July 6, 2005 – In the second quarter, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) ran its capacity at an 86% rate, higher than the 84% recorded by foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., a Merrill Lynch & Co.’s study shows, according to Taiwan Economic News.
United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing scored 60% and 65%, respectively.
Merrill Lynch attributed SMIC’s high capacity utilization rate to its aggressive weighting in DRAM (dynamic random access memory) production, a measure expected to help the firm quickly boost defect-free ratio at its 300mm silicon-wafer factory.
This production accounted for 35% of SMIC’s total capacity last quarter, increasing from the 20% it scored in the fourth quarter last year. Throughout this year, contract DRAM production will constitute around 30% of the company’s total capacity, compared with the average 20% it reported throughout last year, thanks to increasing outsourcing orders from European DRAM chipmaker Infineon Technologies and Japanese DRAM chipmaker Elpida Memory.
Merrill Lynch pointed out that SMIC was doing everything it could to boost capacity utilization at its 300mm fab. The company, Merrill Lynch said, planned to boost its 300mm capacity to account for 24% of its total capacity in the first quarter next year from last year’s 12%.