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By | Tony Smith 2nd December 2004 10:42

Chips are down for Taiwan foundry giants

TSMC and UMC market shares slip

The world's two biggest chip foundries are slowly but surely losing market share to their smaller rivals, the latest figures from market watcher IC Insights reveals.

But three years of continued growth will leave TSMC and UMC still doing very nicely, thank you, despite their declining share of the market.

So will China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), which despite retaining its number four ranking in IC Insight's 2004 leader-board forecast, is now within spitting distance of number three-place Chartered Semiconductor.

TSMC stays at the top of the totem pole. While its market share is expected to come to 46 per cent this year, down from 50 per cent in 2003 and 54 per cent in 2002, it will still have won revenues totalling $7.67bn, up 31 per cent year on year, IC Insights said.

That's some way ahead of UMC, the world's number two foundry. Again, its share has fallen over the last three years, from 25 per cent in 2002, through 24 per cent last year to 23 per cent in 2004. Its 2004 revenue is likely to hit $3.86bn, up 41 per cent on 2003's total.

Chartered's 2004 sales will total $1.11bn, just ahead of SMIC's $1bn. But contrast the two foundries' year-on-year growth: 52 per cent and 173 per cent, respectively. Chartered's market share rose a single percentage point over 2003's figure to seven per cent. SMIC's share went from three per cent to six.

Overall, the foundry market will have been worth $16.72bn in 2004, IC Insights forecast, up 44 per cent on 2003's total, $11.62bn, itself up 35 per cent on 2002's $8.58bn. However, that 44 per cent growth figure for 2004 marks a downgrade of IC Insight's August forecast of 52 per cent year-on-year growth. ®


IC Insights' 2004 Foundry Forecast
Rank Company 2004 Revenue
Forecast ($m)
2004 Market Share
1 TSMC 7,665 31% 46%
2 UMC 3,855 41% 23%
3 Chartered 1,105 52% 7%
4 SMIC 1,000 173% 6%
5 Vanguard 460 61% 3%
6 DongbuAnam 440 33% 3%
7 SSMC 270 74% 2%
8 HHNEC 255 50% 2%
9 Jazz 230 24% 1%
10 Silterra 200 144% 1%
  Others 1,235 72% 7%
  Total 16,715 44%  

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