Sun, Nov 28, 2021
light rain
Thursday 25 November 2021
Industry watch: Taiwan, a game changer
According to the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the global semiconductor manufacturing revenue including wafer foundry and IC package and testing industries, grew 13.6% from US$501 billion in 2019 to US$570 billion in 2020, with Taiwan's corresponding revenues growing from US$86 billion to US$109 billion. With contribution of 20% for the global semiconductor industry, Taiwan is the world's second-largest semiconductor powerhouse next to the US, surpassing South Korea and Japan and leaving China far behind.
Friday 26 November 2021
Highlights of the day: PCB, IC substrate equipment demand robust
Strong demand for PCBs and IC substrates is sending suppliers increasing capacity, which in turn is extending order visibility at equipment suppliers to second-half 2022. And shortage of ABF substrates for notebook processors are expected to widen. Rising foundry costs amid tight supply are expected erode IC designers' profits, as their customers are now relutant to accept further price increases.
Thursday 25 November 2021
Highlights of the day: TSMC expands partnership with OSATs
To meet surging demand for heterogeneous chips, TSMC is expected to adopt a more agile mode of cooperation with OSATs. TSMC's majr foundry competitor Samsung Electronics has announced plans to build a new fab in the US state of Texas. Samsung is eyeing orders from major US chip vendors. China first-tier lithium battery makers have refrained from raising prices this year, but they are now looking to raise prices by 20% next year.
Wednesday 24 November 2021
Highlights of the day: Smartphone chip vendors reserving 12-inch fab capacity for PWMICs
Shortage of foundry supply is sending major smartphone application processors vendors booking 12-inch fab capacity in advance to facilitate shipments of their power management ICs next year. Memory maker Winbond expects to run at full capacity next year to fulfill robust NOR flash chip orders. DIGITIMES recently talked to Stephen Ezell, ITIF VP of Global Innovation Policy, about why India and others should joint ITA-3.
Tuesday 23 November 2021
Highlights of the day: Vendors expanding 176-layer NAND output
Memory vendors are increasing output for 176-layer 3D NAND chips although they are generally cautious about expanding overall supply the NAND market. But the foundry sector is much more eager to expand capacity. TSMC's ecosystem partners are set to see strong shipments to satisfy the needs of the world's top pure-play foundry house. In a recent interview with DIGITIMES, Inventec chairman Tom Cho expressed optimism that Taiwan's ICT firms will have a key role to play future cars.
Friday 19 November 2021
Highlights of the day: IT companies cautious about market conditions
Although the IT market has been gradually recovering from the COVID-19's impact, many companies still stayed cautious about the market's conditions in the near future with IPC firms seeing improved chip supply recently, but expecting the shortages not experiencing any major improvement any time soon. DRAM vendors are also pushing to upgrade their process technology instead of capacity expansion. Notebook ODMs are currently having weak visibility of operation in 1Q22 as the market's condition will heavily depend on year-end holiday sales.
Thursday 18 November 2021
Highlights of the day: Global server shipment growth slower than expected
Components shortage and shipping problems are slowing shipment growth for servers. DIGITIMES Research expects global server shipments to grow 4.5% in 2021, lower than its previus forecast of 5.1%. China-based Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) is improving yield rates for production of its 128-layer 3D NAND flash, with plans to ramp up output in first-half 2022. In India, electric scooter maker Ather Energy is confident of gaining a firm foothold in the local market, according DIGITIMES' corrspondent in the South Asian country.
Thursday 18 November 2021
Industry watch: Ups and downs in the pandemic era
In the past, two-thirds of Taiwan's airline revenues came from passenger traffic and one-third from freight. But during the outbreak, ticket prices were soaring as a result of "rigid demand" since some people still had to fly, coupled with the increasing difficulty of transit. But even so, global airlines that rely heavily on airfares are struggling, except Taiwan's and South Korea's airline companies.
Wednesday 17 November 2021
Highlights of the day: MediaTek secures foundry support for 5G chips
Chip shortage has plagued many industry sectors for months, partly due to insufficient foundry support. But MediaTek has struck deals with pure-play foundry houses for making its 5G chips in 2021 and beyond. In China, memory firms are looking to ramp up output for DDR3, a segment where their Korean counterparts are exiting. And China LCD panel makers are also fast expandig production capacity.
Wednesday 17 November 2021
Industry watch: How to convince IT elites
The Chinese name of DIGITIMES has often been mixed up with another Chinese publication in Taiwan. During one recent event, a friend of mine asked if DIGITIMES would consider changing the Chinese name in order to clear the confusion.
Tuesday 16 November 2021
Highlights of the day: India charging infrastructure needs improvement
Electric vehicles are penetrating the Indian market very slowly, due to a lack of supporting charging infrastructure. According to DIGITIMES' correspondent in India, local EV charging startups are seeking ways to improve the infrastructure. The global handset market has underperformed so far this year, and it remains uncertain how the year will end up despite the availability of Apple's iPhone 13 series. In the semiconductor sector, Taiwan's output value is expected to exceed NT$4 trillion in 2021.
Tuesday 16 November 2021
Industry watch: Is the information and consulting service industry a buyer's or seller's market?
Is the information and consulting service industry a buyer's or seller's market? The answer depends on the mentality of buyers and sellers and the current industrial environment. Nevertheless, I believe the next 10 or even 20 years will be a golden period of professional information service industry. With increasing diversity of business opportunities, companies that can provide professional services are getting fewer. But it eventually depends on the mentality of both sides to characterize it as a buyer's or seller's market.
Monday 15 November 2021
Highlights of the day: Enterprise notebook demand remains robust
Despite IC shortages, demand for enterprise notebooks is recovering. ODM Invetenc has disclosed that its order visibility for enterprise notebooks has already extended to year-end 2022. Facebook's recent name change to Meta has highlighted the potential of metaverse, although how the concept can be materialized remains uncertain. In the memory sector, DRAM firms are expected to see declines in gross margins in fourth-quarter 2021 amid short-term price correction.
Monday 15 November 2021
Industry watch: Recruiting talent
The IT industry is in desperate need of talent. TSMC and MediaTek are actively recruiting. Universities are discussing what the right talent shuld be for the "future" society. But I am more concerned if people would regret 20 years from now for the career choices they make today. How can we derive from the past industrial development the requirements for talent who will meet the needs of our future society and enterprises?
Friday 12 November 2021
Highlights of the day: SMIC sees management shakeup
China-based SMIC has seen a shakeup in its top management, with company vice chairman Chiang Shang-yi - supposed to be a major architect of the foundry house's tech development - leaving. Its counterpart in Taiwan, UMC, reportedly has plans to raise its foundry quotes by another 10% in first-quarter 2022. In the EMS sector, Pegatron has announced plans to build a plant in North America for making EVs and other automotive electronics.
Friday 12 November 2021
Industry watch: Specifications, prices and strategies
In his speech delivered at the 20th anniversary of Monte Jade Science and Technology Association of Taiwan, Morris Chang stressed several times that TSMC would not resort to pricing strategies, but pricing was often his trump card to win customers' orders. In 1974, Chang became VP of Texas Instruments (TI). He stressed in a media interview: "TI to continue cutting prices on TTL." At that time, Texas Instruments accounted for more than half of the global TTL market share. But why did Chang decide to reduce prices? We came to realize that Chang is a "learning curve believer." Price is a learning curve designed to raise barriers to competition and deter competitors. Therefore, behind Chang's price cuts lie the corporate strength and strategy.