ChipMOS sees lucrative memory backend prospect for 2H21

Julian Ho, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Display driver IC and memory backend specialist ChipMOS Technologies is guardedly optimistic about its business prospects for the third quarter of 2021, with backend services for memory to provide stronger growth momentum than for DDI chips in the second half of the year.

The company's overall packaging capacity utilization now averages 94%, compared to 87% for testing capacity. Its COF, COG and bumping lines, however, are running at fluctuating capacity for DDI chips due to unstable shipments from upstream wafer foundry fabs, according to company chairman SJ Cheng.

But ChipMOs will sustain high chip probing capacity utilization for high-resolution TV DDI and OLED DDI chips as well as mixed-signal ICs, Cheng said, as DDI vendors are moving to better use limited foundry capacity for higher-end chips solutions to secure revenue and profit gains.

Cheng stressed that demand for specialty DRAM, NOR flash and NAND flash chips for IoT, gaming and consumer electronics devices remains robust in the third quarter, and ChipMos has hiked quotes for memory backend service quotes since July apart from expanding related packaging capacity, all promising a lucrative business outlook for the company in the months ahead.

The company has reported its second-quarter 2021 revenues rose 8% sequentially and 28.6% on year reaching a record high of NT$6.982 billion (US$249.357 million). Its net earnings for the quarter surged 33.8% sequentially and 135.2% to NT$1.283 billion, and gross margin advanced 4pp on quarter and 7.5pp year to 28.2%.

A further breakdown shows that DDI backend services contributed 29.4% of the revenues, compared to 24.9% for flash chips, 18.2% for DRAM/SRAM, 16% for gold bumping and 11.5% for mixed-signal ICs.

In terms of applications, the handset segment commands 36%, followed by consumer electronics devices with 22%, TV 16%, automotive/industrial control 14% and computing devices 12%, according to company statistics.