One of the world's largest chipmakers has said that it will have to boost its capital spending by more than $400m, following a boom in demand for its made-to-order integrated circuits.
It is the second major announcement from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM), which just two weeks ago told investors it was considering raising its planned 2002 capital expenditure to a level close to that of the $2.2bn spent in 2001.
TSM chairman Morris Chang explained that the company is to invest $20bn in new fabrication plants in Taiwan. "This will include around $2.6bn that we are preparing to invest this year. That is our plan and our promise," he said.
He added that the global market for custom-made chips had risen during the semiconductor downturn and the company expected to benefit by selling its manufacturing ability to other electronics companies, which are struggling to shoulder the heavy capital burden of building such hi-tech plants.
Analysts saw the move as a sign that TSM was confident that it was emerging from its worst sales slump.
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