Taiwan's semiconductor industry set for quarterly decline

The charming Formosa which Computex calls home reckons Taiwan’s semiconductor production value will reach as high as NT$413.8 billion in the third quarter of this year. It’s down 1.1 percent from the second quarter, but that’s still US $14.273 billion. Shareholders won’t know what to do with themselves.

Taiwan recognises that the decline is due to a drop in demand for both PC and mobile devices.

The decline in PC demand has been soothsayed by soothsayers like IDC and Gartner etc for some time, but the argument is in whether it is seasonal, trend related, or if the PC really is on the way out. Others suggest that the definition for the PC is merely changing.

Industry and Technology Intelligence Service (ITIS) figures say that the IC design production will reach NT$108.4 billion ($3.739 billion) for the quarter, which it claims is up nine percent from the previous. IC packaging should manage production values of NT$79.5 billion ($2.742 billion), an increase of 4.2 percent.

IC testing has production values of NT$35 billion ($1.205 billion), an increase of 3.2 percent from the previous quarter. Manufacturing production is expected to decrease by 8.5 percent from Q2, to NT$190.9 billion ($6.574 billion).

Whatever the reason, the country is preparing for a decline in overall revenues for native semiconductor companies. This year Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is expected to decline to NT$1.67 trillion ($57.507 billion) from NT$1.77 trillion ($60.95 billion) last year. 

Computex.biz warns that bigshot local players like TSMC are expecting the figures to crawl, at least a little. An unpredictable market, TSMC boss Morris Chang said, means adjusting growth expectations is rather difficult.