TSMC expects flat sequential growth in its second-quarter 2021 sales, but has upward revised its outlook for full-year 2021 revenue to around 20% growth. The foundry house has also raised its capex budget for 2021 to US$30 billion. In the display sector, AUO is expanding its 6G LCD line in Kunshan, China to cater to strong demand for LTPS panels for notebooks. Notebook PCB makers in Taiwan also expect strong sales in first-quarter 2021.
TSMC chairman Mark Liu took part in a White House-hosted online meeting of the world's semiconductor powerhouses on Tuesday. After the meeting, Liu reiterated the Taiwan-based foundry house's commitment to building a wafer fab in the US state of Arizona. The semiconductor supply chain has been troubled by shortages for months, with major Taiwanese IC vendors set for another wave of price hikes in second-quarter 2021. Development of microLED applications have been gaining momentum, and commercialized products may be available as early as year-end 2021.
Touch panel makers Mildex Optical and Young Fast Optoelectronics have experienced a rebound in orders recently, particularly those for fitness equipment and niche-market applications, according to sources at the companies.
Development of microLED applications has been gaining momentum, with commercialization of the technology likely to begin at year-end-2021 at the earliest, according to Falcon Liu, marketing director for Taiwan-based PlayNitride.
Taiwan-based LCD panel makers have reported brisk sales for March and first-quarter 2021, with prospects of their revenues continuing rising in the second quarter, thanks to panel price hikes amid tight supply.
Leading China-based panel makers China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT), BOE Technology and Tianma Micro-electronics have stepped up efforts developing miniLED applications, according to industry sources.
Taiwan recorded exports totaling US$35.89 billion in March 2021, the highest-ever monthly level with growths of 29.1% sequentially and 27.1% on year, while the imports reached US$32.23 billion, also a monthly record, growing 38.4% sequentially and 27.0% on year, according the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
The notebook market has been robust in recent months thanks to stay-at-home needs. Chromebook shipments are expected to rise sharply in 2021. Apart from Intel, some other chip vendors, such as MediaTek and Elan, are poised to see robust growths in reenues from the Chromebook segment. ODM Wistron saw its notebook shipments spiked 52% on year in first-quarter 2021. The smatphone market is also recovering, and Apple is expected to adopt teh more power-efficient LTPO backplane technology for OLED displays in the premium models of its next-generation iPhone lineup.
Handset vendors are expected to launch more foldable devices with AMOLED screens this year. Global shipments of flexible AMOLED panels for foldable devices are expected to reach 12 million units in 2021. In the handset market, where sales have been recovering, MediaTek stands a good chance of becoming the world's number-one vendor of mobile SoCs in 2021. In the semiconductor sector, backend firms expect demand for speciality DRAM to stay robust through third-quarter 2021.
Global shipments of flexible AMOLED panels for foldable smartphone applications are likely to reach over 12 million units in 2021, driven by new foldable devices launched by handset brands, according to industry sources.
TSMC is fast advancing its manufacturing processes. The foundry house's N4 - an extension of its 5nm process family - will be available for volume production in fourth-quarter 2021 ahead of its original scheduled. Supply constraints have been haunting many industry sectors for months, and Macronix expects NOR flash supply to stay tight for the next two years. In the display sector, Corning has announced price hikes for its glass substrates starting second-quarter 2021 to reflect increasing production costs and expenses.
Corning has disclosed plans to hike its display glass substrate prices in the second quarter of 2021 to reflect increased costs in logistics, energy, raw materials and other operational expenses during the current glass shortage.
As supply of LCD panels remains tight, demand is expected to stay robust in the second quarter of 2021 with their prices also expected to remain in growth track. The tight supply of analog chips, in addition to their rising quotes, also further extended the lead times needed for the delivery. MOSFETS and protective devices are also experiencing brisk orders from automotive, transmission and fast charging applications.
LCD panel prices will continue moving upward in second-quarter 2021 after making significant gains in the first quarter, as the supply remains constrained due to shortages of crucial upstream parts and materials, including glass substrates and LCD driver ICs, according to industry sources.
Taiwan recorded manufacturing production index (2016 as base year) of 108.76 for February 2021, decreasing 14.98% sequentially and but increasing 3.79% on year, according to Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The penetration rate of Samsung Display's flexible AMOLED panels at the high-end smartphone segment in China in the first quarter of 2021 was higher than that seen a year earlier, Digitimes Research has found.
Taiwan-based makers saw their combined export value amount to US$42.59 billion in February 2021, decreasing 19.2% on month but increasing 48.5% on year, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).