Monday, October 23, 2017
Taiwan-based IC foundries including 8-inch ones have seen orders from their local fabless clients grow, which would indicate a particularly strong fourth quarter for Taiwan's IC industry, according to industry sources.
With Taiwan-based IC design houses ramping up wafer starts at their local foundry partners, the foundries will see their fab utilization rates remain high in the fourth quarter despite it being the traditional slow season for the PC and consumer electronics industries, said the sources.
Taiwan-based fabless IC firms specializing in the development of fingerprint sensors, power management ICs, LCD driver ICs and MCU solutions are vying for more available capacities at 8-inch foundries, the sources indicated. Anticipating the demand growth will outpace the supply side during 2018, the firms intend to place orders with their 8-inch foundry partners in advance, the sources said.
Some other Taiwan-based fabless IC firms have been trying to lower their manufacturing costs by migrating to 12-inch wafers, and have found themselves fighting for the available 12-inch fab capacities with smartphone SoC providers which are also looking to book up, the sources noted.
In general, lead times at Taiwan-based foundries are maintained at over three months, according to the sources.
TSMC disclosed at its recent investors conference that DOI (day-of-inventory) at fabless IC customers was high in the second quarter but began to drop in the third. The DOI will aproach usual seasonal levels in the fourth quarter, according to the foundry.
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