CHPT expects probe card orders to pick up in 2H24

Janet Kang, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Chunghwa Precision Test Tech (CHPT), an IC test interface solutions provider, is optimistic about demand spurred by AI servers and smartphones and projects a surge in probe card orders in the second half of 2024.

CHPT will introduce its new SL series of probe cards in June, working with clients to transition to ultra-high-speed test specifications of 224Gbps, according to company president Scott Huang. CHPT anticipates significant growth in the semiconductor industry over the next two years.

The semiconductor industry will see a mild recovery in 2024 when demand for high-end probe card series products required for emerging AI applications such as smartphones, servers, and PCs will drive company growth, Huang said.

CHPT is ready for the impending recovery with its BKS probe card series, which has undergone engineering testing and volume production after verification by several global IC design firms to meet high-speed 112Gbps testing standards, Huang indicated.

Huang predicts that the penetration rate of AI mobile phones will more than double, from 10% in 2024 to 20.8% in 2025. He expressed optimism about the market for AI devices.

When comparing the first quarter of 2024 to the fourth quarter of 2023, CHPT's operations demonstrated off-season performance in revenue and after-tax profitability. Huang did, however, note that the company's probe card business — fueled by the testing need for automotive chips and AI mobile phones — performed better than anticipated, accounting for 45% of sales in the first quarter.

Looking ahead, as orders for AI mobile phones, AI servers, AI computers, and other related chip testing gradually increase, revenue in 2024 is predicted to climb quarterly, according to Huang. However, profits are affected by seasonal product mix and other variations.

CHPT reported revenue decreased 13% sequentially to NT$676 million (US$20.8 million) in the first quarter of 2024 when gross margin rebounded above 50% thanks to a pick-up in application processor demand and new probe card orders.