There's a growing awareness of space as a strategic domain. In July 2023, China marked a significant milestone with the successful launch of a satellite technology test satellite, smoothly entering its predetermined low orbit. This achievement signals advancements in China's low Earth orbit(LEO) satellite capabilities and the broader landscape of 6G communication, as well as being perceived as a strategic move in response to SpaceX's LEO satellite service.
SK Group's KRW40 billion (US$31 million) acquisition of Kumho Petrochemical's electronic material business in 2020 is bearing fruit. SK Materials Performance (SKMP), the new subsidiary following the acquisition, has developed a high-thickness KrF photoresist and has passed the performance validation of SK Hynix. It would be beneficial for SK Hynix's 3D NAND Flash technology development.
Recently, the Japanese semiconductor equipment manufacturer Canon released the nanoimprint lithography (NIL) machine FPA-1200NZ2C, capable of achieving a 5-nanometer process node. Nanoimprint lithography is one of the methods in semiconductor manufacturing to transfer circuit design patterns onto wafers, with another well-known and widely used method being photolithography or optic lithography.
As a result of robust sales of its high bandwidth memory (HBM), SK Hynix's DRAM market share surged to a new peak of 35% in the third quarter of 2023, according to research firm Omdia, as cited by Korean media outlets.
US export restrictions aimed at curbing China's development in advanced semiconductors have hit the field of AI. With huge untapped potential in the AI market, distributors in the Asia Pacific region can target the mid-to-low range for the market in China, say sources in the IC distribution channels.
Speculation has emerged in the chipmaking sector that Chinese pure-play foundries, such as Huahong Group and Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), are contemplating price reductions for mature process manufacturing.
DIGITIMES Research observes that the business operation of the DRAM and NAND Flash sector of the world's top three memory manufacturers – Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron – has improved since the beginning of the second half of 2023 and demand will enjoy a bigger recovery in the fourth quarter, boosting the three makers' revenues and profits, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest memory industry report.
The Samsung Electronics smartphone camera module supply chain is undergoing a prolonged downturn, with most suppliers still experiencing poor performances in 2023. It's worth noting that some suppliers are gradually expanding the proportion of their automotive business in response to the challenging conditions of their main smartphone business. As a result, their profitability has improved.
Moore Silicon, a chip subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned electronics company TCL, is the latest dissolved in-house IC design team of a technology conglomerate in China after Oppo's Zeku and Meizu disbanded theirs.
After a year of destocking, memory module providers are seeing rising prices from the third quarter. Notably, due to differences in applications, financial practices, and capital markets, Taiwan- and China-based memory module makers are experiencing a disparity in performances.
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.
China-based EV makers are expanding aggressively overseas, triggering a "war" between EVs and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in Thailand. The situation has pressured Japanese automakers and prompted them to launch unprecedented sales campaigns, including offering 0% interest and cash discounts.
Among all regions in the world, the Middle East and Africa are leading the recovery in consumer demands for smartphone shipment with Chinese vendors Transsion and Realme being the out-performers in that region.