Taiwanese sources claims both TSMC and UMC have slowed their 12-inch fab expansion, because global demand is slowing down:
Although TSMC has maintained that the fourth and fifth stages of expansion to its 12-inch Fab 12 at the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP) are proceeding as scheduled, the sources claimed that the world's number one pure-play foundry remains cautious and conservative about placing equipment orders for the project.
UMC has completed the shell for its 12-inch Fab 12B at the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP), but no volume production equipment has been installed, the sources said. Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing has also decided to slow down capacity expansion at its 12-inch Fab7, the sources disclosed.
The sources commented that it is likely that the foundries will leave the completed shells of their new 12-inch fabs empty for a while until demand picks up.
UMC has reported that its August 2008 sales declined 4.4% sequentially to NT$8.17 billion (US$256.22 million).