Taiwan's semiconductor materials distributors including Topco Scientific, Wah Lee Industrial, Topco Technologies, and Chang Wah Electromaterials are all upbeat about their sales in the third quarter of the year due to strong demand from both foundry and backend houses and even IC substrate makers, according to industry sources.
Companies in the "ICT terminal devices/equipment" and "auto/motorcycle manufacturing" sectors account for half of the Digitimes' Asia Supply Chain 100 (ASC 100) list, but semiconductor firms well lead the list in both average profit and average market value. ASC 100 is a newly released reseach on Asia's top 100 tech firms. ASC 100 is a study based on the companies' revenues, profit and market cap that will be renewed annually.
Benefiting from the US-China tech war and sharp chip shortages following the pandemic outbreak, and with automotive clients competing for foundry capacity support, the entire semiconductor industry is poised to enjoy robust order momentum through 2022, allowing semiconductor stocks to gain traction in the market. TSMC and Samsung Electronics, now the world's only two companies able to commercialize sub-7 nm foundry nodes, have been in a two-horse race for grabbing the crown in the Digitimes' Asia Supply Chain 100 (ASC 100) research, ranking first and second, respectively, by market capitalization in 2020. ASC 100 is a study based on the companies' revenues, profit and market cap that will be renewed annually.
Display driver IC (DDI) backend specialists ChipMos Technologies and Chipbond Technology, and related COF and COG packaging materials vendors including Niching Industrial have seen clear order visibility through October or even the end of the year, thanks to persistently strong DDI chips demand for handset, TV and other consumer devices, 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.
Taiwan-based HDI PCB makers including Compeq Manufacturing and Tripod Technology have seen clear order visibility throughout 2021, and are expected to sustain full capacity utilization in the second half of the year, according to industry sources.
IC substrate and PCB supplier Unimicron Technology expects to sustain strong shipments throughout 2021, inspired by very clear order visibility for all its major product lines in the months ahead, according to industry sources.
Taiwan-based Fuzetec Technology, dedicated to offering polymeric positive temperature coefficient (PPTC) thermistors and other circuit protection solutions, is expected to maintain full capacity utilization at least through the end of October to fulfill orders placed for at least four months ahead.
Aluminum electrolyte capacitor demand will stay robust for applications ranging from notebooks, game consoles, servers to automotive electronics, and will continue to outpace supply in the second half of 2021, according to industry sources.
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.
High-frequency and high-speed copper foil materials demand will be ramping up in the second half of 2021, thanks to replacement demand for servers adopting Intel's new Whitley server processors, according to industry sources.
Taiwan's PCB makers are accelerating their deployments in the miniLED backlighting boards as more non-Apple notebook vendors continue to roll out new miniLED-backlit gaming and creator notebook models, according to industry sources.
Automotive PCB makers have seen overbooking at clients ease a little, but order visibility still continues to lengthen as clients remain eager to secure longer-term capacity supply, with actual shipments, however, still fluctuating amid unstable supply of components and labor force, according to industry sources.
Components suppliers and downstream assemblers are set to conduct their mid-year inventory checking later in June and do necessary inventory adjustments, but they are most concerned about whether strong terminal market demand will reverse following their inventory corrections, according to industry sources.
TSMC is gearing up expansion of its capacity in response to strong demand from diverse sectors. According to the foundry's CEO, TSMC will invest a total of US$100 billion in capacity expansion through 2023. In the car industry, Foxconn has made yet another move to expand its reach in the electric vehicle sector. Foxconn and Thailand's PTT have just signed an MoU for forming a JV for the production of EV in Thailand. The importance of Southeast Asia for the global supply chain is growing fast. Austria-based AT&S has just disclosed a plan to set up an ABF substrate production base in Southeast Asia.
Malaysia is where a number of Japan- and Taiwan-based passive component vendors operate their regional factory sites, and their production may be disrupted by an ongoing two-week nationwide lockdown there, posing a further impact to the already-tight supply of certain components, particularly aluminum capacitors, according to industry sources.
Taiwan-based ACX, specializing in LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramic) components for RF front-end modules, is set to complete a 40% capacity expansion in the third quarter, adding growth momentum to its second-half 2021 revenues, according to industry sources.
Taiwan-based Wendell Industrial, a supplier of EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and other circuit protection components, is upbeat about its operations in the third quarter of 2021 judging from clear order visibility through the quarter.
PCB makers continue to see strong order momentum for notebook applications in the second half of the year, and are poised to make rolling updates to their quotes as prices of upstream materials are very likely to trend upward amid lingering shortages, according to industry sources.