Combined revenues of Taiwan's top-3 foundries: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), United Microelectronics (UMC) and Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS), are estimated at US$8.91 billion in the first quarter of 2017, down 7.6% sequentially but up 20.5% on year, according to Digitimes Research.
A seasonal slowdown in demand for mobile and PC devices particularly demand for entry-level and mid-range smartphones in China led to the sequential fall, said Digitimes Research. Higher-than-expected days of inventory (DOI) held by fabless chip firms also discouraged them from placing orders with foundries.
TSMC's 10nm FinFET technology will start generating revenues in the first quarter of 2017, while UMC's newer 14nm process will begin bringing in new revenues. Contributions made by both foundries' most-advanced processes will still be insignificant to the overall revenues of Taiwan's top-3 foundries in the first quarter, Digitimes Research indicated.
Meanwhile, combined revenues generated from 20nm and 16/14nm process technologies fell 14.9% sequentially in the first quarter of 2017, while those from 28nm process decreased 12.1% on quarter, Digitimes Research said.
For all of 2017, combined revenues of Taiwan's top-3 foundries are forecast to reach US$37.42 billion representing a 7.4% on-year increase. Revenues generated from 10nm process technology will be the growth driver driven by a ramp-up of demand for high-end smartphones in the second half of the year, Digitimes Research noted.
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