June 9, 2003 – Strong demand for semiconductors helped boost May sales figures for the world’s two leading foundries. Industry watchers, however, continue to question whether the increased demand, which began in February, is a result of customer demand or product launches and inventory replacement.
TSMC says May sales grew 10.8% from May 2002, and 10.1% from April 2003. UMC said revenues were up 11% from May 2002, but only up 0.5% from April 2003.
ING Barings Analyst Chris Hseih noted that while production lines for advanced chips were running near capacity, TSMC and UMC’s customers appeared to be cautiously gauging final demand before placing third-quarter orders.