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Tuesday, May 27, 2008
TSMC May Raise Prices as Costs Increase

Top contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said on Tuesday it may increase its prices as rising costs threaten to squeeze profits.

Semiconductor makers face higher costs to build new chip plants for most cutting-edge chips, and are also feeling the pain of high oil prices and rising inflation.

"Average selling prices have been falling and profits have been under pressure, and we have to work together to create value," Jason Chen, a company vice president in charge of global sales and marketing, told a TSMC technology symposium.

He said price changes would be mostly for higher-end chips, but would not say how big they would be or when they would occur.

TSMC, Samsung Electronics and Intel have said they would jointly develop next-generation bigger silicon wafers to boost efficiency in chip manufacturing.

Analysts say a factory designed to make chips on 18-inch wafers could cost $10 billion or more to build, nearly triple the price of a current 12-inch wafer factory.

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