While global chip shortages can hardly ease in the short term and prices continue to rise further, regional semiconductor fleets are quietly taking shape as the US, EU, South Korea, Japan and China are all moving to enhance localized chip production, strengthen foundry capability and capacity, build sound ecosystems, or pursue semiconductor self-sufficiency, according to Nicky Lu, chairman of Etron Technology, a Taiwan-based vendor of specialty buffer memory products.
Apple has just unveiled its iPhone 13 series. Digitimes Research estimates that the vendor will place orders for about 90 million units of the new smartphones with its manufacturing partners for 2021, with the iPhone 13 model expected to account for the biggest portion. The IT supply chain has endured long spells of component shortages, but constraints of consumer ICs have now shown signs of easing. But notebook battery module makers are still being troubled by IC shortage, and rising costs.
The US-China trade tensions are driving US chip vendors away from Chinese foundry houses, which neveretheless still see strong demand from the domestic market. China's top foundry house SMIC is gearing up expansion of its mature process manufacturing capacity. US-based notebook vendors remain optimistic about demand from the enterprise segment in 2022, as they step up component purchses.
China's Big Fund is stepping up investments in the country's memory sector in line with its push for IC self-sufficiency. Meanwhile, the world's major memory chipmakers are ramping up their QLC NAND chip output, eyeing robuts demand from both the PC and server segments. And IDMs, Foxconn and BYD are gearing up deployments in third-generation semiconductors, eyeing EV applications.
Energy storage systems make renewable energy controllable, manageable, adjustable, and reduce the problems that may be caused during power delivery, according to senior director Paul Ai for Energy System Solutions Business Unit under Delta Electronics.
Digitimes Research, on August 25, hosted an industrial trend forum covering the latest topics of the communication industry such as 5G smartphones and telecom network infrastructure to assist Taiwanese vendors to get hold of the newest trends of the industry.
Tight supply has pushed up foundry costs, fueling pressure on IC design clients. First-tier IC design houses are now ready to increase prices for their chip solutions in first-quarter 2022. Pure-play foundry houses UMC and VIS have reported record sales for August. In the IT sector, ODMs Wistron and Inventec both sae increases in notebook shipments in August, but overall results for third-quarter 2021 may be disappointing.
After 12 years as an engineer and salesperson in the semiconductor industry, Andy Lin founded Yo-Kai Express, a food technology startup. Lin has integrated Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology, modular supply chain management, artificial intelligence (AI), and material science to develop a new platform that breaks through the confines of space and time.
Many say warriors can't choose their battlefield. But in the consulting service sector, analysts need to know how to choose their battlefield in order to survive. Normally we know more about the patterns of information, reasonable quotations, and usage patterns than our customers. Therefore, service providers must be confident in defining the market, selecting the market segments, developing pricing and service mechanism, which is key to the operation of the consultancy industry.
Taiwan's networking device makers see clear order visibility through the first half of 2022, thanks to demand from the stay-at-home activities and companies whose employees are retruning to offices. Cooling module suppliers believe that vapor chambers, now found mostly in notebooks, will become a key component for smartphones. But handset demand remains weak, reportedly prompting CIS vendor OmniVision to cut back orders for IC manufacturing in Taiwan.
Remote communication has become a norm as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating business opportunities for cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) video conferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
When I started my business, someone from the electronics industry claimed "it's a complete rip-off" to sell our newspaper at NT$20 per copy, while others' newspapers were generally priced at NT$10. The claim stemmed from a failure to understand that B2B professional information costs much higher than B2C information. Evidently, newspapers are nothing more than a tool to convey information. In terms of cost, it is simply a losing business. But I regard our newspaper as a form of direct mail "loaded with knowledge."
As order visibility for many market segment, such as 5G and EV, has already extended to 2025, foundry houses are eager to expand fab capacity for both advanced and mature manufacturing processes. IDMs are migrating production of third-gen semiconductors to 8-inch fabs amid growing demand. Commodity DRAM may be seeing a slowdown in demand, but demand for the server and datacenter applications has been stable.
South Korea's top-2 memory makers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are optimistic about their business performances for the second half of 2021 thanks to strong memory demand for mobile devices and servers, according to Digitimes Research.