TSMC Sees World Chip Market Growing

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, the world's top contract chip maker, expects the global semiconductor market to grow 5% - 10% annually in the next 10 years, its chairman said on Monday.

At TSMC's 20th anniversary event, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang said his company's capital spending this year would be $2.8 billion, which is the higher end of its earlier capex estimate. The budget will be up 10% from last year.

The Semiconductor Industry Association said earlier this year microchip sales grew 8.9% in 2006 to nearly US$248 billion and forecast growth of about 10% this year.

It was not immediately clear whether Chang was referring to sales, shipments or output in the semiconductor growth forecast.

Last week, TSMC said a long-awaited recovery had begun as profit margins and sales improved in the current quarter after customers started placing orders again.

TSMC and its local rival United Microelectronics together account for around two thirds of global market share.