Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rumors suggest TSMC is looking for an LED maker

Speculation last week surrounded Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC). The largest silicon semiconductor foundry company may be seeking to buy one of the largest LED manufacturers, according to several articles from internet in the past weeks.

According to several articles we picked up, and some was originating in Taiwan, TSMC's proposed targets are Philips Lumileds or Toyoda Gosei. At present, these rumors amount to little more than unsubstantiated gossip.

An article on the Taiwan Economic News claimed that TSMC had been in discussion with Philips Lumileds for three years, but the sides have not yet reached a consensus. However, said the article, the merger is more likely now because Philips intends to dispose of its unprofitable subsidiary. Furthermore, said the article, TSMC is an ideal owner to help improve Philips Lumileds’ operation efficiency and competitiveness with its production technologies. Toyota, has no intention of expanding the chipmaker's capacity.

As for my point of view, the giant Philips group can help and maintain Lumileds. I do not see any reason why Philips would sell its technology of LED to the Taiwanese unless there is an immediate financial need. Lumileds is losing money and that is not an incurable situation as all it takes is some changes of manufacturing technology only.

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