Price of 11.6-inch panels is falling amid softening demand for Chromebooks, but AU Optronics (AUO) chairman Paul Peng stays positive about notebook demand in the coming years, saying remote learning has become as necessary as classroom learning.
The supply chain shortage has not seen any relief in 2021, particularly when it entered the third-quarter traditional electronic peak season. Market demand has increased, but overall production capacity has not.
AMD and MediaTek are said to be seeking to form a joint venture that will develop notebook applications integrating Wi-Fi, 5G and high-transmission technologies. Other chip vendors in Taiwan are also hoping MediaTek to play a leading role in the local supply chain to compete with Qualcomm in the mmWave 5G market. In the EV market, Thailand has ambitious goals for its car manufacturing sector.
Speculation has been circulating in the chipmaking market that AMD and MediaTek are in talks to form a joint venture that will be dedicated to developing SoC solutions combining Wi-Fi, 5G and high transmission technologies for notebook applications.
Chip shortages have undermined shipments to the notebook market. The top-5 notebook vendors saw their combined shipments drop 3% sequentially in August, according to the latest figures from DIGITIMES Research. Acer chairman Jason Chen has disclosed Chromebook demand has shifted from 11.6-inch models to 15-inch ones to meet needs from high school and college students. In the memory sector, DRAM contract prices will drop faster than previously expected in fourth-quarter 2021, as demand from PC OEMs decelerates.
Chromebooks with 14- to 15-inch displays are currently having the worst shortages as orders from the education segment are shifting from the elementary to middle school levels - which are commonly using 11.6-inch models for their study-from-home needs - to high school and college levels, according to Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen.
The impact of chip shortages that are in varying degrees had a negative impact on the overall notebooks shipped by the world's top-5 notebook brands (excluding Apple) in August, which saw a 3% sequential drop, according to Digitimes Research.
PC shipments in India hit a five-year high in the second quarter, rising 43% on year to 4.097 million units, partially because of the low base period in 2020, according to a PC market survey conducted by Canalys.
In a recent interview by DIGITIMES Etron chairman Nicky Lu explains why monolithic/heterogeneous integration is important to the future of the semiconductor industry. Meanwhile Apple has increased the storage capacity of its new iPhone 13 series to up to 1TB, and memory makers believe this will prompt other smartphone brands to follow suit and equip their flagship devices with the same internal storage capacity. Backend service providers believe Apple's new iPad mini 6 will generate strong orders for 5G RF modules.
External circumstances and changing industry demands have continued to impact various industry chains since the second half of 2020. For IPC companies, the consensus in 2021 is that they can only produce as many products as there are materials.
Apple has introduced its new iPad mini and new iPad (9th generation). The new iPad mini has a larger 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display in a new array of finishes, such as pink, starlight, purple, and space gray. The new iPad (9th generation) features the A13 Bionic chip that packs more performance and capability into the iPad, all while retaining its all-day battery life, according to the vendor.
The US-China trade tensions are driving US chip vendors away from Chinese foundry houses, which neveretheless still see strong demand from the domestic market. China's top foundry house SMIC is gearing up expansion of its mature process manufacturing capacity. US-based notebook vendors remain optimistic about demand from the enterprise segment in 2022, as they step up component purchses.
Taiwan makers produced over 90% of the notebooks worldwide in 2008. The top-five notebook makers - Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics, Wistron, Inventec and Asustek Computer - contributed 88% of the shipments from Taiwan.
Tight supply has pushed up foundry costs, fueling pressure on IC design clients. First-tier IC design houses are now ready to increase prices for their chip solutions in first-quarter 2022. Pure-play foundry houses UMC and VIS have reported record sales for August. In the IT sector, ODMs Wistron and Inventec both sae increases in notebook shipments in August, but overall results for third-quarter 2021 may be disappointing.
Notebook ODMs such as Wistron and Inventec may experience lower-than-expected shipments in the third quarter of 2021, due mainly to the ongoing IC shortages disrupting their deliveries, despite their on-month shipment growth in August, according to industry sources.