TSMC, SMIC, UMC see gross sales increase as chip scarcity rages

Reminiscence chips are seen on a Samsung Electronics reminiscence module on this organized {photograph} in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

The world’s 10 greatest chip manufacturing firms noticed their revenues surge to a file excessive within the first quarter of 2021, in keeping with market analysis agency TrendForce.

The mixed quarterly complete income of the chipmakers, often called foundries, rose to a file excessive of $22.75 billion within the first quarter, in keeping with a TrendForce weblog revealed Monday.

Chips are utilized in all the things from automobiles and video games consoles, to washing machines and toothbrushes. They type a part of the life blood of the worldwide financial system and are important to lots of the world’s greatest industries. However they’re additionally in brief provide —  and the scarcity may final till 2023.

“Owing to hovering calls for for numerous finish gadgets, producers have been ramping up their element procurement actions, and foundry capacities, consequently, have been in scarcity since 2020, with numerous foundries elevating their wafer costs and adjusting their product mixes to make sure profitability,” TrendForce analyst Joanne Chiao wrote.

Round 57% of the world’s chip foundry revenues within the final quarter had been generated by one Taiwanese chipmaker: TSMC, or the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

The Taipei-headquartered agency noticed its income climb to $12.9 billion within the first quarter, up 2% on the primary quarter of 2021, in keeping with TrendForce, which analyzed how properly every of the corporate’s numerous chips bought.

The U.S. and the European Union have mentioned they wish to be extra self-reliant in relation to semiconductors because the overwhelming majority of the world’s chips are made in Asia.

TSMC chips

TSMC’s 7, 12 and 16 nanometer (nm) chips are the firm’s essential income drivers, in keeping with TrendForce.

“The income from the 7nm foundry service has saved climbing at a secure tempo due to orders from AMD, MediaTek, and Qualcomm,” Chiao mentioned, including that gross sales are up 23% on the final quarter.

In the meantime, income for 12nm and 16nm chips has “grown on account of the demand associated to MediaTek’s 5G RF (radio frequency) transceivers and Bitmain’s cryptocurrency mining machines,” TrendForce added, highlighting how gross sales are up virtually 10% on the final quarter.

Nonetheless, gross sales of TSMC’s smallest and most progressive 5nm chips truly noticed a quarterly lower, Chiao mentioned, including that the principle motive is as a result of Apple (TSMC’s largest 5nm shopper) “entered the low season for machine manufacturing.”

Storm hurts Samsung

Elsewhere, South Korean chip big Samsung noticed its foundry income drop 2% on the final quarter to $4.1 billion.

Chiao mentioned that is partly as a result of a freak winter storm in February in Texas brought on energy outages in Austin and compelled Samsung to quickly cease producing chips at one among its crops within the state.

Elsewhere, Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Company noticed its quarterly revenues climb 5% quarter on quarter to $1.6 billion, whereas China’s SMIC noticed its climb 15% to $1.1 billion.

TrendForce expects the chip foundries to see additional income progress as the costs of the chip wafers they produce proceed to rise and demand persists.

It mentioned the quarterly complete income of the highest 10 foundries will “as soon as once more attain a historic excessive” by present process a 1-3% enhance quarter-on-quarter for the second quarter of 2021.

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