Feeds

Q3 chip production up despite downturn

But more plant stood idle

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More chip-making equipment effectively stood idle during Q3 2004 than Q2 as worldwide capacity utilisation rates fell, the Semiconductor International Capacity Statistics (SICAS) organisation reported this week.

But it offered a sign that the downturn may not be as bad as the utilisation figures suggest: since so much of the un-utilised plant comprised new production lines, even as overall utilisation rates fell, chip production was up.

According to SICAS, industry-wide capacity utilisation hit 92.7 per cent in Q3, down on Q2's 95.4 per cent and Q1's figure, 93.4 per cent. By contrast, Q3 2003's utilisation was just 85.9 per cent.

Despite the decline in utilisation, production - measured in the number of wafers entering the manufacturing process - was up 0.7 percentage points on Q2 and up 13.6 per cent on Q3 2003. The discrepancy arises from a 10.6 per cent sequential increase in 300mm wafer production capacity, pushing 300mm capacity utilisation down to 89.9 per cent from 95.7 per cent in Q2 and 92.1 per cent in Q1.

Chip foundries had a bumper Q3 - as witnessed by TSMC and UMC's Q3 results - with utilisation rates down from 99.4 per cent in Q2 to 97.7 per cent in Q3, but still well above the industry average. The equivalent figure for Q1 was 98.7 per cent.

During Q3, foundry production was up 8.2 per cent on Q2 and 41.9 per cent on Q3 2003. Above-average foundry performance suggests a much bigger drop in production at chip designer-manufacturers - aka integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), such as Intel, Samsung and co. The same goes for capacity utilisation.

TSMC and UMC, the world's two largest foundries, have both warned that utilisation rates will fall during Q4 - by up to 20 per cent, TSMC reckons. By contrast, IDMs should see less of a decline in Q4, since they're better able to balance production across quarters because manufacturing is slightly less dependent on direct customer demand than is the case with foundries. ®

Related stories

Intel to retain top chip maker title on 04...
Chip trade body revises 2004 sales downward
September chip sales edge up 1%
TSMC, UMC fab utilisation to plummet in Q4
ATI to spend $10m on Korean R&D plant
Intel prepares to kill off last few 130nm P4s
Intel CEO touts 'much improved' H1 '05 growth

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.