TSMC asks suppliers to delay delivery of equipment

In recent times, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has faced revenue challenges stemming from the global economic downturn, a slump in end-market demand, and constant inventory adjustments by clients. Although TSMC has spearheaded numerous semiconductor fabrication plant projects worldwide, diminishing capacity needs prompted them to curtail their capital expenditure forecasts and decelerate certain projects.

According to Reuters, TSMC has entreated its primary chip manufacturing tool suppliers to defer the delivery of essential equipment for its semiconductor plants, citing client demand uncertainties and potential delays for the Fab21 project situated in Arizona, USA. These suppliers include ASML, leading to a plausible inference that TSMC intends to postpone the receipt of lithography equipment, one of the most exorbitant tools within semiconductor fabrication settings.

TSMC 3nm roadmap

To elucidate, TSMC’s concurrent semiconductor projects, apart from the American Fab21, encompass two in Taiwan, one in Japan, and a newly finalized venture in Germany that’s yet to commence. Furthermore, TSMC incessantly requires tool additions to its extant plants to escalate capacity. Clearly facing impediments, the company now aims to alleviate capital expenditures by delaying equipment acceptances. TSMC’s president, Wei, previously commented that the tepid economic milieu and an increasingly cautious client demeanor could potentially sway TSMC’s strategic decisions.

ASML’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Wennick, when interviewed by the media, conceded that there have been certain delays in equipment order deliveries. However, he remains sanguine, viewing the situation as a transient managerial challenge. Notwithstanding the prevalent uncertainties, ASML projects robust growth for 2023, forecasting a 30% surge in net sales and a marginal gross margin enhancement compared to 2022.