Despite 5G gradually becoming more common, 5G notebooks are still rare in the market. This is because the cost of 5G notebooks is simply too high. From the processors to the mechanical components, 5G notebooks are not cost-effective for brand vendors, according to notebook supply chain sources.
OSATs and IC test solutions providers are all gearing up for a boom in flip-chip (FC) packaging and high-end testing demand for 5G smartphone application processors (APs) featured in the upcoming Android models slated for launch in the first quarter of 2022, according to industry sources.
Despite a slowdown in demand for cnsumer electronics applications, other IC segments still see strong momentum, giving room for foundries to further raise their service quotes next year, according to PSMC chairman Frank Huang. MediaTek expects its fourth-quarter sales to drop, but sales for all of 2021 will surge 52%. Electrum Charging Solution is a Canadian startup that provides end-to-end electrical infrastructure solutions to corporations, governments, utilities, developers, and OEM manufacturers first as an infrastructure installer and now by being a system integrator. It is participating in the 2035 E-Mobility Taiwan exhibition in Taipei. The company's CEO Broderick (Brodie) Gunning talked to DIGITIMES about the company's vision as a total solution provider to the EV ecosystem in North America and Asia.
Micron is stepping up expansions of its production capacity, with plans to install EUV tools at its Taiwan fabs in 2024. In China, smartphone shipments to the domestic market slipped 5.4% in September, with local brands accounting for over 90% of the shipments. And supply side issues, such as component shortages, may hinder 5G smartphone shipment growth globally in 2022.
MediaTek will enter volume shipments of its new-generation 5G modem based on the latest 3GPP 5G R16 standard in 2022, gearing up for a boom in demand for flagship 5G smartphones, according to the mobile SoC company.
MediaTek will soon launch its Dimensity 2000 series application processors designed for flagship smartphones, with the new chipset to be featured in a number of new models slated for launch in the first quarter of 2022, according to industry sources.
Makers in Apple's supply chain have seen no major changes to orders for iPhone 13 devices despite speculation about the US vendor looking to cut production for the new smartphones. The memory sector is entering a period of correction, with commodity DRAM prices likely to fall 15-20% in first-quarter 2022. Rising components, production and logistic costs are heaping pressure on notebook vendors.
Despite reports claiming Apple would cut its orders for the iPhone 13 series, sources from related camera module component suppliers have pointed out that their orders for October and early November have not seen any major changes.
TSMC has narrowed its revenue growth outlook this year to 24%, based on its forecast of 4.5% sales rise at the midpoint of the foundry house's latest guidance for fourth-quarter 2021. Despite a media report's claims that Apple is cutting its production goals for iPhone 13 seies for 2021, components suppliers have disclosed hey have not seen any reductions in orders from the client for the new smartphones. In China, manufacturers are making contingency plans to cope with power restrictions, which they expect will become a long-term policy of the country.
Component suppliers for Apple's new iPhones have seen no cutback in orders thus far this year, in contrast to a media report indicating Apple may slash its projected iPhone 13 production targets for 2021 by as many as 10 million units due to chip shortage, according to industry sources.
Notebook ODMs may experience a weak fourth quarter of 2021 with their feeble sales in China during the National Day holiday and possible low sales momentum during the year-end holidays in Europe and North America. Largan Precision also saw its gross margin hit the lowest in 25 quarters, but the percentage was still well above 59%. PCB maker Zhen Ding is also prepared to start making BT and ABF substrates in China in 2022.
Smartphone-use lens module maker Largan Precision released a financial report for the third quarter of 2021 at an October 7 investor conference, with a gross margin of 59.33% being the lowest quarterly level since the third quarter of 2015.
Tight fab capacity has been sending foundry quotes rising, which is expected to continue boosting profits for foundry houses in 2022. For the backend sector, supply of packaging leadframes is expected to remain tight with order visibility already extending to 2023. Networking device vendors are wary that chip and component shortages could curb their sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Despite speculation that TSMC has seen Apple and MediaTek cut orders for its 5nmand 7nm processes, the wolrd's top foundry house should still be able to achieve its sales targets in 2021, sources at its suppliers have maintained. And sources from the PCB sector have disclosed that order momentum from Appel for iPhone 13 remains normal. Meanwhile NOR flash supply is expected to remain tight through 2022.
Apple reportedly is cutting component orders for iPhones by up to 25%, but Taiwan's PCB makers in the supply chain for the new iPhone 13 have stressed their order momentum from the US vendor remains quite stable, according to industry sources.
Speculation has emerged in the chipmaking market that cutbacks in 5nm and 7nm chip orders placed by Apple and MediaTek could result in TSMC missing its revenue target for 2021 of over 20% growth. Nevertheless, sources at TSMC's suppliers remain upbeat about the foundry's sales prospects for the rest of this year.
India's Reliance Group might have to increase subsidies for its low-cost smartphone JioPhone Next more than it has previously estimated due to shortages of semiconductors and higher costs of components.
Notebook component suppliers in China are making contigency plans to cope with the country's power restrictions and they are expecting production costs to rise as a result. China's smartphone vendors are cautious about demand in the second half of the year, and remain slow in placying orders for components. But backend firms are upbeat about demand from smartphone processor vendors starting first-quarter 2022.