It’s good to hear that TSMC is booked out, not because one wants Morris Chang’s pension pot to be a bit bigger, but because TSMC is the IC industry’s bellwether and the health of the chip industry reflects the health of the worldwide electronics industry.
A fully-booked TSMC means a chip industry with orders and a systems industry with confidence.
According to Digitimes, TSMC is booked out till Q4 thanks to orders for handset and PC chips topped up by short lead-time orders coming from the consumer companies.
The result is that the 8″ fabs are running at 100% utilisation and the 12″ fabs are running at 90%+ utilisation.
There are three massive pieces of good news for TSMC:
1. Phones have more chip types – chips for NFC, fingerprint recognition and wireless charging – pushing up TSMC’s revenues.
2. Chips will have more cores – pushing up prices.
3. More chips will be 4G – also pushing up prices.
So, TSMC’s take-per-handset will go up from $8 now to $10 soon, and the take-per-tablet will go up from $3/4 to $5.