Consumer demand for higher audiovisual quality is driving the evolution of technologies behind LCD displays. Specifically, mini-LEDs, with their superior contrast and color gradation performance, have emerged in the field of display backlights. With a strong R&D foundation in the field of mini-LED technology, Macroblock recently launched a series of mini-LED backlight driver ICs that correspond to various LCD display sizes. According to Chris Chen, Macroblock backlight product manager, the company can help clients create the most suitable products tailored to the needs of different groups in the market.
TSMC is gearing up expansion of its capacity in response to strong demand from diverse sectors. According to the foundry's CEO, TSMC will invest a total of US$100 billion in capacity expansion through 2023. In the car industry, Foxconn has made yet another move to expand its reach in the electric vehicle sector. Foxconn and Thailand's PTT have just signed an MoU for forming a JV for the production of EV in Thailand. The importance of Southeast Asia for the global supply chain is growing fast. Austria-based AT&S has just disclosed a plan to set up an ABF substrate production base in Southeast Asia.
With AMD and Nvidia debuting their new gaming GPUs, the DIY PC market particularly the high-end segment is poised to grow in the second half of the year when the latest flagship graphics cards hit market shelves. In the handset market, Apple is keen on pushing 5G mmWave technology. Over 50% of the shipments for the next-generation iPhones to be launched later this year will come with mmWave support. And TSMC has unveiled its tech development in an online symposium.
The amounts of capex set by Korea's top-three telecom operators, SK Telecom (SKT), Korea Telecom (KT) and LG U+, in 2021 and 2022, respectively, will be higher than those seen in 2020, according to Digitimes Research.
The number of Chinese makers in Apple's top-200 supplier list for 2020 is comparable to that of Taiwanese firms. But industry observers believe Taiwanese suppliers' manufacturing flexibility still give them some advantage in the Apple supply chain over their Chinese competitors. GigaDevice, who in 2020 unseated Taiwan's Winbond Electronics as the sole NOR flash supplier for Apple's AirPods, is eyeing a bigger share in the TWS device market. The annual IT tradeshow Computex has kicked off its 2021 edition - a month-long virtual event.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, investors in Thailand have turned their investment targets to enterprises in the stage of growth, resulting in a reduction in number of loans to startups in 2020 to 30 from 2019's 41, but the overall investment amount still went up from US$109 million in 2019 to US$364 million in 2020, according to a report by Techsauce.
Rising popularity of electric vehicles (EV) has grabbed global attention. Poised to replace internal combustion engines, EVs are considered the new trend in the era of sustainability. A storm of competition ignited by Tesla, is brewing in the EV market, with traditional US and European automakers are pushing into in-house battery development and manufacturing with an aim to secure bigger cost advantages in the coming decades.
As electric vehicle (EV) development becomes a global effort, batteries that play a vital role to EVs' cost-performance ratios are a focus to manufacturers with ambitions to expand in the EV market. Both traditional and new automakers have considered battery technology development and production capacity to be importance to their overall planning. Automakers across Europe, America, Japan, Korea and China are actively engaging in battery solution research and production line build-up.
The car industry, hit hard by chip shortages, has been scrambling for foundry capacity support. UMC's latest US$3.5 billion fab expansion project has already obtained pre-payment commitments from chip vendors, the latest reportedly being NXP. Notebook vendors do not expect demand to weaken much in 2020, with current notebook supply remaining far short of demand amid serious component shortages. For Acer, PC sales are booming, but its non-PC business has seen even stronger growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undersocred the world's over-reliance on China's manufacturing capacity, and accelerated the diversification of the global supply chain, with many firms seeking to building or already building more manufacturing plants in South East Asia. Such a "China+" production diversification strategy presents the nultinational corporations (MNC) with plenty of new opportunities and challenges - in terms of operation, compliance and environment.
Demand for ABF substrates from chip vendors has been strong, wiht new orders placed now unlikely to be delivered until 2023. Some chip vendors have offered higher prices trying to jump the queue, but ABF substrate suppliers have had to turn them down because of their tight capacity. Chipmakers are also striving to secure supply for aQFN leadframe, with the segment's order visibility already extending to February 2022. Memory prices are poised to rise in third-quarter 2021, with NAND flash pricing to climb faster than DRAM.