Intel has announced two new Tiger Lake-U Refresh processors at Computex 2021, but tight supply of the latest CPUs is undermining notebook vendors' plans of launching devices using the new offersings from the US chip giant. In China, LCD panel maker BOE Technology reportedly has plans to build its third 10.5G line, which could send the global market in the direction towards oversupply. In the semiconductor sector, Taiwan-based IC distributors are set to see significant sales in 2021, particularly those with a significant presence in the memory segment.
Unstable shipments of Intel's recently introduced Tiger Lake-U Refresh processors, coupled with the ongoing shortages of certain ICs, will put pressure on the supply chain in releasing notebooks with the new processors in the third quarter of 2021, according to industry sources.
GaAs IC foundries Win Semiconductors and Advanced Wireless Semiconductor Company (AWSC), and GaAs epi-wafer supplier Visual Photonics Epitaxy Company (VPEC) are gearing up for a seasonal pick-up in shipments for power amplifiers and other RF components for use in smartphones, according to industry sources.
The PC sector has endured months of shortage of components, and the recent surges in COVID infections in Taiwan and Malaysia are threatening to worsen the component shortfall. Demand for notebooks is expected to remain robust through the end of 2021, and Taiwanese notebook and graphics card makers have reported strong sales for May. And foundry service supply is expected to remain extremely tight throughout 2021, with some clients having already booked capacity for next year and even 2023.
Taiwan-based IC design houses see mixed shipment momentum for different segments in the second half of the year, with PC peripheral chips to sustain strong demand, handset chips to enjoy a surge in shipments, and chips sales for general consumer electronics devices to slow down, according to industry sources.
Taiwan's tech firms have intensified coronavirus-prevention measures after COVID-19 hit some local semiconductors plants, with KYEC bearing the brunt of the impacts, raising concerns about the stability of IC supply that has already been troubled by capacity shortage for months. In the IT market, despite speculation that demand for notebooks may weaken in second-half 2021 as a result of easing of the pandemic, ODMs are still confident about notebook orders throughout the year. In India, Lava International reportedly is preparing for IPO, as it seeks to reclaim lost ground in the local handset market.
Taiwan's ICT supply chain, especially semiconductor backend houses have seen rising COVID-19 infections among their workers. Around 180 employees of KYEC had been diagnosed for being infected with the coronavirus as of June 5. However, MediaTek is still optimistic about its sales for the second quarter, despite KYEC, a major backend services partner of the chip supplier, had closure of production lines for two days. MediaTek is working closely with KYEC to mitigate the impact. On the other hand, demand for miniLED backlighting boards has been picking up as miniLED-based gaming and creator notebooks have seen rising sales.
MediaTek, a major customer of OSAT King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) which halted its chip production for two days due to a cluster of COVID-19 infections at its factory site in northern Taiwan, has reiterated its sales guidance for the second quarter of 2021.
Taiwan's major dedicated IC testing house King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) has been ordered by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to have all its migrant workers undergo a 14-day paid quarantine starting today after 158 alien and 24 local employees had been confirmed COVID cases as of June 5, a move expected to significantly impact its shipments and further constrain the already tight global IC supply in the short term.
Components shortage has been troubling the PC sector for months. PC brand vendors, seeking to secure components supply, have moved to directly place orders with IC design houses, skipping their ODMs. Apple is expected to unveil two miniLED-backlit MacBook Pro devices later this year. As its present supplier of miniLED backlighting applications is unlikely to be able to fully support the production for the new devices, Apple reportedly has enlisted Osram Opto as a second supplier. Qualcomm is gearing up its deployment in the notebook processor market. Its 5G PC processors are targeting the high-end commercial segment and the lower-end consumer/education segment.
TSMC's just-unveiled InFO_B packaging technology designed for smartphones enables DRAM stacking flexibility at contract manufacturers, and has received positive feedback from handset application processor vendors, according to industry sources.
Qualcomm is stepping up its deployments in 5G PC processors seeking to tap demand from the segments of both high-end commercial notebooks and lower-end education and consumer notebooks, and many brand vendors including Samsung and Acer have rolled out new models adopting its 5G processors.
Rising foundry and backend manufacturing costs have prompted Taiwan's IC design houses to raise their chip prices, which will buoy their sales performance in the second quarter of 2021, according to industry sources.
A site for COVID-19 rapid testing has been set up at Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park (HSP) to provide one-stop services from rapid screening for diagnosing COVID-19, highly specific PCR tests, to subsequent placement of patients.
With analog sales of US$10.9 billion and 19% marketshare, Texas Instruments (TI) maintained its firm grip as the leading supplier of analog devices in 2020, according to IC Insights. TI's analog sales increased about US$650 million or 6% compared to 2019.