Utilization rates at Taiwan's top-three IC foundries will fall further to 85.8% in the fourth quarter of 2015 - the lowest level in 13 quarters, according to Digitimes Research.
The utilization rate for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), United Microelectronics (UMC) and Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) climbed to 101.1% in the first quarter of 2015, but started to fall since due to disappointing end-market demand which has dragged down orders from chip suppliers, said Digitimes Research. Utilization rates at the foundries fell to 96.6% in the second quarter and reached 92% in the third.
Falliing utilization rates are affecting negatively foundry ASPs in the fourth quarter of 2015, which are estimated at US$1,136.80 compared with US$1,154.20 in the prior quarter, Digitimes Research indicated.
The top-three Taiwan foundries are forecast to generate a combined US$7.39 billion in the fourth quarter, down 6.5% sequentially, Digitimes Research said. The quarter also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of decline.
The top-three Taiwan foundries' combined revenues for fourth-quarter 2015 will be down about 14.9% compared with US$8.62 billion a year ago, Digitimes Research said. It would be the first time since first-quarter 2012 that the foundries saw a more than 10% on-year decrease.