According to DIGITIMES Research's observation, there are generally two main reasons for PCB firms to relocate to Thailand: de-risking and opportunities for automotive electronics. With extra support from the Thai government in the form of incentives, Thailand has become a favorite destination for PCB manufacturers and upstream industries, and a PCB industry ecosystem is being formed there, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest report covering Thailand's PCB industry.
Due to its proximity to China, Vietnam has become a new semiconductor manufacturing "friendshoring" location for the US. DIGITIMES Research finds that Vietnam's semiconductor industry shows a development trend of manufacturing in the North and IC design in the South. The infrastructure, government policies, water, electricity, and human resources are issues for manufacturers setting up businesses in the country, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest report covering the potential of Vietnam's semiconductor industry.
2023 spelled tough times for Taiwan's IC design industry as it grapples with a projected 21% dip in revenue. Global economic sluggishness, coupled with geopolitical tensions, war, interest rate hikes, and inflation, is taking a toll on companies in the smartphone and NB/PC chip sectors. Among Taiwan's top 10 IC design firms, only Global Unichip Corp stands out with an anticipated record-breaking revenue of nearly US$900 million in 2023, marking an 8% growth. Others are witnessing a downturn. However, the outlook for 2024 is promising, with global smartphone and NB/PC shipments set to soar by 14%, pushing industry revenue back to the US$36 billion mark.
Taiwan-based panel makers have been keen on establishing plants in emerging markets, concerned that the intensifying geopolitical tensions could lead to the decoupling of the supply chain, and panel makers' existing capacities in China remain an important supply source to Chinese automakers, according to DIGITMES Research analyst Jason Yang.
On December 6, Google unveiled its large language model (LLM) Gemini, intending to integrate it into various Google products and services. DIGITIMES Research believes that integrating Gemini Nano into Android will expand the range of products offering on-device generative AI, from flagship models to mid-to-high-end devices, within 2-3 years, and help address the fragmented on-device AI within the Android ecosystem.
DIGITIMES Research expects global smartphone shipments to grow more than 10% sequentially and 2% on year in the fourth quarter, reaching over 300 million units, with the sequential increase driven primarily by Apple's iPhone shipments, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest figures from its global smartphone industry report.
Following the announcement to impose export restrictions aimed at blocking China's semiconductor industry development in October 2022, the US government released multiple new measures directed at China's semiconductor industry, including the expansion of the curbs on high-performance chip and advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME) exports announced in October 2023, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest report on the US semiconductor export sanctions.
Over the past few years, numerous PCB manufacturers have embarked on their investment spree in Thailand, marking a substantial shift in the global supply chain, with a scale rarely witnessed in decades. DIGITIMES Research noted that PCB manufacturers strategically align themselves with their customers to bolster supply chain resilience and respond to rising demands for automotive electronics.
The global top-5 notebook brands, not including Apple, saw their combined shipments decelerate in October and slip 20% month-on-month after their keen shipments in September for the peak season. However, volumes rose 3% year-on-year, according to the latest figures from DIGITIMES Research's monthly notebook update report.
Global notebook shipments performed better than expected in the third quarter of 2023. After enjoying an over 20% sequential increase in the second quarter, the volumes went up further by 2.1% in the third, but the shipments will then slip 7.3% in the fourth quarter due to high channel inventory and a high comparison base in the third quarter, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest figures from the quarterly notebook report covering the second half of 2023.
While carmakers and automotive semiconductor companies hold different views on the outlook for the global car market, industry leader Infineon is optimistic about the future. According to DIGITIMES Research, the growing demand for automotive semiconductors, robust order backlogs and the edge in China's EV sector will further Infineon's revenue growth.
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.