TAIPEI Put this one in the glass is half full category.
Both of Taiwan's pure-play foundries said Tuesday that monthly sales significantly increased year over year. Yet United Microelectronics Corp. saw a slight dip of 0.7 percent on a month-over-month basis, while rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. sales increased 3.8 percent.
Such fine distinctions may seem like splitting hairs, but in an industry looking for any scrap of positive news, analysts and some casual observers are closely tracking the monthly numbers.
TSMC said August sales hit a record high of $537 million, partly because of increased capacity but also because demand is returning and utilization is increasing across the board, especially at its finer geometries.
This month's sales were 35 percent higher than last year's, while year-to-date revenue is 17 percent higher, at $3.67 billion. The foundry noted that third quarter wafer shipments would be slightl y higher than its earlier estimate of 5 percent to 9 percent, but it did not release a number.
At UMC, despite the minute monthly dip, things are generally picking up and the company has hinted that its third and fourth quarter numbers won't disappoint.
For August, revenue was $205 million, 9 percent higher than a year ago. So far, annual revenue is outpacing last year's January to August total by 22 percent, totaling $1.57 billion.