Taiwan's optoelectronics industry in the first half of 2021 shows strong growth, compared to the same period in 2020, due to the large-scale stimulus plans from major economies and the steady global economic demand. Among the optoelectronic industry, panels have increased the most, because of the stay-at-home economy and shortage of raw materials and components, which have stimulated the increase in panel price.
LED backlight unit (BLU) maker Radiant Opto-Electronics is expected to begin shipments for miniLED BLUs for use in new iPad mini in August 2021 as well as those for use in 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro in August-September, according to industry sources.
LED packaging service providers Harvatek and Bright LED Electronics saw significant increases in orders in second-quarter 2021, and expect strong demand to continue at least in the third quarter, jugding from their shipment schedules, according to the companies.
LCD chemical material supplier Daxin Materials will complete the construction of its new plant in Taichung, central Taiwan by the end of this year, laying the groundwork for significant business expansion in 2022.
Taiwan-based LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar and China-based fellow maker Sanan Optoelectronics are expected to become two additional suppliers of mini/microLED chips for Samsung Electronics, with shipments to begin in the second half of 2021, according to industry sources.
TSMC is mulling setting up more fabs overseas, apart from its exsiting facility in Nanjing, China and the one being built in the US. TSMC is looking at building new fabs in Japan and Germany for 28nm and 12/16nm chip output. Apple is keen on adopting miniLED backlighting for its devices, and is likely to add China-based Luxshare as a second supplier of SMT services for miniLED BLUs. Meanwhile, notebook component suppliers are turning cautious about building up inventory amid mixed signals about the notebook market's outlook.
Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (SMT) is currently the only provider of SMT services for Apple's miniLED backlighting applications, but China-based Luxshare Precision Industry is expected to become a second provider in fourth-quarter 2021 at the earliest, according to industry sources.
E Ink Holdings (EIH) will continue improving e-paper technologies to maintain its technological leadership through continued investment in R&D of e-paper film, materials, pigment, flexibility and technologies needed by its ecosystem partners including wireless power supply, time sequence control ICs used in e-paper and reference design for products, according to company chairman Johnson Lee.
Display driver IC (DDI) prices will continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace, in the third quarter of 2021, as downstream LCD panel makers are reluctant to accept the new quotes from related IC vendors amid concerns of possible a slowdown in demand, according to industry sources.
Apple has been keen on adopting miniLED backlighting for its devices. The US vendor is said to be funding its suppliers' SMT capacity expansions that will support Apple's demand for miniLED backlighting. Foundry capacity shortfall has triggered a wave of wafer fab expansions. Six-inch fabs are now also becoming targets of acquisition by car chip vendors. But automotive chip supply has begun improving, buoyed by more capacity support from foundry houses.
Apple reportedly will be making a rare investment to expand surface mounting technology (SMT) assembly capacity at its partners to satisfy demand for its miniLED-backlit devices including the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and upcoming MacBook series, according to supply chain sources.
The TV market scale in China in terms of unit shipments continues to shrink, but the growing demand for large-size models there is driving the upgrades in the TV panel sector, which in turn will accelerate the transformation of price competition into value competition in the TV industry, according to industry sources.
Of export orders received by Taiwan-based manufacturers and exporters in 2020, domestic production accounted for 46.0%, slipping 1.4pp on year, according to a survey of overseas production for export orders conducted by Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
DIGITIMES has planned a series of special research projects, targeting the changes in the Asia market and supply chain. For the research, DIGITIMES has picked 100 representative Asian enterprises from the ICT and car sectors in terms of their revenues.
With more capcity support from foundry houses, car chip vendors can now ramp up their output. Some international automotive IC vendors have notified their clients that they can expect more supplies in second-half 2021. Foundry houses have been keen on expanding production capacity. Globalfoundries has just broken ground for a 12-inch fab construction project in Singapore. In the dispaly industry, glass substrate supplier Corning is said to be reducing supply to Korean clients who are set to terminate LCD panel production despite delays.
Corning is reportedly adjusting its supply strategy amid the tight supply of display glass substrates and the structural changes of the display industry, according to sources from Taiwan's supply chain.
Taiwan tech firms have made considerable achievements in the EV sector, having entered the supply chain of Tesla. But as the car market is still dominated by traditional marques who are now also keen to continue the market of future cars, Taiwan tech firms face quite some hurdles to entering the supply chains of these major car vendors. With the easing of the pandemic possibly slowing demand for devices supporting stay-at-home needs, chip vendors are now said to be expecting Chromebook shipments to grow at a slower pace in 2021. Corning has announced a moderate price hike to its display glass substrates in third-quarter 2021 to reflect rising production costs.
Taiwan-based polymer materials supplier U-Best Polymer Industry is expected to start shipping its hard coat (HC) films to Chinese handset vendors for foldable smartphone applications in the third quarter of 2021 at the earliest, according to company president NH Huang.