Bits + chips
Taiwan-based backend firms to see strong demand for NOR flash
Julian Ho, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES
Wednesday 14 March 2018

Taiwan-based backend houses are expected to enjoy robust demand for NOR flash memory, which will be driven by a ramp-up of orders for custom ASICs in 2018, according to industry sources.

With ASIC demand for cryptocurrency mining looking promising, backend firms including Ardentec, ChipMOS Technologies, Lingsen Precision Industries and Walton Advanced Engineering are expected to see orders for NOR chips used in such custom ASICs ramp up in 2018, the sources said.

Ardentec, ChipMOS, Lingsen and Walton are working closely with NOR flash chipmakers Winbond Electronics and Macronix International, which continue to expand their presence in the mid-range and high-end market segments, the sources indicated. In the entry-level segment, both Winbond and Macronix have encountered rising competitiveness of China-based memory startups.

Taiwan-based logic IC backend specialists Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Greatek Electronics have reportedly obtained orders for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining ASICs, and are also expected to benefit from the booming demand for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining, the sources said.

Greatek CEO Boris Hsieh said previously the company began to handle mining chips packaging orders for China customers four years ago. Hsieh added his company expects to see more orders from the customers in 2018.

Powertech Technology (PTI) is another Taiwan-based backend house set to benefit from the cryptocurrency mining boom. PTI president JY Hung disclosed previously the company started providing backend services for mining ASICs in September 2017. PTI has secured orders from two chip companies engaged in the field, according to Hung.

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