Testing houses expect promising demand for MediaTek Wi-Fi chips

Julian Ho, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0


MediaTek has been improving its product mix by putting increased focus on Wi-Fi chip solutions to meet robust demand for networking devices, which will effectively bolster testing business at its backend partners in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to industry sources.

The chip vendor, having sufficient capacity support from foundry partners, is moving to use 12/16nm process technology to fabricate more Wi-Fi chips boasting higher unit prices and gross margins in the fourth quarter of the year while reducing production of 4G handset APs with the same manufacturing nodes, the sources said.

Wi-Fi 5 chips remain in short supply, and Wi-Fi 6 chips will see increasing penetration in 5G handsets and other devices in 2022 thanks to the adoption of the latest wireless chip solutions in iPhone 13 series, the sources noted.

As MediaTek's testing partners, King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) and Sigurd Microelectronics will gain growth momentum from its product portfolio adjustments by offering burn-in test and other testing services for Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 core chips from the chipmaker in fourth-quarter 2021 and first-quarter 2022, the sources said. IC test interface specialists including Chunghwa Precision Test Tech (CHPT), WinWay Technology and Keystone Microtech are also to benefit as a result, the sources added.

The Taiwan IC testing houses now also maintain production lines in Suzhou in China's Jiangsu province, and they have to operate at reduced capacity amid power restrictions there. This, coupled with a new round of wafer probing and final test demand for automotive chips starting the fourth-quarter 2021 through first-half 2022, will leave no room for them to offer discounts on testing fees in the months ahead, the sources stressed.