The analog IC industry is more resilient than other semiconductor sub-sectors, with better value output not only during the two economic downturns in the past 10 years, but also inventory adjustment in Q3 2022, according to DIGITIMES Research analyst David Ma.
Novatek Microelectronics is about to hold its earnings call, and what market outlook the top Taiwanese supplier of display driver ICs (DDI) will give for the chip segment is highly concerned by the entire supply chain, given that DDI was the first chip segment to undergo inventory correction, starting as early as the second quarter of 2022, according to industry sources.
First-tier networking chip suppliers are stepping up efforts introducing Wi-Fi 6E into mainstream high-end and midrange product lines, but they are eyeing much more keenly on Wi-Fi 7 specs, according to industry sources.
As the smartphone market in China is facing challenges due to a weak economy and the pandemic, wireless solutions provider Skyworks posted an annual drop in both sales and profit and may see another drop in the January-March quarter.
Under the trend of smart home China's home appliance brands are seeking diversified development. Brands like Haier, Midea, and Gree have been planning for the microcontroller unit (MCU) sector, either by establishing subsidiaries or investing in Chinese chip companies. Their goal is to reduce the cost of chip imports and seize the smart home market.
Worldwide semiconductor sales totaled US$573.5 billion in 2022, the highest-ever annual total and an increase of 3.2% compared to the 2021 total of US$555.9 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Sales slowed during the second half of the year, however.
Stereo vision, first utilized as far back as in the late 1800s, is now entering the autonomous driving space. Nodar, a Boston-based software company, is developing an algorithm to align camera measurement by software. Unlike the traditional practice of stereo vision that installs two cameras close together on a rigid metal beam to maintain alignment, Nodar's software can maintain alignment through signal processing when given fast GPU processors.
Both MediaTek and Realtek Semiconductor believe that a wave of Wi-Fi 6/6E upgrades is still in progress and that basic demand has not abated. Wi-Fi chip sales can still contribute to their overall operations in 2023 if the customer purchase pattern returns to normal.
Taiwanese startups can no longer involve in "me-too" or "me-better" businesses, but must plan ahead and develop "me-only" technologies. The reasons are because the scales of Taiwanese venture capital (VC) and local market are limited, and does not have an advantage in demographic dividend. Mr. Michael Kao, President of Taiwan ITRI New Venture Association (TINVA) said that environmental, social, and governance (ESG), pharmaceuticals, smart manufacturing, and the semiconductor industries are some of the cutting-edge technologies that Taiwan should plan ahead and invest in. Given Taiwan's complete information and communications technology (ICT) industry chain, there is a good chance that Taiwan can gear to become a key hub for innovations and startups for the Asia Pacific region.
Semiconductor and PCB equipment maker Csun Manufacturing expects demand for IC substrate-producing equipment to remain promising in 2023, with delivery lead times for related equipment already extending to four to six months.
Qualcomm and MediaTek are both looking to emerging markets such as India and Southeast Asia for growth in mobile SoC sales this year, as overall confidence in the mobile phone supply chain remains low for 2023.