Top two Taiwanese chip assemblers hit new high revenues in Nov.

Dec 12, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ken, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 12, 2003 (CENS)--Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) Inc. and Siliconware Precision Industries Co., Ltd. Saw their November revenues hit new monthly highs, reaching NT$6.2 billion (US$183 million at US$1:NT$34) and NT$2.6 billion (US$77 million), respectively.

ASE and Siliconware are currently Taiwan's No. 1 and No. 2 chip assemblers, respectively.

ASE's November revenue represented a 7% increase from October's NT$5.8 billion (US$172 million) while Siliconware's November figure edged up 0.02% from the October level.

ASE's Kaohsiung factory alone had revenue of NT$3.4 billion (US$100 million) last month. The company's total November revenue reportedly made it the world's largest chip assembler, exceeding nearest rival Amkor Technology Inc. of the U.S. for the first time.

ASE attributed the recent revenue surge to business recovery and cross-over of testing and packaging technologies, which have inspired fabless companies and integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) to deliver more contracts to dedicated contract manufacturers.

ASE executives pointed out that most of the world's leading IDMs have put on hold expansions on their front-end and back-end manufacturing capacities during the past two years of business recession. These IDMs have recently increased outsourcing contracts to keep up with the market robust. They said the increase pace has far outstripped their expectations and has strained the company's capacity.

Siliconware has landed add-on contracts from Broadcom Corp. and Marvell Technology Group since early this quarter. Also, LSI Logic has contracted Siliconware to test its chips from April next year.

ASE and Siliconware said capacity shortages would be relieved in January next year at the earliest. To cope with exploding contracts, ASE already planned to spend around US$600 million on expansions while Siliconware projected capital spending at NT$6 billion (US$176 million) for next year.

Other local assemblers in the line have also benefited from the recent contract boom. Kyec Yuan Electronics Co., Ltd. Acquired contracts last month to test chips for European chipmaker STMicroelectronics and similar contracts from Renesas Tech and Toshiba of Japan.

Flooding orders helped Kyec garner November revenue of NT$670 million (US$19.7 million), another record high of the company's monthly revenue. In the Jan.-Nov. period this year, the company scored total revenue of NT$6 billion (US$176 million), surging 25.49% from last year's NT$4.8 billion (US$142 million).

To ease its capacity shortage, Kyec already planned to spend NT$5 billion (US$147 million) on expansions next year, an increase from earlier projected NT$3.2 billion (US$94 million).
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