Wei was taking over a task that had previously been performed by the much-respected Morris Chang in his role as chairman of TSMC, prior to his retirement in 2018.
TSMC forecasts a slow-down in global gross domestic product (GDP) from 3.2 percent in 2018 to 2.6 percent in 2019 due to weakening macroeleconomic conditions and this will in turn lead to underlying low growth for the semiconductor industry because of its strong coupling to consumer activity.
"For the full year of 2019, we forecast the overall semiconductor market excluding memory will grow 1 percent while foundry growth will be flat," said Wei. Traditionally TSMC has always forecast that it can out-perform its peers in the foundry sector and Wei remained consistent with that saying TSMC's business will grow "slightly" in 2019
Wei said TSMC's 2019 business would be supported by demand for leading-edge 7nm, notwithstanding a glut of manufacturing capacity at that node at present (see Report: Order downturn to leave TSMC with spare 7nm capacity ). Wei spoke of continuing and broadening demand for 7nm, "where we see strong interests from our customer in high-performance computing, mobile and automotive. Even with a slow year like 2019, we firmly believe AI and 5G are the megatrends that will drive the future semiconductor growth."
Wei re-affirmed long-term growth projection of 5 to 10 percent CAGR over the period 2017 to 2022.
Related links and articles: