Bits + chips
Highlights of the day: Semiconductor players see improved utilization rates
Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES, Taipei

Semiconductor players including TSMC, UMC as well as GaAs foundries and backend firms are seeing their production utilization rates picking up as demand from clients and emerging applications has been rising. Meanwhile, demand for chips used in TWS earphones is also expected to soar in 2020.

TSMC, UMC enjoy ramp-up in China fab utilization rates: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics (UMC) have both seen their China-based wafer fab utilization rates pick up recently, driven by growing demand from China's local fabless chipmakers, according to industry sources.

GaAs foundries, backend firms see capacity utilization rates climb: GaAs IC foundries including Advanced Wireless Semiconductor (AWSC) and Win Semiconductors have both seen their 6-inch fab capacity utilization rates ramp up, driven by robust demand for radio-frequency (RF) components and power amplifiers designed to support sub-6GHz 5G and Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) wireless technologies, according to industry sources.

Chip demand for TWS devices to surge sharply in 2020: Global shipments of TWS (true wireless stereo) earphones are expected to surge sharply to 150-200 million sets in 2020 from around 100 million sets estimated for 2019, providing strong revenue growth momentum for Taiwan's chips supply chain players next year, according to industry sources.

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