TSMC still top dog in foundry industry

Global Foundries may have a chance of catching up with the Goliath that is TSMC, but it won’t be for a good few years yet, analysts have said.

The comments from Malcolm Penn, an analyst at Future Horizons, follow a report by DodgyTimes sorry DigiTimes, which found that Taiwan’s foundry industry accounts for an estimated 68.5 percent of global foundry revenues in 2010.

It added that China account for 12-13 percent, bringing the share of Greater China to over 80 percent.

However, it warned that the region faces vigorous challenges from the likes of Samsung and GloFo. The competition will force TSMC and UMC to step up their game for expanding 12-inch wafer capacity.

The research concluded that the output value of Taiwan’s foundry industry will reach $22.14 billion in 2013, while the Chinese foundry industry may top $4.45 billion.

FutureHorizons’ Mr Penn told TechEye: “This report seems to be fairly accurate. TSMC alone already holds half the market share and therefore it makes sense UMC has around a quarter.”

However, he pointed out that the predicted China percentage looked to be “a little bit on the high side,” despite this, he said this in a way is “irrelevant”.

“China doesn’t have the high tech processes to compete with the likes of TSMC, which really has a technology of its own. It’s taking over this industry. The only competitors it has is Samsung, although it’s not taken that seriously in the market and people are suspicious, and Global Foundries.

“Global Foundries has the potential to be strong competition for TSMC but it has a few years to go until it can do this. The dominance could be seen as good for the industry but then TSMC has to be careful that it doesn’t dominate too much, or there is a danger that the industry could become distorted – like the microprocessor industry, which is dominated by Microsoft and Intel.”