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Brisk orders keep top two foundries humming during New Year holidays.

Taipei, Jan. 19, 2011 (CENS) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has announced canceling maintenance downtime during the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays while United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) will cut downtime to only half a day during the holidays to cope with orders that have inundated their production lines.

Normally in the past, the top two silicon foundries set aside two to three days as downtime during Chinese New Year holidays for maintaining production equipment. But this year, as contracts have submerged production lines at the two chipmakers[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 300mm wafer fabs, the chipmakers have decided to cancel or cut maintenance downtime.

TSMC is depending on one 300mm wafer fabs each in the Hsinchu Science Park and the Southern Taiwan Science Park for half of its revenue. The fabs fill up to 80% of world market for 40nm process foundry.

Maintenance downtime for half of its 200mm wafer fabs will also be postponed until the end of the holidays while the other half have been maintained.

Suppliers of chip-making equipment interpreted the downtime suspension as excessive contracts swarming into the two chipmakers.

TSMC Chairman Morris Chang said the company's revenue for this quarter would stay unchanged or slip only 5% from last quarter, suggesting the company's business will remain strong even in the normally lukewarm season this year.

UMC executives pointed out that the company's advanced-process capacities began running short in the first half of 2010.

Upbeat forecasts based on brisk contracts helped push up TSMC's share price to an eight-year high of NT$77.4 in mid-day trading on Jan. 18.

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Title Annotation:Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics Corp.
Author:Liu, Ken
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Jan 19, 2011
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