TSMC fab utilization to recover starting 2Q23

Monica Chen, Hsinchu; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Part of TSMC's fab utilization rates, including those for 7/6nm process nodes, will begin to recover in April, sooner than previously predicted by the market, according to sources at semiconductor equipment companies.

Based on the orders received, the sources anticipate that utilization rates for TSMC's 5nm and 7nm process platforms will increase in the second quarter compared to the first. Utilization rates for the foundry's 28nm process nodes will also rise to near 100%, the sources indicated.

Capacity utilization for 7/6nm process nodes at TSMC's Fab 15B has been rapidly declining since September 2022, falling below 40% in the first quarter of this year. The utilization rate will rise to nearly 50% in the second quarter, the sources said.

Due to reductions in customer orders, capacity utilization for 5/4nm process nodes at TSMC's Fab 18A began to loosen in November 2022. However, as orders resume, the fab is expected to use approximately 85% of its 5/4nm process capacity in the second quarter, the sources noted.

TSMC's capacity utilization for 3nm process technology will approach 70% in the second quarter as production yields rise, meanwhile, up from 45-50% in the first quarter, according to the sources. The foundry produces 3nm chips at Fab 18B.

TSMC's revenue is expected to return to sequential growth in the second quarter, the sources said.