TSMC, UMC sales fall sort of short -

Sales in January took a prolonged stay in a jacuzzi, forgetting to climb and make Taiwan's largest foundries TSMC and UMC happier than they were a few days ago.

TSMC said its sales in January were around NT$29.16 billion, 4.3 percent less than a month before. UMC had sales of NT$8.6 billion, instead of the expected NT$9 billion. In December, the second-largest foundry worldwide reported sales worth NT$9.29 billion.

Nonetheless, things really aren't bad at all, especially when compared to last year January. On a year-over-year basis, TSMC increased sales by 129.6 percent. UMC managed to do 172.77 percent better than 12 months ago. TSMC expects sales to rise by 30 percent this year. The foundry has been hogging the top spot all to its self for ages. In a recent list, TSMC was top dog with sales of $8.98 billion, whilst number two UMC had to make-do with $2.82 billion sales.

Rising sales will also be a boon to equipment makers. Foundries shied away from investing in expensive new processes last year, however rising sales will lead to new orders for 40 nanometre process equipment. ASML said in January it had an order backlog of €1.85 billion, more than twice as much than last year.

GlobalFoundries is not in the running yet.