Foundry SMIC working flat out, raises capex

May 14, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
Foundry SMIC working flat out, raises capex
China's leading foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (Shanghai, China) has reported record revenues of $904.9 million in 1Q20.

The company revealed that its manufacturing capacity utilization rate across all its wafer fabs was 98.5 percent and that is spent $777. 2 million on capital expenditure in 1Q20 compared with $491.9 million in 4Q19.

The company also announced it has decided to increase its 2020 capital expenditure budget from $3.2 billion to $4.3 billion. The additional spending will go mainly on equipment for the Shanghai 300mm wafer fab and mature technology production lines, the company said.

The revenue was $904.9million in 1Q20 was up sequentially 7.8 percent from $839.4 million in 4Q19, and up 35.3 percent from $668.9 million in 1Q19. The profit for the period after tax was $51.3 million compared with $24.4 million a year before.

Zhao Haijun and Liang Mong Song, SMIC's co-CEOs, attributed the rise in sales to increased demand and SMIC gaining market share across communications, computer and consumer applications.

The company said it had received positive customer feedback on its 14nm FinFET manufacturing process and said that this accounted for 1.3 percent of sales in 1Q20. SMICs most popular nodes remain its 55nm/65nm and 0.15micron/0.18micron. These were responsible for 32.6 and 33.4 percent of revenue respectively in 1Q20.

In terms of applications 48.9 percent of sales are communications related, a gradually growing share, and 35.4 percent is or consumer applications.

In terms of geography SMIC sold 61.6 percent of its output to China, up from 53.9 percent a year earlier. The US was responsible for 25.5 percent and Europe for 12.9 percent.

"Our capacity for mature technology platform applications continue to be fully loaded; the demand for CIS [CMOS image sensor] related ICs, power management, fingerprint sensors, specialty memory and other related applications is strong. Advanced technology R&D and business is progressing smoothly, as we continue to expand in communications, smartphone, automotive and consumer electronics related fields. Our customers’ feedback on 14nm is positive; our 14nm is covering both communications and automotive sectors

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