China-based Zing Semiconductor is expected to see its monthly production for 12-inch silicon wafers ramp up to one million pieces by 2025 from the current level of 250,000, according to company chairman Wei Li.
Since the 1970s, Taiwan and South Korea have been parallelly developing semiconductor and new-geneation IT industries. The national conditions and industrial strength of the two countries are very similar. During the Cold War, Taiwan and South Korea were part of the first island chain facing the communist world. Now the US and China are rivals that compete head to head with not only weaponry, but also the strength of the technology industry, the most representative of which is the semiconductor industry and the ubiquitous supply chain. About 60% of Taiwan's and Korea's semiconductor exports go to China. In 2020, China imported as much as US$350 billion of semiconductors, with about half of them from Taiwan and South Korea. Taiwan and South Korea both export enormously to China on the one hand, and vie for the industry leadership position on the other. South Korea specializes in memory, but Taiwan's industry structure is more diverse: wafer foundry, IC design, packaging and testing. Taiwan and South Korea dislike each other but also rely on each other.
Fabless chipmakers are looking to step up their deployments in the 5G RF front-end module (RF FEM) and other device markets by working closely with their manufacturing partners, according to industry sources.
Following in the footsteps of International IDMs and automakers to promote their SiC components for EVs, China auto and semiconductors makers are also preparing their homegrown SiC chips and modules for EV applications. After the announcement to develop SiC components a few weeks ago, Foxconn continues its investment in EV business with PPT in Thailand to expand its EV supply chains to Southeast Asia. In addition to EV manufacturing, its maintenance service recently has aroused many discussions from different sides, due to the eight-year warrants of early Tesla Model S and Model X being expired soon.
Taiwan-based chipmaker MediaTek announced its plans to recruit more innovation staff in India to support local manufacturing, according to PTI, although the actual number of new employees they are looking for is not disclosed.
Mirle Automation, dedicated to supplying automated logistics systems and flat panel display (FPD) transporting equipment, has seen its backlog of orders exceed NT$10 billion (US$360.6 million), which is over 20% above the level a year earlier, according to the company.
Taiwan's suppliers of high-speed transmission chips, which have obtained commitments from foundries to provide sufficient capacity support next year, are gearing up for a boom in their output value, according to industry sources.
GaN Systems has announced the signing of a comprehensive capacity agreement with BMW Group for GaN Systems' high-performance, automotive-grade GaN power transistors, which increase the efficiency and power density of critical applications in electric vehicles.
In a recent interview by DIGITIMES Etron chairman Nicky Lu explains why monolithic/heterogeneous integration is important to the future of the semiconductor industry. Meanwhile Apple has increased the storage capacity of its new iPhone 13 series to up to 1TB, and memory makers believe this will prompt other smartphone brands to follow suit and equip their flagship devices with the same internal storage capacity. Backend service providers believe Apple's new iPad mini 6 will generate strong orders for 5G RF modules.
Developed by Google and Reliance Industries, JioPhone Next's launch has been postponed to November. Although there is a variety of factors behind the delay, the reality has proven more dire than Reliance has expected amid component shortages.
Backend houses including ASE Technology and Chipbond Technology are poised to enjoy robust orders for processing 5G RF modules, driven by demand for Apple's just-unveiled iPad mini 6, the vendor's second 5G tablet model, according to industry sources.
While global chip shortages can hardly ease in the short term and prices continue to rise further, regional semiconductor fleets are quietly taking shape as the US, EU, South Korea, Japan and China are all moving to enhance localized chip production, strengthen foundry capability and capacity, build sound ecosystems, or pursue semiconductor self-sufficiency, according to Nicky Lu, chairman of Etron Technology, a Taiwan-based vendor of specialty buffer memory products.
Powered by digital transformation and other secular technology trends, global semiconductor equipment investments for front end fabs in 2022 are expected to reach nearly US$100 billion to meet soaring demand for electronics after topping a projected US$90 billion this year, both new records, according to SEMI.
China-based Vanchip Technologies, a subsidiary of MediaTek, is partnering with IC distributor WPG and GaAs foundry Win Semiconductors to promote its Wi-Fi 6 RF front-end modules (RF FEM) including power amplifier (PA), according to industry sources.
Taiwan's OSATs including ASE Technology and Powertech Technology (PTI) are gearing up to extend high-end backend services for new iPhones and other Apple devices, and their momentum of shipments for Android handsets are expected weaken in the fourth quarter, according to industry sources.
Analog chip vendors Texas Instruments (TI) and Onsemi have both made upward adjustments in their chip prices as delivery lead times have been prolonged to over six months, and their peer makers in Taiwan are expected to follow suit soon, according to industry sources.
Shortages of multiple ICs for handsets, notebooks and other consumer technology products have started easing, with some chipmakers already engaged in inventory correction, according to industry sources.
TSMC is forecast to see its revenue in the second half of this year grow 14% from the level in the first half, with revenue for all of 2021 set to represent a 24% on-year surge, according to IC Insights.
The US-China trade tensions are driving US chip vendors away from Chinese foundry houses, which neveretheless still see strong demand from the domestic market. China's top foundry house SMIC is gearing up expansion of its mature process manufacturing capacity. US-based notebook vendors remain optimistic about demand from the enterprise segment in 2022, as they step up component purchses.
Display driver IC backend specialists including Chipbond Technology and ChipMOS Technologies will remain focused on expanding high-end testing capacity in 2022 to satisfy growing demand for OLED DDIs, according to industry sources.
IC packaging materials distributors continue to see strong demand for wire-bonding operations despite uncertainties facing sales of notebooks, handsets and other end-market devices in the fourth quarter of the year, according to industry sources.
US chip vendors have increasingly shifted their orders away from China-based foundries to mitigate potential risks arising from the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China, according to industry sources.