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TSMC to reportedly boost capex, build new fab

December 06, 2010 // EE Times

TSMC to reportedly boost capex, build new fab

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. plans to increase its capital spending in 2011 compared to this year and is planning a new 300-mm fab in Taiwan that will open in 2015, according to reports emerging from the company's supply chain management forum.

Morris Chang, TSMC's chairman and CEO, said the foundry would boost capacity by more than 30 percent next year in order to meet customer demand, according to reports by Taipei Times and others. Chang also reportedly said TSMC would increase capital spending in 2011 from a projected $5.9 billion this year, though he declined to provide a number.

In projections released late last month, Gartner Inc. analyst Bob Johnson estimated that TSMC's 2011 capital spending would decline to about $5.7 billion. After a big bounce back year when semiconductor sales are expected to grow more than 30 percent, most analysts predict that the chip industry will return to single-digit growth next year.

The Reuters news service reported Friday (Dec.ember 3) that during the supply chain management forum TSMC told suppliers and customers that it plans to build a new 300-mm fab in Taiwan in 2015. The Reuters report said no further details were available.

During the forum, TSMC also handed out its 2010 supplier awards to companies including Applied Materials Inc., Tokyo Electron Ltd. and ASML Holding NV.

TSMC's new fab talk could be an effort to keep up with Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), the deep-pocketed majority investor in TSMC rival Globalfoundries Inc. Globalfoundries is currently building a fab in upstate New York and in September ATIC's CEO, Ibrahim Ajami, said the firm would spend up to $7 billion to build a semiconductor fab in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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