Tight supply at pure-play foundries has pushed up chip fabrication costs. Foundry quotes are expected to continue rising through first-half 2021. Foundry supply has been particularly tight at the 8-inch segment where makers have been finding it hard to expand capacity because of a lack of new fab tools. Acquiring old fabs is an option. Meanwhile, global smartphone shipments rebounded in third-quarter 2020 after coronavirus impacts sent them dropping in the previous two quarters, according to Digitimes Research's latest five-year forecast report on the global smartphone market from 2020-2025.
Foundry quotes to rise through 1H21: Taiwan-based pure-play foundries will continue raising their quotes through the first half of 2021 due to tight capacity, according to sources at fabless chipmakers.
Old fabs draw acquisition interest from 8-inch foundries: Mature but idle wafer fabs have drawn interest from 8-inch foundries that have seen tight capacity, such as United Microelectronics (UMC), according to market sources.
Global smartphone shipments improve in 3Q20: Global smartphone shipments fell by slightly over 6% on year in the third quarter of 2020, improving significantly from the previous two quarters as demand for smartphones outside the China market rebounded, according to Digitimes Research.