TSMC expects flat sequential growth in its second-quarter 2021 sales, but has upward revised its outlook for full-year 2021 revenue to around 20% growth. The foundry house has also raised its capex budget for 2021 to US$30 billion. In the display sector, AUO is expanding its 6G LCD line in Kunshan, China to cater to strong demand for LTPS panels for notebooks. Notebook PCB makers in Taiwan also expect strong sales in first-quarter 2021.
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 notebook market has been robust in recent months thanks to stay-at-home needs. Chromebook shipments are expected to rise sharply in 2021. Apart from Intel, some other chip vendors, such as MediaTek and Elan, are poised to see robust growths in reenues from the Chromebook segment. ODM Wistron saw its notebook shipments spiked 52% on year in first-quarter 2021. The smatphone market is also recovering, and Apple is expected to adopt teh more power-efficient LTPO backplane technology for OLED displays in the premium models of its next-generation iPhone lineup.
Taiwan-based IC design houses including MediaTek, Elan Microelectronics and Integrated Technology Express (ITE) continue to enjoy a strong pull-in of orders for Chromebooks, which will boost their respective revenues to record highs in the second quarter, according to industry sources.
Vietnam has joined the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) and RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), and has signed FTAs (free-trade agreements) with the EU and the UK. These deals have positioned Vietnam as a preferred location for manufacturers seeking to disperse their capacity deployments amid the US-China trade disputes.
Acer expects shipments into Asia Pacific to grow sequentially in the second quarter thanks to the stay-at-home economy driven by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the company's president of Pan Asia Pacific region Andrew Hou.
TSMC has aggressive plans for expanding its fab capacity. In a recent letter sent to clients about canceling discounts for foundry service quotes, TSMC discloses it plans to spend US$100 billion on capacity expansions for the next three years - an annually average that is more than its 2021 capex budget. Chip shortages have been sending vendors in many sectors scrambling for supply - from manufacturing services, components to devices. Notebook ODMs describe the volumes of orders they have been receiving as "ridiculously" big, clearly as a result of overbooking by clients who just keep placing orders, despite possibilities that end-market demand could chill overnight. And chip shortages may not ease until at least first-half 2022, according to Arm Taiwan's president.
Notebook brand vendors are planning to raise prices for their upcoming new products to reflect increasing costs from raw materials, ICs and transportation, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
Quanta Computer expects to post a double-digit increase in notebook shipments this year, while fellow ODM firms including Compal Electronics, Wistron and Inventec are also positive about their notebook shipments in 2021.
Judging from orders on hand and end-market demand, Compal Electronics expects its notebook and non-notebook shipments to experience double-digit growth in 2021, according to company president Martin Wong.
ODM Wistron has been developing electronic components and modules for electric vehicles (EVs) for years, and expects to start making profits from them later in 2021, according to company chairman and CEO Simon Lin.
The Acer Group via its four affiliates - AOpen, Acer Being Communication, Acer ITS and Altos Computing - is eyeing the business opportunities from smart city development particularly applications for buildings, traffic and water resource management, according to AOpen president Dale Tsai.
POS (point of sale/service) device maker Flytech Technology has launched the in-house-developed cloud computing-based UEM (unified end-point management) solution to tap the IoT market under its Inefi brand.