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GaAs IC firms gearing up for smartphone PA shipment pick-up
Julian Ho, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES 0

GaAs IC foundries Win Semiconductors and Advanced Wireless Semiconductor Company (AWSC), and GaAs epi-wafer supplier Visual Photonics Epitaxy Company (VPEC) are gearing up for a seasonal pick-up in shipments for power amplifiers and other RF components for use in smartphones, according to industry sources.

For those engaged in the supply chain for Apple's upcoming iPhones, their shipments for smartphone PAs will be ramping up starting the third quarter, the sources said.

Win Semi, AWSC and VPEC all saw their May revenues reach relatively high levels compared to the same period in previous years.

Win Semi has reported revenue for May 2021 grew 3.8% on year and 1.8% sequentially to NT$2.06 billion (US$74.5 million) in May 2021. The company saw its cumulative 2021 revenue through May increase 0.3% from a year earlier to NT$10.09 billion.

Win Semi expressed previously optimism about PA demand for 5G smartphones and other devices later this year. The company expects robust PA demand for 5G and Wi-Fi 6E applications to drive its revenue growth in the second half of 2021.

Fellow company AWSC posted revenue of NT$380 million for May 2021, up 35.7% on year. Revenue totaled NT$1.82 billion for the first five months of this year, rising 32.8% from the same period in 2020.

AWSC has reportedly seen its share in the 4G PA segment expand further, thanks to orders from Skyworks. The GaAs foundry has obtained orders for Qualcomm's new 5G PAs with shipments slated to kick off later this year, according to industry sources.

Epi-wafer supplier VPEC's May revenue surged 49.3% from a year earlier to NT$288 million. Revenue for the first five months of 2021 amounted to NT$1.47 billion, rising a robust 41% on year.

VPEC has already cut into the supply chain for Qualcomm's new 5G PAs, said the sources, adding that the company has also obtained new orders for VCSEL epi-wafers for car-use LiDAR applications from both the US and China clients.

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