Bits + chips
Foundry, packaging materials in tight supply
Julian Ho, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

The supply of foundry and packaging materials, such as photoresist and leadframes, has already fallen short of demand, prompting related distributors to raise prices, according to industry sources.

Dedicated materials distributors including Topco Scientific, Wah Lee Industrial, Chang Wah Electromaterials and Niching Industrial are all busy fulfilling robust orders along with high capacity utilization at the entire semiconductor supply chain, and may see their revenues further bolstered by price hikes if enforced, the sources said.

Topco confirmed that it is planning to raise quotes for new orders for foundry-use photoresists, but will not adjust contract prices already set in late 2020.

Wire-bonding packaging materials including leadframe, capillary and epoxy resin have also been in tight supply, and molding compounds for packaging-use substrates are expected to see short supply starting late first-quarter 2021, all allowing distributors including Chang Wah to expect handsome revenues for the months ahead, the sources said. The company is also set to cut into the wafer foundry segment with photoresists and other chemical materials.

Niching Industrial's January 2021 revenues shot up 109% on year to NT$99.35 million (US$3.55 million), with sales of leadframes alone skyrocketing 894% on year. The company expects strong shipments of FCCSP and eMMC/eMCP substrates, COF/COG materials for packaging display driver ICs, as well as QFN leadframes, capillary and heat sink solutions for wirebonding process to drive up 2021 revenues.

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