Weekly news roundup: Semiconductors headed toward strong 2024 and other top stories

Judy Lin, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


The following articles were the most-read news during the week of Nov 27-December 1:

Semiconductors headed toward strong 2024

The global semiconductor industry will grow 3% sequentially in the fourth quarter, bringing the annual growth to 6% in the fourth quarter of 2023 and laying the foundation for the subsequent double-digit annual growth expected in each quarter of 2024, according to Semiconductor Intelligence.

TSMC likely to win it all, with Samsung's 3nm reportedly losing several significant orders

Despite its attempt to catch up with TSMC, Samsung Electronics is rumored to have recently lost several significant orders for its 3nm process. The South Korean industry believes that the gap in semiconductor foundry capabilities between Samsung and TSMC will likely widen further. According to industry sources cited by South Korean media Tech World, there is a high likelihood that Intel's Luna Lake CPU, AMD's Zen 5c, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will adopt TSMC's 3nm process (N3B, N3E).

Global semiconductor market to rebound with 13% growth in 2024, says WSTS

The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) has published its most recent semiconductor market forecast. Semiconductor sales were somewhat higher than expected in the second and third quarters, prompting WSTS to revise its forecast for a 9.4% drop in 2023. A strong rebound is expected, with growth of 13.1% anticipated in 2024, according to WSTS.

Samsung expands into automotive chip market with an aim to surpass Micron by 2025

South Korean electronic giant Samsung Electronics has made significant progress since its foray into the automotive device market in 2015. Recent launches of various automotive ICs showcased Samsung's effort to diversify business lines from the volatile consumer memory market and to create valid growth opportunities for its semiconductor foundry business. It aims to become the world's leading automotive memory company by 2025, surpassing Micron, the current champion with a 45% global market share.

Toppan reportedly to expand FC-BGA substrate production

To capitalize on the demand for generative AI, Toppan Holdings (formerly Toppan Printing) reportedly plans to invest approximately JPY60 billion (US$403 million) to expand the production capacity of semiconductor-related products, of which FC-BGA substrate production capacity will be doubled. Toppan president Hideharu Maro stated that roughly JPY60 billion will be invested in the three years to 2025 (2023-2025) to enhance production capacity for its electronic products, such as FC-BGA substrates. Among the objectives is to quadruple production capacity for FC-BGA substrates in 2025 from 2022.

Samsung conducts mass production test for EUV key component PGMEA made by Korean supplier

Samsung Electronics is conducting mass production quality tests on a high-concentration, environmentally friendly "propylene glycol methyl ether acetate" (PGMEA) developed by a South Korean company. If the test results are positive, it could introduce new competition into the semiconductor-grade PGMEA market, currently dominated by US and Japanese companies.

Chinese-built Loongson 3A6000 CPU gains support from Asustek

During the product release event, Asustek announced the launch of its XC-LS3A6M consumer motherboard that supports the Loongson 3A6000 processor. According to Asustek, the Loongson 3A6000 can be overclocked to 2.63GHz and conservatively reach 3GHz (BIOS limit) under liquid nitrogen, which can be further improved in the future. The performance of the Loongson 3A6000 is on par with Intel's latest Gen 13 and 14 Core processors at 2.5GHz.