IC inspection labs score record profits in 3Q22

Julian Ho, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Taiwan-based IC analysis and inspection labs including Materials Analysis Technology (MA-tek) and Integrated Service Technology (iST) and Materials have reported impressive profit results for the third quarter of 2022, buoyed by strong demand for new chip designs, according to industry sources.

MA-tek's pre-tax profits for the third quarter surged 49.66% sequentially and 29.47% annually to a record high of NT$225 million (US$7.03 million), with revenues rising 18.23% on quarter to NT$1.052 billion. Its January-September sales increased 15.88% on year to NT$2.835 billion and pre-tax earnings expanded 11.18% to NT$534 million.

iST saw its third-quarter pre-tax profits shoot up 162% on year to NT$167 million, a record high for the period, and revenues also reached a new high at 975 million, up 7.04% sequentially and 19.50% annually. Its pre-tax earnings for the first three quarters jumped 126% on year to NT$371 million, higher than the total annual pre-tax profits for 2021, with revenues for the period also hitting a record high of NT$2.761 billion, up 18.17% on year.

The IC inspection specialists still managed to score record business results in the first three quarters of the year despite geopolitical tensions and terminal market slumps that have forced their clients to reduce capital expenses and production scales, industry sources said.

The sources stressed their major clients, including foundries, packaging and testing houses, and IC designers, have not slowed down their R&D momentum for new manufacturing and backend processes, new silicon chips and new third-generation semiconductor devices, looking to stay competitive and explore business opportunities for potentially new applications.

The core of business operations at IC analysis and inspection labs is to help clients accelerate the development of new chips and related manufacturing solutions, enabling them to buck the market downturn trend with impressive revenue and profit records for the past months of the year, the sources said.

Meanwhile, even Chinese clients still need analysis and inspection services for their mature chips and in-house developed manufacturing equipment though they are facing tough trade restrictions from the US, the sources said.