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TSMC targets US$4.8 billion in capital spending for 2010

29 January 2010 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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Highlighting the very strong rebound in the semiconductor industry, leading foundry, TSMC is raising capital spending to US$4.8 billion in 2010, an increase of approximately 80% over 2009. TSMC raised its CapEx plans three times in 2009 to meet growing demand and high utilization rates across all technology nodes, which began in the second quarter of 2009. Capital spending in 2009 reached US$2.671 billion with US$1.310 billion spent in the fourth quarter. CapEx in 2008 was US$1.886 billion, in comparison.

However, the increased CapEx spending late in the year did little to impact its overall managed wafer capacity in 2009. TSMC reported a total wafer capacity of 2,532K 200mm-equivalent wafers in 4Q09, an increased of 3.6% from 2,444K in 3Q09.

TSMC managed capacity in 1Q10 is expected to increase by only1% to reach 2,557K 200mm-equivalent wafers. 300mm wafer capacity will increase by 38K.

However, TSMC also noted that due to scheduled annual maintenance and capacity migration to higher nodes, total legacy fabs capacity will decrease by 60K (200mm wafer) in the first quarter of 2010.

Total managed capacity in 2009 reached 9,955K 200mm equivalent wafers, representing an increase of 6.2% from 9,377K in 2008.

TSMC said that capacity at its 300mm facilities increased by 10.8% year-over-year, reaching 41.5% of total 2009 capacity.

The foundry, reiterated it leadership in advanced node adoption by customers, noting that 40/45nm adoption was growing fast, despite yield related issues. Revenues from 40/45nm more than doubled in 4Q09, reaching 9% of total wafer sales. Demand from 65nm and 90nm accounted for 30% and 16%, respectively.

Revenues from IDM customers accounted for 21% of total wafer sales in 4Q09, up 1% from 3Q09.

"Although first quarter normally is a sequentially declining quarter for all three major semiconductor applications, we expect the demand from consumer related applications to grow in first quarter of 2010, while computer and communication related applications will decline following their seasonal pattern," commented Lora Ho, VP and Chief Financial Officer of TSMC.

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