Luxshare Precision Industry and Goertek, reportedly assemblers for the new-generation AirPods, have seen their factory sites in Vietnam affected by a resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak locally and will have to fulfill orders for Apple's upcoming TWS earbuds at their plants in China, according to industry sources.
Taiwan-based LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar and China-based fellow maker Sanan Optoelectronics are expected to become two additional suppliers of mini/microLED chips for Samsung Electronics, with shipments to begin in the second half of 2021, according to industry sources.
While Apple is expected to have at least its new iPhone Pro series for 2021 feature ToF-based LiDAR scanners, some Android handset vendors including China's Honor are poised to resume adoption of ToF cameras for their new flagship models, according to industry sources.
IKKA Holdings (Cayman), a maker of precision plastic injection molded components, was successfully listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on May 31, 2021. DIGITIMES recently talked to Vincent Hu, chairman and COO of IKKA, about why the company focuses on plastic injection and how it is going to work more closely with automakers in China, Japan and Southeast Asia.
The first panel talk at Asia Venturing online forum, held on July 16, 2021 by DIGITIMES and Anchor Taiwan, featured the vice pesident and general manager of Business Solutions Group at Qisda Corporation Michael Lee; partner of Japan's MS&AD Ventures Tiffine Wang; and Kickstart Ventures president Minette Navarrette and Kickstart Ventures VP for investments Joan Yao. They spoke about investing in foreign startups, discovering opportunities for the parent company and pumping momentum for young companies to grow and innovate.
Many years ago, a friend of mine in the industry told me a joke about customer relationships in the foundry sector. He said that UMC took good care of customers and would actively matchmake customers for partnership opportunities. SMIC took pride in being a national icon and gave the best service to its fellow Chinese firms. It was not the case for TSMC though. Its customers came from near and far for its leading-edge technology. If the yield rate for a customer's chips was not up to standard, TSMC was not to blame. There must be something wrong with the customer's design or spec because TSMC never made a mistake.
Semiconductor Manufacturing Electronics (ShaoXing), a China-based MEMS foundry startup formed by Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) and the local government, has managed to boost its monthly production output to 70,000 wafers from 40,000 in November 2020, according to industry sources.
Since Narendra Modi became India's prime minister, India's economy has taken a new direction as the global supply chain goes through major changes. After half a century of globalization, world trade started to go the opposite with the pandemic accelerating the regionalization of the global supply chain.
Memory module houses and channel distributors are less optimistic about the outlook for China's channel sales in the third quarter of 2021, despite an ongoing rally in contract market prices, according to industry sources.
China imported more semiconductor chips than oil for the first time in 2013. According to BCG, China imported US$350 billion worth of semiconductor chips in 2020, which represented about 60% of the global semiconductor market. The amount was twice as much as China's oil imports. Self-sufficiency therefore has become the most critical part of China's national development strategies. Backed by strong state support, YMTC raised its goal of attaining a 3-4% share of the global market in 2022 to 7%. SMIC also has plans to build four new fabs. However, there have been reports that Chinese corporations including YMTC and SMIC are having difficulty acquiring production equipment from abroad. The US has China's semiconductor sector in a stranglehold amid intensifying conflicts. Uncertainties are lying ahead for China's semiconductor industry.
China's leading panel maker BOE Technology has recently estimated that its net earnings for first-half 2021 would shoot up tenfold to reach CNY12.5-12.7 billion (US$1.934-1.965 billion), and its major peers in Taiwan have also reported impressive business results for the period, mainly due to continuous supply crunch and price hikes, according to industry sources.
The reason why I am so optimistic about the competition between TSMC and Samsung is that neither quantum technology nor in-memory computing will dictate the outcome before 2025. Even if Samsung is able to make a breakthrough, it will not enter commercialization and make a significant impact until sometime in the 2030s.
With COVID-19 infections surging in Malaysia, several ODMs are planning to shift orders from their plants in the Southeast Asian country to those in China and have obtained the approval from their clients, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.