Taiwan's optoelectronics industry in the first half of 2021 shows strong growth, compared to the same period in 2020, due to the large-scale stimulus plans from major economies and the steady global economic demand. Among the optoelectronic industry, panels have increased the most, because of the stay-at-home economy and shortage of raw materials and components, which have stimulated the increase in panel price.
LED backlight unit (BLU) maker Radiant Opto-Electronics is expected to begin shipments for miniLED BLUs for use in new iPad mini in August 2021 as well as those for use in 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro in August-September, according to industry sources.
LED packaging service providers Harvatek and Bright LED Electronics saw significant increases in orders in second-quarter 2021, and expect strong demand to continue at least in the third quarter, jugding from their shipment schedules, according to the companies.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has gradually been put under control, notebook ODMs still see their clients placing long-term orders, extending their order visibility beyond the fourth quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, Epistar and China-based Sanan have both entered into Samsung's mini/microLED chip supply chain and will begin delivery in the second half. Prices of MCUs will continue to rise through the end of 2021 as the supply of the chips will be undermined by nationwide lockdown in Malaysia and reduced support from Chinese foundries.
Taiwan-based LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar and China-based fellow maker Sanan Optoelectronics are expected to become two additional suppliers of mini/microLED chips for Samsung Electronics, with shipments to begin in the second half of 2021, according to industry sources.
Japan-based Nichia has initiated legal proceedings at the Dusseldorf District Court, Germany, to claim EUR4.50 million (US$5.31 million) in compensation from WOFI Leuchten Wortmann & Filz based on the court's final judgment that WOFI infringed on Nichia's YAG patent.
IC testing service provider and equipment developer YoungTek Electronics (YTEC) has seen strong demand for IC testing services and equipment as well as equipment for miniLED backlighting, according to industry sources.
LED packaging service provider Edison Opto is establishing two new production lines for LED automotive lighting modules in Taiwan, while LED automotive lighting module maker Excellence Optoelectronics (EOI) is setting up production lines at its factory in Michigan, the US, with two initial lines to be completed in the second half of 2021, according to industry sources.
LED chip and Si-based sensor chip makers Tyntek and Opto Tech have seen strong demand for Si-based sensor chips, with shipments for such orders scheduled until the end of third-quarter 2021 at least, according to the companies.
TSMC is mulling setting up more fabs overseas, apart from its exsiting facility in Nanjing, China and the one being built in the US. TSMC is looking at building new fabs in Japan and Germany for 28nm and 12/16nm chip output. Apple is keen on adopting miniLED backlighting for its devices, and is likely to add China-based Luxshare as a second supplier of SMT services for miniLED BLUs. Meanwhile, notebook component suppliers are turning cautious about building up inventory amid mixed signals about the notebook market's outlook.
Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (SMT) is currently the only provider of SMT services for Apple's miniLED backlighting applications, but China-based Luxshare Precision Industry is expected to become a second provider in fourth-quarter 2021 at the earliest, according to industry sources.
LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar saw June consolidated revenues of NT$2.029 billion (US$72.6 million) grow 6.71% on month and 140.16% on year, while vertically-integrated LED maker Lextar Electronics had consolidated sales of NT$630.1 million, increasing 4.25% on month and 40.54% on year.
LED packaging service provider Ledtech Electronics has reported consolidated revenues of NT$81.7 million (US$2.92 million) for June, rising 0.67% sequentially and 36.75% on year. Its consolidated revenues of NT$238.9 million for second-quarter 2021 were the highest quarterly figure since fourth-quarter 2019.
LED and Si-based sensor chip maker Opto Tech will issue 60 million new shares at a subscription price of NT$22.93 (US$0.82) per share for private placement, and Japan-based Nichia - a major shareholder - is the only target for the time being, according to Opto Tech.
Apple has been keen on adopting miniLED backlighting for its devices. The US vendor is said to be funding its suppliers' SMT capacity expansions that will support Apple's demand for miniLED backlighting. Foundry capacity shortfall has triggered a wave of wafer fab expansions. Six-inch fabs are now also becoming targets of acquisition by car chip vendors. But automotive chip supply has begun improving, buoyed by more capacity support from foundry houses.
Apple reportedly will be making a rare investment to expand surface mounting technology (SMT) assembly capacity at its partners to satisfy demand for its miniLED-backlit devices including the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and upcoming MacBook series, according to supply chain sources.
The TV market scale in China in terms of unit shipments continues to shrink, but the growing demand for large-size models there is driving the upgrades in the TV panel sector, which in turn will accelerate the transformation of price competition into value competition in the TV industry, according to industry sources.
Of export orders received by Taiwan-based manufacturers and exporters in 2020, domestic production accounted for 46.0%, slipping 1.4pp on year, according to a survey of overseas production for export orders conducted by Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).