its major clients such as U.S.-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc., NVidia Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Taiwan's MediaTek Inc.

The advisory firm said the 7nm process is expected to make up more than 30 percent of TSMC's total sales in the first quarter.

TrendForce said TSMC is expected to get an additional boost from strong global demand for 5G applications, high-performance computing devices and automotive electronics in the three-month period.

United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), a smaller contract chipmaker, also from Taiwan, is expected to see its sales for the first quarter rise 14 percent from a year earlier to US$1.60 billion, giving it a 7 percent share in the global market to rank it No. 3 in the world, TrendForce said.

TrendForce said UMC, which is expected to enjoy a full utilization in capacity, will receive large orders in a wide range of products such as driver ICs, power management ICs, radio frequency applications and the Internet of Things in the first quarter.

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Corp. is expected to come second, generating US$4.05 billion in sales, up 11 percent from a year earlier, to take an 18 percent share in the global market, according to TrendForce.

U.S.-based GlobalFoundries Inc. is expected to take the fourth position, generating US$1.47 billion in sales in the first quarter, followed by China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (US$1.06 billion), Israel's Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (US$345 million), Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (US$340 million) and Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp. (US$327 million), China's Hua Hong Semiconductor Ltd. (US$288 million) and South Korea's DB HiTek Co. (US$197 million).

(By Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)

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