TSMC outpaces foundry rivals in revenues per wafer
TSMC is leading the way in revenues per wafer among the top four pure play semiconductor foundry companies. A report from IC Insights finds that the revenue per wafer start (expressed in 200mm equivalents) varies considerably among foundry companies (Figure 1). TSMC’s revenue per wafer is forecast at $1,328 in 2014 outpacing GlobalFoundries by 27%.
UMC’s revenue per wafer in 2014 is expected to be just $770, 42% less than TSMC’s revenue per wafer. Although the average revenue per wafer of the Big 4 foundries is forecast to be $1,145 in 2014, the actual revenue per wafer is highly dependent upon feature size.
IC Insights expects 60% of TSMC’s 2014 revenue is expected to be from devices manufactured using ≤45nm geometries. As expected, a large portion of GlobalFoundries’ wafer fab capacity is dedicated to producing AMD’s MPUs, so its process technology is also skewed toward leading edge feature sizes. In 2014, 57% of GlobalFoundries’ sales are forecast to be from ≤45nm production.
Although TSMC and GlobalFoundries are expected to have a similar percentage of sales dedicated to ≤45nm technology in 2014, TSMC is forecast to have almost 6x the dollar volume sales at ≤45nm as compared to GlobalFoundries this year ($14.8 billion for TSMC and $2.5 billion for GlobalFoundries). SMIC started manufacturing devices using 45nm technology in early 2012, more than three years after TSMC first put its 45nm process into production.
Only 15% of SMIC’s 2014 sales are expected to come from devices having ≤45nm feature sizes, which is the primary reason why its revenue per wafer is so low as compared to TSMC and GlobalFoundries. The vast majority of the increase in pure-play foundry sales in 2014 is forecast to originate from sales of devices built using ≤28nm feature sizes.
The ≤28nm pure-play foundry market is expected to be increase to $12.3 billion in 2014, a jump of $5.1 billion or 72% as compared to 2013, and account for 29% of total pure-play foundry marketshare this year. Meanwhile, the market for devices built using >28nm technology, while forecast to represent 71% of total pure-play foundry sales in 2014, is forecast to increase only 4% this year.
Additional information about sales and other activities of pure-play IC foundry leaders is provided in the 2014 edition of IC Insights’ flagship report, The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry.