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Wednesday, 19 May 2010 11:47

Chipmakers raise prices because of Gold

Written by Nick Farell


Image

They're the man, the man with the Midas touch


The fluctuating
price of gold has forced chip packaging houses to jack up their prices.

ASE has started raising its prices for new products and contracts and SPIL is expected to follow. According to Digitimes chip packagers are speeding up their transition to copper wire processes to avoid needing to use so much gold in their products. However high gold prices are eating into their bottom lines.

Gold wire bonding still accounts for more than 70 per cent of some suppliers' total packaged shipments and is a key part in their gross margin. ASE saw its margins drop by two per cent and SPIL revealed in its quarterly financial report that gross margin for the first quarter decreased to 16 per cent from 20.1 per cent.

Gold costs US$1,250 an ounce which is an all-time high. (When it hits $1,500 I'm selling my fillings. sub.ed.)

Nick Farell

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