Taiwan makers’ chip sales drop sharply in February

Things got worse fast in Taiwan in last month. Sales at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd, dropped 28% in February from January’s level, while those of United Microelectronics Corp. fell 21%, according to Daiwa Securities Senior Analyst Yasuo Nakane, in his regular report for Nikkei Microdevices. DRAM makers didn?t fare any better, with most seeing double digit declines. The plunge in sales ranged from 28% at Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. to only 1% at Macronix International Co., Ltd., who continued to sell healthy quantities of mask ROMs to Nintendo.

Assembly folks saw slightly smaller drop offs. Advanced Semiconductor Engineering reported a 8% decrease from the month before Silicon Precision Industries Co., Ltd. a 14% reduction.

The one bright spot was chip set maker VIA Technologies, Inc. whose sales increased 5% in February compared to January, and were up 125% compared to the same month last year.


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