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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Top 10 semiconductor foundries worldwide for 1H 2018

By Nick Flaherty

Market researchers TrendForce are forecasting lower revenue growth for global foundries in 1H18 than in 1H17, with the total revenue reaching about US$29.06 billion, a year-on-year growth of 7.7%, as a result of a weakening demand for premium cellphones. TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and UMC are expected to take first, second, and third place.

The premium smartphone market experienced weak demand in 1H18, as the vendors blurred the lines between their mid-range and premium models, and the new devices released did not trigger a high level of replacement demand as anticipated. The weak demand for smartphone indirectly reduced the demand for high-performance processors from smartphone vendors, and lowered the growth momentum for foundries to develop advanced process technology. 

The top ten remains the same as a year ago except for X-Fab surpassing Dongbu HiTek and ranking the 10th. The weak demand from smartphones has also influenced TSMC, which saw lower-than-expected growth momentum. However, the company may still acquire a market share of 56.1% despite the headwinds. GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ranking the second, saw a slight increase.

UMC is the third in the revenue ranking for 1H18, with limited revenue growth due to pressure from TSMC's dominant market share in advanced processes. Currently, UMC focuses on developing new customers of products based on 28nm and 14nm processes, in order to consume the capacity.

Samsung, at fourth, is actively promoting its Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) service among potential clients, while SMIC, at fifth, is improving the yield rate of 28nm process.

TowerJazz has been adjusting its product mix to increase the share of high-profit products but this has led to a 4% fall in revenue over the same period last year. Powerchip has benefited from growing orders and staged remarkable performance, with an estimated revenue growth of 27.1% over the same period last year.

As for the production capacity of 200mm wafers, the market in 1H18 shows the same trend of undersupply as in last year. Rising quotes for manufacturing products on 200mm wafers have brought remarkable revenue performance for 200mm wafer fabs. VIS and Hua Hong Semiconductor are expected to record revenue growths of 15.1% and 13.5% respectively. X-Fab is expected to benefit from industrial and automotive markets, recording a slight growth of 4.6% in 1H18.

TrendForce also points to the development of third-generation semiconductors. VIS has become the first foundry in the world to provide foundry service on 200mm GaN-on-Silicon wafers, X-Fab has integrated SiC to its 150mm wafer fab with a monthly capacity of 30,000 pieces and Taiwan-based Episil Technologies is also actively developing its foundry service of SiC and GaN wafers.

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