The carmaking industry has been plagued by components shortages for months, but TSMC says its supply of automotive chips to clients should start to improve in second-quarter 2021. But the automotive chip shortage is a structural problem where cars need more electronic components, intensifying competition between carmakers and IT firms for foundry support. And at Samsung, tight in-house foundry capacity as a result of a previous power outage hitting one of its fabs in the US is sending the Korean giant looking to outsource some of its chip production.
Car vendors are dealing with a structural shortage of automotive chips resulting in their supply constraints, according to industry sources, who believe the impact of a recent power outage at TSMC's chip plant will be insignificant on the overall auto chip supply.
Taiwan-based LCD driver IC suppliers have already notified their customers about price hikes of 10-20% or more for their TDDI and other DDI chips starting April, and are poised to post significant profit gains in the second quarter, according to industry sources.
Apple is expected to soon unveil a miniLED-backlit iPad Pro, and its miniLED supply chain is ready to expand shipments, having improved yield rates. In the semiconductor sector, supply for packaging tools has been extremely tight, with equipment vendors reluctant to expand production, wary of possibly a lurking bubble in the market. And MediaTek is keen to maintain its leadership in the 5G phone market segment. The IC vendor has stepped up purchases of BT substrates for use in its 5G mobile SoCs to make sure it has enough supply.
MediaTek has stepped up its purchases of BT substrates for use in its 5G mobile SoCs from suppliers including Unimicron Technology and Kinsus Interconnect Technology, as part of its efforts to expand presence in the 5G handset AP market, according to industry sources.
Networking device maker Arcadyan Technology expects its revenues to hit a new high in 2021, driven mainly by its enhanced product and customer portfolios despite the adverse impacts of rising production costs resulting from component shortages.
Semiconductor material distributors including Topco Scientific, Topco Technologies and Wahlee Industrial, and IC packaging materials distributors Chang Wah Electromaterials (CWE) and Niching Industrial are all poised to enjoy a strong 2021, according to industry sources.
TSMC chairman Mark Liu took part in a White House-hosted online meeting of the world's semiconductor powerhouses on Tuesday. After the meeting, Liu reiterated the Taiwan-based foundry house's commitment to building a wafer fab in the US state of Arizona. The semiconductor supply chain has been troubled by shortages for months, with major Taiwanese IC vendors set for another wave of price hikes in second-quarter 2021. Development of microLED applications have been gaining momentum, and commercialized products may be available as early as year-end 2021.
MediaTek and Elan Microelectronics both plan to raise their chip prices by 10-20% to reflect rising foundry costs starting May 1, while fellow IC design company Realtek Semiconductor will also hike its chip prices by over 20% later in the second quarter, according to industry sources.
TSMC is scheduled to hold its investors' conference later this week. Market observers speculate that the foundry house may disclose plans to revise upward its capex budget for 2021, judging from the fact TSMC has recently vowed to spend US$100 billion on capacity expansions in the next three years. ODMs Quanta Computer and Compal Electronics are optimistic about their notebook shipment growths in second-quarter 2021, but remain wary of components shortages undermining their shipments for full-year 2021. Shortages of audio+LAN chips from Realtek have been described as one of the major factors stalling production for many end-market devices, including Chromebooks.
The short supply of automobile-use Ethernet chips from Taiwan-based Realtek Semiconductor is unlikely to result in significant impacts on the global automotive supply chains, according to industry observers.
Niche-market memory IC design house Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology (ESMT) has reported March revenue hit a record high of NT$1.91 billion (US$67.1 million), and expects its gross margin to rise above 20% in the first quarter of 2021.
Network and communication IC supplier Realtek Semiconductor reportedly is currently unable to fulfill its orders for audio+LAN chips from a number of clients, affecting the production of end-market devices such as Chromebooks, according to industry sources.
Backend houses continue to enjoy strong demand for processing IP camera chips and CMOS image sensor (CIS) chips, with their order visibility clear through the fourth quarter of 2021, according to industry sources.
Taiwan-based IC and material distributors are expected to see their profit growths this year outperform revenue increases, as shortages of IC parts and materials are sending prices up, according to industry sources.