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TSMC pulls in 20nm, ups capex to $8.5B

Posted: 02 May 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:foundry services? 20nm? process line?

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has raised its planned capital expenditure for 2012 to between $8 billion and $8.5 billion. The move accompanied the announcement of first quarter financial results and strong second quarter outlook by the foundry.

TSMC said that it needed to increase capex because of stronger than expected demand for 28nm wafers and because it has decided to "pull in" the creation of a 20nm R&D process line.

Three months ago TSMC had lowered its capex estimate to about $6 billion, down from $7.3 billion in 2011. While analysts had expected TSMC to raise capex to about $7.5 billion the figure given by TSMC exceeded expectations. It suggests the company is reacting to a shortfall experienced by leading-edge customers such as Qualcomm.

However, despite those supply shortfalls at 28nm TSMC enjoyed a profitable first quarter. The company announced a net income of of $1.14 billion (NT$33.47 billion) on consolidated revenue of about $3.60 billion (NT$105.51 billion) for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012. TSMC expects revenue to increase significantly in the second quarters to be between about $4.30 billion (NT$126 billion) and about $4.37 billion (NT$128 billion).

The 28nm process technology accounted for 5 percent of total wafer revenues in the first quarter, 40nm was 32 percent, and 65nm accounted for 26 percent. Together these advanced technologies accounted for 63 percent of total wafer revenues, the company said.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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