Smarter Micro approved for Shanghai STAR listing

Staff reporter, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

China RF front-end module startup Smarter Micro has secured approval to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the science and technology innovation board (STAR) of China's Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE).

Smarter Micro is eyeing to raise a total of CNY1.5 billion (US$22.16 million) via the IPO to build a chip testing center, a headquarters, and an R&D center.

The company began volume shipments of its 5G L-APMiF modules to smartphone brands including Oppo in 2020 and expanded its supply to other first-tier brands in China including Samsung Electronics, Honor, and Vivo in 2021, boosting its 5G module sales by 290.91% on year in 2021.

Smarter Micro also entered the supply chains of end mobile device ODMs such as Wingtech and Huaqin and wireless communication module suppliers including Quectel Wireless Solutions, Fibocom, and Sunsea AIoT.

China-based chip packaging services provider Shenzhen Fine Made Electronics is also constructing new production lines at plants in Shenzhen, China for 5G RF chips and will begin production in 2023.

Because of insufficient wafer foundry support and the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in China, Fine Made may see its product delivery in 2022 being seriously disrupted. However, the company will stick to its plan to enter the wireless router market in the second half of 2022 as its R&D of Wi-Fi 5 and 6 technologies is completed.

At the moment, around 80% of the product shipments in the RF front-end market are done by non-China leading suppliers including Skyworks, Qorvo, Broadcom, Qualcomm, and Murata, leaving only limited space for Chinese suppliers.

DIGITIMES Research's figures also show over 75% of China's smartphone shipments are 5G models and it will be difficult for vendors to persuade 4G smartphone users in China to upgrade 5G with purely the technologies' advantages.

A total of 170 million smartphones were shipped to China in the first quarter of 2022, down over 10% on year.