Bits + chips
IC inspector Sporton to see double-digit sales growth in 2020
Julian Ho, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

Mobile device testing and certification service company Sporton International expects to enjoy a double-digit revenue increase in 2020 thanks to strong demand for 5G and Wi-Fi 6 device applications, with the year's revenue peak to come in the third quarter of the year.

The firm's vice chairman Peter Wang said orders for chips testing and certification have stayed robust despite the coronavirus pandemic, yet with delivery of sample products to clients in the US and Europe more or less affected by traffic restrictions in the areas.

Wang stressed that proliferation of new high-end handsets, CPE (customer premise equipment), smart wearable devices and even AR/VR glasses will generate growth momentum for Sporton.

The firm's laboratory in Silicon Valley had been running at almost full capacity before a month-long lockdown was imposed to battle the coronavirus, which will drag down the lab's March revenues, according to Wang.

Sporton's testing labs in China's Kunshan and Shenzhen have ramped up their capacity utilization to over 75% after resuming operations in mid-February, and the company has switched part of the orders from Chinese clients to its labs in Taiwan.

Its 5G mobile chips testing capacity has been fully booked by chipmakers including Qualcomm and handset vendors throughout second-quarter 2020, with testing fees surging significantly along with increases in testing time and complexity, industry sources said.

At the moment, handsets and other mobile devices contribute 40% of Sporton's revenues, with 5G handsets accounting for 30% of such revenues. Of 5G handset chips testing business, 70% comes from sub-6GHz models and 30% from mmWave ones. General consumer devices including notebooks and PCs contribute 25% of revenues, followed by 20% for networking products and 10% for antimagnetic components.

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