TSMC purchases US$4.5 billion worth of equipment in 2009

Claire Sung, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 5 January 2010]

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) spent more than NT$145 billion (US$4.57 billion) on machinery equipment in 2009, while rival United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) allocated around NT$22 billion to equipment, according to respective company filings with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE).

Last year, TSMC distributed around NT$28 billion to Applied Materials and NT$24 billion to ASML, and over NT$10 billion each to Tokyo Electron, Dainippon Screen Manufacturing and KLA-Tencor. These major tool suppliers accounted for almost 70% to the foundry’s total equipment spending for 2009.

TSMC was quoted in previous reports as expecting to begin risk production on 28nm low-power (28LP) node at the end of first-quarter 2010, followed by 28nm high-performance (28HP) between the second and third quarters.

TSMC had reportedly been engaged in ramping yield rates on its 40nm process during the latter half of 2009. The segment accounted for 4% of TSMC’s third-quarter revenues, compared to 1% in the first and second quarters.

Compared to TSMC in expenditures and pace, UMC took a more cautious approach towards capacity expansion last year.

UMC is on track to start pilot production for its 28nm low-power and high-performance nodes in the latter half of 2010, company central R&D vice president SC Chien said in previous reports. Chien noted the majority of UMC’s 2009 capex would be used on R&D for next-generation processes (32nm and beyond),

UMC has claimed it is shipping more 12-inch wafers on 65/55nm and 45/40nm, which took a combined 14% share of UMC’s total revenues in the third quarter of 2009.

TSMC and UMC, respectively, are scheduled to hold their fourth-quarter investors conferences on January 28 and February 3.

via TSMC purchases US$4.5 billion worth of equipment in 2009.

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