Foundry boom: Contract manufacturers TSMC and UMC continue on record course

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While DRAM and NAND manufacturers and the PC industry complain about their suffering, especially in the CPU area, contract manufacturers are still booming for the time being. TSMC and the smaller Taiwan representative, UMC, are still outperforming each other with extremely good numbers. But one question is already floating along: How much longer?

Still dream growth rates

The numbers still look very good, the factories are working at full capacity. The monthly report shows UMC growth of 34.5 percent in September 2022 compared to September 2021, and TSMC's sales increase is even 36.4 percent. However, the contract manufacturers play in completely different leagues, TSMC makes 208.25 billion New Taiwan dollars, the equivalent of around 7.1 billion US dollars, while UMC comes to 25.55 billion New Taiwan dollars, around 0.85 billion US dollars .

Nevertheless, this value marks a very good one, it is the second-highest turnover ever posted by UMC in one month. The best month was the previous August, which also has one more day, which is why the drop in sales compared to the 0.5 percent is actually none. It's similar at TSMC, but here the decline in sales compared to August is 4.5 percent, so there really is a minimal decline here.

The summary of the nine months of this year, however, sees outstanding growth at TSMC, which is reflected in 42.6 percent higher sales than at the same point last year. Since UMC is running at full capacity – you yourself recently spoke of “100%+” (PDF document) – the monthly turnover there has practically not increased for some time. Accordingly, the annual growth rate also decreases a little with each month, since additional capacity was used about a year ago The question of the future is still unanswered

But the big question “What's next?” also hovers over contract manufacturers. TSMC will present its official figures in the coming week, a statement from the industry giant is eagerly awaited. So far, Samsung has also avoided making these statements, although stagnating sales and a 31 percent drop in profits speak for themselves. They don't want to officially limit anything there yet, but the end of the month should bring clarification here as well. Many other manufacturers are already doing this, such as last night AMD with a drastically reduced forecast due to a significant collapse in CPU sales.