Bits + chips
Strong PCB demand for STBs, game consoles to last into 2Q20
Jay Liu, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

With stay-at-home economy gaining momentum amid the coronavirus pandemic, demand for set-top boxes (STB) and gaming consoles is on track to stable expansion, serving as a growth driver for second-quarter 2020 revenues at Taiwan-based makers of rigid PCBs, according to industry sources.

The STB application segment has been not high on the revenue contribution rankings for most Taiwanese PCB makers due to limited market scale, low technology threshold and thin profitability, but stable orders for the segment can help support their capacity utilization amid the pandemic, bolsterin g at least their second-quarter revenues, the sources said.

The sources said terminal clients are showing strong demand seeking to benefit more from business opportunities stoked by pandemic-driven stay-at-home economic activities.

As new-generation gaming gears such as Xbox series X and PS5 will be released later this year with 7nm chips, the ensuing upgrades in mainboard specs will provide new growth momentum for Taiwanese PCB makers.

Before the new gears are launched, PCB makers may see another wave of shipment expansion for Nintendo's Switch series and most other existing models available in the market, the sources said.

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