Taipei, Dec. 26 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest contract chip maker, said on Monday that the company expects its advanced 10 nanometer process to start generating sales in the first quarter of next year.
TSMC said the 10nm process began commercial production in the fourth quarter of this year as scheduled.
The chip maker made the statement after media at home and abroad reported that TSMC and South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co. have experienced lower than expected yield rates with their 10nm process technology.
Although TSMC did not directly respond to the reports about the lower than expected yield rate in its 10nm process, the Taiwanese chip maker indicated that the company expects the technology to start bringing in revenue in the January-March period of next year.
The poor yield rate reports had no adverse impact on TSMC shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Monday, where the stock closed up 0.56 percent at NT$179.50 (US$5.58), as investors took their cue from a 1.08 percent increase in TSMC's American depositary receipts on Wall Street on Friday.
The gains posted by TSMC even served to drive a rebound by the local main board on Monday, when the weighted index ended up 0.35 percent at 9,110.54 points.
According to the Taipei-based Digitimes, TSMC has received orders from U.S. Consumer electronics giant Apple Inc, China-based integrated circuit designer HiSilicon Technologies Co. (海思) and Taiwan's IC designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科). The report also cited industry sources as saying that the yield rate for TSMC's 10nm process failed to meet the chip maker's previous expectations.
The Digitimes report has been cited by international high-tech websites such as the Electronics Weekly, the 9 to 5 Mac and the Mobile & Apps. The 9 to 5 Mac said that Digitimes was a "variously reliable" source.
Digitimes said the lower than expected yield rate of TSMC's 10nm process could delay production of Apple's next generation iPad which is expected to make its debut next year, using the A10 X processor provided by the Taiwanese chip maker.
In a recent research note, KGI Securities analyst Kuo Ming-chi (郭明錤), who has in the past accurately predicted Apple's moves, said that TSMC could serve as the sole supplier of the A10X processor for production of Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Kuo added that TSMC is expected to become the sole supplier of the A11 processor for Apple's next generation iPhones which will be launched next year.
TSMC currently accounts for more than 50 percent of the world's contract chip market.
(By Jalen Chung and Frances Huang)