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2010 fearless semiconductor forecasts

Posted: 06 Jan 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC forecast  semiconductor  foundry  NAND flash  microcontroller 

9. Foundry woes
Speaking of the foundry business, we are entering into a new era of delays and setbacks. I see more delays in the 45-/40nm node. And look for foundries to delay their 28nm processes in 2010.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd has already had yield issues with its 40nm technology. The problems are supposed to be fixed in early 2010. Don't bet on it. Rival United Microelectronics Corp. claims that it has been shipping 40nm technology—without any yield problems. Yet I'm told one of its main 40nm foundry customers, Xilinx, is not shipping in mass volumes.

GlobalFoundries and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte Ltd will also see 40nm delays.

What does this mean? 40nm will be a work in progress throughout 2010. And the next foundry node, 32- and 28nm, will get pushed out to 2011.

I0. China foundry flop
I see a major collapse within China's foundry industry. Once upon a time, China was supposed to take over the world. So far, they can barely keep their heads above water. The struggling Chinese foundries are losing money and remain in limbo.

Consolidation is in the air. Shanghai Hua Hong NEC Electronics Co. Ltd and Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. will finally merge in 2010. Another firm, Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., also might get swallowed up, possibly by HHNEC. TowerJazz may buy them as well.

The big question is what will happen to Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp. As reported, SMIC lost a major suit against TSMC. As a result, TSMC garnered a small stake in SMIC. Over time, TSMC will gain control over SMIC.

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