Bits + chips
Highlights of the day: IDMs may adjust outsourcing strategies

The frigid weather that halted production in the US state of Texas may prompt IDMs to mull adjusting outsourcing strategies. Seeking more support from manufacturing partners, particularly those in Taiwan, may be a way for IDMs to diversify risks in an IT sector that has been haunted by uncertainty and tight supply. Fabless IC vendors have been troubled by insufficient supply from foundry partners, but some of them who have backing from well-established parent cormpanies, such as UMC-affiliated IC design houses, have been better off than others. In the notebook sector, the top-5 brands and top-3 ODMs saw shipments drop in January due to seasonality and components shortages, according to Digitimes Research.

IDMs may evaluate more outsourcing: IDM vendors may consider outsourcing more of their production starting 2022, with Taiwan-based contract chipmakers being among the beneficiaries, according to industry sources.

IC design houses with strong backing more capable of winning foundry support: Taiwan-based IC design houses backed by large-scale and well-established parent companies, such as LCD driver IC firms Fitipower Integrated Technology and Raydium Semiconductor, will be more capable of mitigating the impact of increasingly tight capacity at foundries in 2021, according to market sources.

Top brands and ODMs see January notebook shipments decline: After hitting a new high in monthly shipments last month, the global top-5 notebook brands saw their combined shipments slip more than 10% sequentially in January due to seasonality and the fact that component shortages have shown no improvement.

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