Founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Predicts "Doom & Gloom" For Chip Industry

Discussion in 'Stocks' started by ByLoSellHi, Feb 13, 2007.


    Taiwan Semi's Founder Predicts Gloom and Doom For the Chip Industry

    Posted on Feb 13th, 2007 with stocks: IGW, PSI, SMH, TSM, XSD

    William Trent submits: We’ve pointed out the difficulties facing the semiconductor industry many times. One of our points has been that the industry growth rate has slowed dramatically, and many in the industry don’t seem to realize it.

    Not so for TSMC (TSM) founder Maurice Chang. It’s gloom and doom for the chip industry, says TSM's founder.

    “The design cost basically has been doubling with each generation,” Chang said. “Prototyping is up as well.”Meanwhile, the cost of building manufacturing facilities continues to oscillate like crazy as well. It will cost 12 times as much to build a 45-nanometer facility, which companies will open in 2007, as it took to build a 250-nanometer facility in 1997. (The nanometer numbers refer to the average size of features on the chip. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter; a human hair is about 60,000 nanometers wide.)

    Unfortunately, the rewards are shrinking. Revenue for the chip industry grew about 16 percent a year from 1960 to 2000. From 2000 to 2010, revenue will grow about 6 percent a year.


    So, we see eye to eye on the slowdown issue. But given that TSMC appears to understand the slowdown, why is it that they have added so darned much capacity lately?


    Well, at least they are admitting they have a problem, and that is the first step toward fixing it.