Bits + chips
Highlights of the day: 8-inch foundry quotes go up

The coronavirus pandemic is decimating businesses in various sectors, but the outlook for semiconductor foundry houses remains robust, thanks to strong stay-at-home economy. Pureplay foundries, including TSMC, UMC and VIS, have raised 8-inch fab quotes to reflect tight capacity. The smartphone market may be weak currently, but IC designer Novatek is eyeing a new trend, developing AI accelerator solutions for handset applications. Taiwanese makers actually saw strong increases in handset panel shipments in second-quarter 2020 as a result of Chinese handset makers ramping up output after resuming production following pandemic-induced lockdowns, according to Digitimes Research.

Eight-inch foundry quotes rise 10-20%: Pure-play foundries including TSMC, UMC and VIS have raised their 8-inch wafer fabrication quotes by 10-20% recently to reflect their tight capacities, according to industry sources.

Novatek developing AI accelerator chips for handset applications: Niche IC specialist Novatek Microelectronics is reportedly engaged in the development of AI chips for accelerating edge computing at smartphones and other devices, according to industry sources.

Taiwan small- to mid-size panel shipments pick up in 2Q20, says Digitimes Research: Taiwan's shipments of small- to medium-size LCD panels improved significantly in second-quarter 2020 thanks to rush orders from end-market device makers following a resumption of manufacturing activities, mainly in China, according to Digitimes Research.

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