Taiwan-based PCB maker Apex International, with main manufacturing operations in Thailand, is poised to enjoy a particularly strong second quarter of 2021, thanks to robust demand for TVs and other consumer electronics applications, according to market sources.
Tripod Technology will have new production lines at its manufacturing site in Xiantao, China's Hubei province get ready for production in June, according to the Taiwan-based PCB manufacturer. Output at the site will be ramping up starting the second half of this year.
The supply of BT substrates has been increasingly tight, as more vendors of chips, particularly cryptomining ASICs, have turned to adopt BT substrates amid worsening shortages of ABF substrates, according to industry sources.
EMS giant Foxconn, taking a step further in its transformation, has formed a joint venture with passive component maker Yageo for the development and sales of what they call "small ICs" - semiconductor chips with ASP lower than US$2.00. Meanwhile, TSMC has seen orders from Bitmain pick up for 5nm chips used in cryptomining. TSMC is also expected to make 6nm processors for Sony's redesigned PS5 games console.
Demand for white-box servers from datacenter operators has been growing fast, with Taiwanese ODM's shipments already accounting for more than one third of the world's total server shipments in 2020, according to Digitimes Research's latest Server Tracker quarterly report. Earlier this year, foundry house VIS set its 2021 capex budget at NT$5 billion, a sharp increase from last yea's level. Now it has raised the capex budget further to NT$8 billion to fund its capacity expansion. With persistently strong demand for ICs, silicon wafer supplier GloabalWafers expects sales momentum to remain robust through 2023.
PCB and LED bicycle light maker EISO Enterprise has seen shipments rising and judging from order visibility expects full capacity utilization to remain until year-end 2021 at least, according to company chairman Chien Jung-kun.
GaAs foundry Advanced Wireless Semiconductor Company (AWSC) is expected to enjoy sequential revenue increases through June, and will see further revenue growth after new production capacity comes online in the third quarter at the earliest, according to industry sources.
Taiwan-based circuit protection component suppliers including Thinking Electronic Industrial, Polytronics Technology (PTTC) and Fuzetec Technology all expect sales generated from automotive electronics to grow substantially as a proportion of company revenues starting 2021.
Taiwan-based quartz component makers are expected to see their combined output value grow further in the second half of 2021, driven by strong demand for 5G and Wi-Fi 6 applications, according to market sources.
GaAs, InP and GaN wafer foundry service provider Global Communication Semiconductors (GCS) Holdings has disclosed it will add investment of NT$400 million (US$14.1 million) in Unikorn Semiconductor, a compound semiconductor maker spun off from LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar, to raise its stake ratio from 34.73% to 45.39%.
OSATs have been notified by their Japan-based packaging materials suppliers including Showa Denko about a potential supply shortfall of as much as 50% between May and June, according to industry sources.
Sony's CIS orders may have failed to materialize, but strong demand from other major clients have quickly filled the gap that would have been occupied by the Japanese vendor at TSMC. Persistently tight supply in the semiconductor sector has sent IC substrate suppliers looking to expand capacity. But some major Taiwanese suppliers are asking AMD to fund new lines that would cater to the client alone. In the notebook market, global shipments are expected to exceed 62 million units in second-quarter 2021, driven by gaming and education devices.
Major Taiwan-based IC substrate suppliers Unimicron Technology, Nan Ya PCB and Kinsus Interconnect Technology are negotiating with AMD a new form of supply deals under which the suppliers would build production lines dedicated to serving the US client, according to industry sources.
Taiwan has lagged behind world leaders by 20-30 years in the development of third-generation semiconductor materials including silicon carbide (SiC) and must use more collective forces to accelerate the advancement in the segment, according to MK Lu, chairman of automotive diode maker Actron Technology.
Price of passive component may further increase in the third quarter of 2021 as shortages remain fierce, while visibility of orders from 5G handset, notebook, networking and automotive applications stays strong. Meanwhile, Apacer is planning to keep its chip inventory at high levels since its order visibility is still clear through May. Win Semiconductors also expects strong demand for power amplifier from 5G and Wi-Fi 6E applications with the orders to boost its revenues in the second half of 2021.
Taiwan's 3D sensor, PA and VCM suppliers for iPhones are expected to revive their inventory-preparation momentum for new iPhones starting June following a slowdown in delivering shipments for the iPhone 12 series in April and May, according to industry sources.
PCB makers HannStar Board and Global Brands Manufacture (GBM) both saw their net profits hike on year in the first quarter of 2021, driven by robust demand for PC, consumer electronics and automotive applications.
Taiwan-based passive component suppliers will be considering a new round of price hikes in third-quarter 2021, given that their order visibility has extended through the second half of the year thanks to strong demand for 5G handset, notebook, networking and automotive applications, according to industry sources.
Unimicron Technology has obtained funds from the local government in Kunshan, China for relocating its manufacturing operations locally out of environmental concerns, and will have the relocated site switch its focus to the manufacture of high-end products, according to the Taiwan-based PCB and IC substrate maker.
Flexible PCB maker Flexium Interconnect is set to start volume shipments of LCP (liquid crystal polymer) antenna boards for new iPhones in the second half of the year, which will serve as the largest growth driver for its 2021 revenues, according to indsutry sources.