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  • Taiwan Wafer Foundries Expect Higher Profits in 2nd Half
  • June 25, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Taiwan wafer foundry manufacturers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) are expected to see somewhat of a turnaround in the second half of this year.
    Both continued to suffer from poor performance in the second quarter of this year, amid overall sluggishness in the semiconductor industry.

    But profits of the two companies are expected to increase in the second half of this year, thanks to their plans to target 350 nm products.

    UMC's 6-in. wafer plant now produces about 40,000 units each month.

    The company's third plant reports a monthly output of 30,000 units, more than half of which are products of technology standards lower than 350 nm.

    The company recently began test production of 250 nm products, most of which are to be used in the manufacture of logic ICs.

    In addition, UMC has begun making 64Mb DRAM in small volumes.

    UMC's fifth plant is scheduled to start mass production in 1999, with a planned monthly output of 25,000 units.

    The factory will begin with 250 nm products. United Semiconductor Corp. (USC), an affiliate of UMC, is also increasing 250 nm production in an effort to boost profit margins.

    USC is now developing 180 nm products, and it is likely to begin production on a test basis in the first quarter of next year.

    TSMC sold about 350,000 8-in. wafers in the first quarter of this year, with 500 nm and 350 nm models accounting for 34 percent and 2 6 percent, respectively.

    Last year, 500 nm and 250 nm products accounted for 33 percent and 2 8 percent of overall output, respectively.

    Due to the lethargic performance of the semiconductor industry, TSMC 's development of 350 nm and 250 nm products has lagged behind schedule. The company canceled its plan to begin delivering 250 nm products in the first quarter of this year.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Wed Jun 24 14:53:12 1998