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TSMC November Sales Slump 7.5% in Sign of Uneven Tech Recovery

(Bloomberg) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s sales slid back into contraction last month following October gains, showing there’s still a way to go before the global chip market stages a full recovery from a prolonged slump.

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The world’s largest supplier of made-to-order chips recorded a 7.5% drop in revenue to NT$206 billion ($6.6 billion) in November. Revenue for the first 11 months was down 4.1% from the prior year, to NT$1.99 trillion.

The primary chipmaker to Nvidia Corp. and Apple Inc. in October projected sales of $18.8 billion to $19.6 billion for this quarter. During its third-quarter earning call, Chief Executive Officer C. C. Wei said the company was counting on the chip market hitting bottom “very soon” but stopped short of predicting a strong rebound because of uncertainty around China, which is grappling with a moribund economy and escalating US trade sanctions.

Read More: TSMC Foresees Long-Awaited Chip Recovery After Outlook Beat

Electronics makers and chip suppliers have struggled to work through a glut of unsold inventory, built up after the pandemic’s semiconductor shortage drove customers to stockpile and double or triple order. But now executives across the chip industry — from TSMC to Samsung Electronics Co. and Lenovo Group Ltd. — are saying the industry has mostly used up excess supplies.

The demand for artificial intelligence chips is helping companies like Nvidia and Advance Micro Devices Inc. and filling up orders for TSMC’s most-advanced production nodes. On Wednesday, AMD upped its outlook for the market for AI chips to climb to more than $400 billion in the next four years — more than twice as high as a projection AMD gave in August, showing how rapidly expectations are changing for AI hardware. TSMC also manufactures AMD chips, including the latest AI chip, the MI300.

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