TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker, expects revenue in the fourth quarter to grow compared to the current three-month period, local media reported on Saturday, citing company chairman Morris Chang.

The Chinese-language Commercial Times newspaper also reported that chip designers Qualcomm and Nvidia had visited contract manufacturers such as TSMC recently, without saying where it got the information from.

Chang's estimates would be better than market expectations, with analysts polled by Reuters expecting revenue in the fourth quarter to slip about 10 percent to T$81 billion ($2.5 billion).

TSMC had said in late July it expected revenue of T$88-90 billion in the July-September quarter as demand for chips grows and the global economy recovers. [ID:nTP261512]

The company's shares closed up 0.32 percent on Friday, lagging a 0.62 advance on the benchmark TAIEX share index .

TSMC has been ramping up production of new chips this year by using more advanced, efficient technology. It is also benefitting as major chipmakers in the United States, Europe and Japan increasingly outsource production to foundries.

Some analysts are also expecting a further consolidation in the sector that is emerging from its worst downturn after Abu Dhabi's state-owned ATIC offered to buy Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor earlier this month. (Reporting by Kelvin Soh, Editing by Ron Popeski)