TSMC exec: Chip industry to recover in 3 years

Longtime figure in the semiconductor arena says it'll be 2012 before the industry bounces back, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.

Things are gloomy all around, the global chip industry included. And as much pounding as the semiconductor market has taken, it hasn't hit bottom. The good news? It's "pretty close," Morris Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Friday.

Morris Chang, chairman of TSMC, predicts the <br />
chip industry will see a recovery in 2012." credit="Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co." alt="Morris Chang" />

"I think it will be 2012 before the total revenue of the semiconductor industry gets back to the '08 level," said Chang, who has worked in the industry for more than 50 years. He founded TSMC, the world's largest contract chip manufacturer, in 1987.

Last month, TSMC reported a 64 percent drop in profit for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the same period the year before. Its sales were down 31 percent. The news came on the heels of Intel reporting a steep drop in profit for the fourth quarter. Lora Ho, chief financial officer of TSMC, said in a statement then: "The global economic recession continues to worsen. Customers...continue to pare their inventories aggressively, resulting in a further significant cutback of wafer demand."

The Journal story also said that Chang expects a "continued decline for companies that make both consumer products and semiconductors." Although of the companies that do both, Samsung and Intel are "in a strong position."

About the author

Anne Dujmovic is an associate editor at CNET News. After working more than a dozen years in newspapers, including a seven-year stint at the San Jose Mercury News, Anne migrated north to Portland, Ore. There, she honed her pastry-making skills as an apprentice. Although she's returned to journalism, she still misses the free pastries. E-mail Anne.


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