Chipmakers across Asia hit hard by gloomy economic conditions

ASIAN chipmakers, including the world’s top contract chipmaker TSMC, reported sharply worsened quarterly earnings and braced for another uncertain quarter as a weak global economy hit demand for computers.

Yesterday, Taiwan’s TSMC reported a worse-than-expected 35 per cent decline in profit to £620m, its fourth straight quarterly drop.

Hynix Semiconductor of South Korea, the world’s number two computer memory chipmaker, reported its first quarterly operating loss in two years. In Japan, rival Elpida Memory also tumbled to a quarterly loss.

Analysts said there were chances of a recovery in the first half of next year, when inventory adjustment was expected to be complete and chip prices bottom out. Roaring growth of smartphones and tablets were the single ray of sunshine in the gloomy results.