WAFER BAKER Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) reported profits of $1.1bn for the first quarter of 2012, a 8.4 per cent drop from the first quarter last year.
TSMC, the favoured chip fabricator of AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm among others, announced revenues of $3.5bn for its first quarter, a marginal increase from the same period a year ago. While TSMC's revenues remained steady, its profits fell to $1.1bn due to increased operating expenses.
TSMC has seen criticism over its 28nm process node, which many are blaming for the shortage of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia. Recently Qualcomm revealed it is looking for alternative foundries after blaming the Taiwanese firm for a chip shortage that could harm its bottom line.
Although TSMC's 28nm process node has been getting a lot of attention recently, partly due to its supply and partly due to the gains in energry efficiency it affords over the firm's 40nm process node, the company hasn't been able to fully capitalise on it. TSMC recently announced it could not meet customer demand on its 28nm process node, which a number of industry insiders claim indicates poor production yields.
When TSMC's flat-lining revenue figures are put into the wider semiconductor industry context, the firm has done well getting business in tricky conditions. However TSMC has seen its costs increase and its reputation has taken something of a beating, with some of its biggest customers looking elsewhere to insulate themselves from further supply shortages at TSMC. µ