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TSMC's November sales up 7% on October

Down 39% on last year's figure, though

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TSMC, which only last week boasted its Q4 profits would be up 55 per cent on its previous forecast, buoyed by a surge in orders, today said its November sales were up just seven per cent on October's total.

Last month, the world's largest chip foundry received revenues of NT$11.1 billion ($321 million), up from the NT$10.3 billion it made in October, but well down on the NT$18.2 billion it reported this time last year.

TSMC said in September that Q4's pre-tax income would hit NT$6.04 billion. It now believes it will make NT$9.40 billion, an increase of 55.6 per cent on its past estimate. Its closest rival, UMC, expects to lose NT$32.1 billion.

TSMC is thought to have kept so far ahead of its competitors by driving the adoption of ever more cutting edge chip production technology. Indeed, the company's 0.15 micron and 0.13 micron production lines are believed to be running at maximum capacity, preventing it from taking any further orders.

However, potential yield issues are believed to have driven long-time partner Nvidia to sign up UMC to produce chips alongside TSMC. Transmeta is said to be unhappy with TSMC's 0.13 micron yields, which are thought to be the reason why the company's latest Crusoe processors are shipping far later than planned. ®

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