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Jun 18, 10:44
TSMC to move N4 to risk production in 3Q21
TSMC is set to move N4 (namely 4nm process) to risk production in the third quarter of 2021, while its N3 technology development is on track with volume production scheduled for second-half 2022, according to sources at the foundry's ecosystem partners.
Memory module firms including Kingston Technology, Adata Technology, Apacer Technology and Team Group all plan to launch their new-generation DDR5 memory series in the second half of 2021.
Chip vendors have been scrambling for foundry capacity supply from Taiwan. Both international and domestic IC vendors, such as Infineon and MediaTek have been willing to strike long-term foundry contracts. In China, device brand vendors are keen on rolling out Gan-based fast chargers, stimulating demand for GaN-on-Si chips. But smartphone sales in China remained feeble in May, dropping 31% on year.
End-market demand has been disappointing in China, prompting memory module makers to be cautious about their demand outlook for the third quarter, according to industry sources.
Spot market prices for polysilicon have recently risen by over 20% to US$36-37 per kilogram from the level early this year, but silicon wafer makers will be little affected by the price hikes as they have inked long-term contracts with suppliers of the material, according to industry sources.
Backend house Tong Hsing Electronic Industries plans to expand production capacity in three phases for automotive CMOS image sensors (CIS), while Chinese peers are also enforcing capacity expansions for lower-end CIS solutions, according to industry sources.
COVID-19 cluster infections among migrant workers at King Yuan Electronics and several other Taiwan-based IC companies' factory sites in Miaoli of northern Taiwan have been brought under control.
Automotive chip specialists Infineon and NXP have both struck long-term deals with Taiwan-based pure-play foundries, according to industry sources.
PCB makers Apex, Chin-Poon to expand capacity in Thailand
Jun 17
Taiwan-based PCB maker Apex International, with main manufacturing operations in Thailand, plans to invest NT$3.74 billion (US$135.1 million) to build new production lines at its factory site in the Southeast Asian country this year, according to industry sources.
Bluetooth headset suppliers have seen shortages of related ICs become worsen in the second quarter, according to industry sources.
China CE brands promoting GaN fast chargers
Jun 17
China brand vendors such as Xiaomi and Anker have rolled out their GaN-based fast charging devices for consumer technology products, which will be stimulating demand for GaN-on-Si chips, according to industry sources.
Bloomberg has warned that the world is "dangerously dependent" on supply of semiconductors from Taiwan - an assertion echoed by attempts that many governments have made to avoid placing all eggs in one basket. The US has already made moves towards boosting semiconductor manufacturing on American soil - a significant example being TSMC's project to build an advanced-node fab in Arizona. But this project highlights the fact the US is still "depending" on Taiwan - in one way or another - for semiconductor supply, at least in the foreseeable future.