In the face of higher-than-expected demand for PCs and communication products, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip maker, has raised its fourth quarter forecast, projecting that wafer shipments and its utilisation rate will be higher than the company's earlier predictions.
TSMC, in Hsinchu, Taiwan, now expects wafer shipments during the fourth quarter to be roughly equal to its third-quarter shipments -- around 677,000 units -- rather than a previously forecast drop of more than 10 per cent. TSMC's utilisation rate is now expected to be close to 60 per cent. That is lower than the 79 per cent utilisation rate that the company recorded during the third quarter as TSMC has continued to build up wafer production capacity through this quarter.
In October, TSMC predicted that its utilisation rate during the fourth quarter would be in the 50 per cent range as a result of weak demand for chips.
TSMC said in October that the company expects to resume sequential growth during the second quarter of 2003, with a recovery in demand driven by chips used in communication and consumer applications. Chips used in computers will show milder growth, it said.