Taipei, March 23, 2009 (CENS)--Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) recently announced they will cancel unpaid-leave practice in April to cope with increased orders.
The announcements came as the TSMC has landed orders that will it busy until mid- June while UMC has won orders that will keep its production lines operational through May, according to industry watchers.
Also, they said the announcements put a damper on talks by some foreign institutional investors that the recent rush orders would come to an end in May.
Some institutional investors pointed out that TSMC's primary customers including Intel, Qualcomm, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Inventic and MeidaTek have turned active recently in placing orders, helping push up capacity utilization at the foundry giant's 300-mm wafer fabs to 80% from 50% and utilization at its 200-mm fabs to 60%.
Industry watchers estimated personal-computer, telecommunications and consumer-electronics markets would begin to rebound in the second quarter, justifying their forecasts that foundry shipments will surge 20-30% in the second quarter from the first quarter.
Daniel Heyler, who tracks semiconductor market for Merrill Lynch & Co., even felt the recent rush orders were not just for inventory re-buildups but also represented true demands coming back.
Along with the announcements of unpaid-leave cancellation, all of TSMC staffs will go back to their work on normal shifts beginning April 1,
TSMC began taking the measure in December 2008 after seeing capacity utilizations drop below 40% both at its 200-mm and 300-mm wafer fabs.
(by Ken Liu)