TSMC sees abyss opening up for semi business

TSMC’s chairman Morris Chang expects things to get bleak for foundries and chip makers this year. According to China Economic News, Chang sees business going downhill in the final two quarters of 2010 and predicts one will have to drink tee, sack workers and wait until demand picks up again next year.

Furthermore, he believes the global semiconductor industry will grow four to five percent from 2011 to 2014, in contrast to an 18 percent growth rate this year. He was upbeat about his own line of business, stating foundries will grow 29 percent in 2010. He also added that only two to three semiconductor companies would be able to afford moving to the 15-nm  process when the tough gets going. Chang communicated his prophesies at the Global Semiconductor Alliance Memory Conference, which is currently underway in Taiwan

Market researcher Gartner meanwhile says demand for 300mm wafers is going to rise more than 30% this year due to shelves needing to be filled again. Apparently 3 million 300mm wafers will be used in the last quarter of 2010. Gartner however says fabs and chipmakers shouldn’t sink all their money into making more wafers, as capacity is growing fast than demand. 

GlobalFoundries, which spun itself off from AMD the struggling, is going to invest up to $2.7 billion this year to boost 300mm wafer capacity. When all is said and done, Fab 1 in Dresden will be churning out 60.000 wafers per month, Fab 7 in Singapore 50.000 and the new fab currently being built in New York will produce 40.000 a month. That would put GloFo in second place by wafer capacity, directly behind TSMC which is aiming to hit the 200.000 wafers/month benchmark.