The global semiconductor market excluding memory will grow 8 percent in 2020, according to CC Wei, CEO of TSMC, speaking at the company's conference to discuss its fourth quarter results. The overall foundry market will do better than that at 17 percent and Wei expressed his belief that TSMC could perform several percentage points above the foundry sector.
Wei said TSMC's 2020 business would supported by continued demand for leading-edge 7nm production and the introduction of 5nm manufacturing.
In terms of applications Wei sees strong growth in mobile with the introduction of 5G cellular communications and high performance computing (HPC) with AI acceleration. There was no mention of cryptocurrency acceleration which had been a driver of sales in 2018.
Mobile 5G is strong partly because of the higher semiconductor content in phones compared with the 4G generation of phones, TSMC executives pointed out.
Wei said that the 5nm node, which adopts EUV lithography, will go into volume production in the 1H20. It will see such demand as to be worth about 10 percent of TSMC's wafer revenue in 2020, Wei said. Meanwhile a 6nm refinement of the 7nm node was on track for risk production in 4Q20.
Wei said that it has extensive export control systems in place and would follow the law if the United States' dual-use threshold is reduced to 10 percent (from 25 percent). This threshold is the level of US technology contribution at which the US can block the export a third-party's export of goods to China.
Wei said that TSMC's long-term growth projection should now be raised towards the upper end of the of 5 to 10 percent CAGR the company has targeted for many years.
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