Bits + chips
ABF substrate prices likely to rise
Jay Liu, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

ABF substrate prices are likely to rise later in the first half of 2021, driven by rebounding demand for crypto mining chips and a sharp rise in demand for server applications starting in the second quarter, according to industry sources.

But IC substrate makers noted they will be cautious about pricing, depending on whether they need to fulfill rush orders or to reflect price hikes in upstream materials, the sources said.

The sources said Nvidia, Xilinx and Chinese crypto mining chips vendors have all placed additional orders with Taiwan's three major ABF substrates suppliers Unimicron Technology, Nan Ya PCB and Kinsus Interconnect Technology over the past six months, so as to reduce the risks of overly relying on any single supplier.

In response to the rebounding crypto mining fever, Nvidia is mulling re-launching a GPU card exclusively for mining, so as to prevent mining applications from squeezing sales of GPU cards for general gaming purposes, the sources continued.

But IC substrate makers are well aware that the mining fever is highly associated with fluctuations in the values of virtual currencies and therefore is not a stable source of income, the sources indicated.

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