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TSMC, UMC in Green for March, But Global Semicon Growth Down

By Pradeep Chakroborty

In what may be termed as some good news, two leading semiconductor wafer fab companies, based in Taiwan, have recorded positive increases for March 2020.

pradeepTSMC announced its net revenues for March 2020 on April 10. On a consolidated basis, the revenues for March 2020 were approximately NT$113.52 billion, an increase of 21.5 percent from February 2020 and an increase of 42.4 percent from March 2019. Revenues for January through March 2020 totaled NT$310.60 billion, an increase of 42.0 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

UMC, a leading global semiconductor foundry, from Taiwan, recorded net sales of NT$ 14,570,408 in March 2020, as against NT$ 10,325,739 in March 2019, and NT$ 13,606,421 in March 2021.

TSMC’s Q1 2020 earnings release conference will be held on April 16, 2020, at 2 pm Taiwan time. UMC will hold its Q1 2020 earnings release and investor conference call on April 27, 2020. TSMC also has plans to build beyond-5nm logic technology platform and applications, for 6th generation FinFET CMOS technology platform for SoC, in 2021.

Global semicon growth hit
VLSI Research’s projection expects a big hit to the semiconductor industry in 1H20, followed by recovery in H2. In case the recovery is delayed, declines in electronics, ICs and equipment will be far greater. The falling end demand will see half the IC recovery, and keep the IC market in the red, in the near term. VLSI Research puts mild-Covid 19, with delayed recovery in 4Q20. But, it also puts severe Covid-19 impact and recovery in 1Q21.

As per the latest data from Statista, the forecast predicts a worst case scenario of a 12 percent or more decline to global semiconductor industry revenues, as impacted by Covid-19 outbreak. It will bring serious implications for the wider technology industry. The technology supply chain would take approximately 3 months to recover, while the global disruption to the economy and technology demand would likely last for at least 12 months.

Industry should stay up and running
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released a statement from president and CEO John Neuffer commending congressional approval and enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recovery package. SIA represents U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research, with members accounting for approximately 95 percent of US semiconductor company sales.

In a paper titled: Why the Semiconductor Industry Must Stay Up and Running as We Confront COVID-19, the SIA has called on all governments around the world, at all levels – central, states/provinces, and localities – to prioritize continued operations for their domestic semiconductor companies and their suppliers by defining the semiconductor industry and its supply chain as “essential infrastructure” and/or “essential business.

AMCHAM, CSIA, ESIA, JSIA, KSIA, SEIPI, SEMI, SIA, SSIA, and TSIA have together called on nations to prioritize essential supply chain operations during Covid-19.

A release said: “We call on all governments to specify semiconductor industry operations as ‘essential infrastructure’ and/or ‘essential business’ to allow continuity in operations of an industry that powers our global digital infrastructure and underpins vital sectors of the economy.”

Yole Développement, in a report, says that the NAND and DRAM outlook appears favorable in 2020. Let’s see!

Robot disinfects large areas
In another development, a robot capable of rapidly disinfecting large areas has been invented by Forth Engineering in Cumbria, a world-first solutions business, to speed-up the fight against coronavirus.

Forth Engineering is known for its innovations to solve complex industry challenges in the nuclear, oil and gas, renewables and other sectors all over the world. Forth MD, Mark Telford, and his team have responded to the fight against COVID-19 by inventing a remotely-operated disinfecting robot.

One hopes to hear some more good news from the global semiconductor industry, despite these tough times.