Morris Chang gives TSMC's outlook for 2018, says goodbye

January 18, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
As is customary at the beginning of the year chairman Morris Chang has given TSMC's view of the growth prospects for the semiconductor and foundry markets in the year to come.

However, while speaking at the company's conference to discuss its fourth quarter 2017 results, Chang said it would be the last time he would be present at the quarterly financial conference before he retires on June 5 (see TSMC's Morris Chang sets retirement date).

Chang told financial analysts that the global semiconductor market would grow by between 6 and 8 percent in 2018, while the market excluding memory would grow more slowly at between 5 and 7 percent. Chang's numbers are at odds with those of bullish forecaster Future Horizons but in line with other market analysts (see 2018 to be a $500 billion chip market, says Penn).

Chang expects foundries to continue to take manufacturing market share from IDMs, as has been the long-term trend since the formation of TSMC and the foundry business model. The total foundry market will grow by 9 to 10 percent in 2018 but Chang expects TSMC to take market share from other foundries and grow at 10 to 15 percent.

In the first half of 2018 TSMC sales will be up slightly more than 15 percent year-on-year while in 2H18 sales growth will moderate to slightly less than 10 percent year-on-year, Chang said.

Chang said the growth markets that will drive TSMC in 2018 were high performance computing (HPC), IoT and automotive. Of these the strongest is HPC with strong demand for artificial intelligence processors in all electronic devices and demand for cryptocurrency mining chips.

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