Samsung foundry set to outpace TSMC in fourth quarter

December 07, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
Samsung foundry set to outpace TSMC in fourth quarter
Samsung's foundry is set to achieve 25 percent year-on-year growth in 4Q20 outpacing market leader TSMC, according to market analyst TrendForce.

Overall demand for foundry services has remained strong in 4Q20 with fully loaded fabs leading to price hikes and driving up quarterly industry revenue. The top 10 foundries are expected to sell US$21.7 billion in 4Q20 and achieve an 18 percent increase YoY.

TSMC remains the top ranked foundry with 55.6 percent market share, Samsung is second ranked and United Microelectronics Corp. overtaking Globalfoundries.

TSMC has seen high demand for 5G smartphone processors and HPC chips and revenue growth from 7nm and 5nm manufacturing processes. Recovering demand for the 16nm to 45nm process technologies post Covid will see TSMC achieve 21 percent year-on-year growth.

Samsung is increasing its 5nm production to meet demand for smartphone SoCs and HPC chips and accelerate EUV lithography deployment. It's revenue is expected to increase 25 percent YonY.

Ranking of top ten foundry suppliers by estimated revenue for 4Q20 in millions of dollars. Source: TrendForce.

At UMC client orders for driver ICs, PMICs, RF front-end chips and IoT components has sold manufacturing capacity for its 200mm wafer fabs and UMC is therefore raising prices, TrendForce said. At the same time UMC has moved a number of clients to 28nm manufacturing process and total foundry process is expected to increase 13 percent YoY.

Globalfoundries has divested facilities over the last year (see GloFo sells MEMS business, fab to Taiwan's Vanguard) without increasing production capacity. As a result its revenue is set to decrease by 4 percent YoY in 4Q20 and see it slip from third ranked to fourth ranked foundry.

Fifth-ranked SMIC is suffering on multiple fronts. It has stopped all shipments to Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon from September 14 in line with a US embargo on supplying Huawei but has found itself placed on the Entity list by the US Department of Commerce (see US hits SMIC with embargo, as expected).

SMIC is introducing 14nm FinFET production but will experience two or three quarters of low 14nm capacity utilization TrendForce said. SMIC's 4Q20 revenue is expected to see an 11 percent decrease QoQ, but a 15 percent increase YoY as the 4Q19 represented a low comparison point.

Related links and articles:

www.trendforce.com

News articles:

Foundries booming near-term but Samsung faces risks

TSMC, UMC power ahead of foundry market

TSMC takes market from Samsung, GloFo, but Covid-19 impact to come

GloFo sells MEMS business, fab to Taiwan's Vanguard

US hits SMIC with embargo, as expected


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