MEMS and Sensors

Historic revenues for foundry services despite chip shortage

01 September 2021

The chip shortage continues to be problematic in the supply chain, but such high demand is leading to historic revenues for foundry businesses.

According to new data from TrendForce, panic chip buying due to post-pandemic demand and industry shifts to 5G, electrification in vehicles and increased digitization is leading to high demand from ODMs/OEMs. As a result, foundries and foundry services surged in the second quarter of the year reaching $24.4 billion, a 6.2% quarter-on-quarter increase, which was a record high for the eighth consecutive quarter.

TSMC leads the way

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) was the industry leader once again with revenue of $13.3 billion, growing 3.1% quarter-on-quarter. Power outages that occurred at TSMC’s Fab 14 in southern Taiwan Science Park caused some wafer at the 40 nm and 16 nm nodes to be discarded otherwise TSMC’s numbers would have been even higher, TrendForce said.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s revenue for foundry business reached $4.33 billion, an increase of 5.5% quarter-on-quarter, after recovering from the winter storm that happened in Texas in February. The fab is now operating at full capacity to compensate for the 1.5-month loss in wafer input from idling as a result of the storm.

United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) came in third in the second quarter operating at a capacity utilization rate surpassing 100% but even then, it lagged client demand, TrendForce said.

Globalfoundries (GF) posted a revenue of $1.52 billion in the second quarter for fourth place among foundries, growing 17.0% quarter-on-quarter. GF has been gradually consolidating its existing product lines and focusing on the development of 14/12 nm FinFET, 22/12 nm FD-SOI and 55/40 nm HV and BCD technology platforms. GF also announced plans to build new U.S.- and Singapore-based fabs after selling its Fab10 and Fab3E to On Semiconductor and VIS, respectively in 2019.

China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) was fifth in foundry revenues with $1.34 billion and grew 21.8% during the quarter due to client demand for various technologies such as PMIC, MCUs, RF, HV and CIS.

Rounding out the top 10 were HuaHong Group, PSMC, VIS, Tower Semiconductor and DB HiTek, respectively.

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