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Press Releases
Strong End-Demand to Result in 8.6% and 46.2% YoY Growths for Smartphone and Tablet TDDI IC Shipments for 2021, Respectively, Says TrendForce



Given the forecasted recovery of the smartphone market and the corresponding rise in TDDI IC demand throughout this year, total smartphone TDDI IC shipment for 2021 is expected to reach 760 million units, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations Tablet TDDI IC shipment for 2021, on the other hand, is expected to reach 95 million units TrendForce indicates that the overall demand for consumer electronics and IT products has been gradually intensifying since the COVID-19 pandemic began to slow down in 2H20 At the same time, smartphone manufacturers restocked their component inventories, while Huawei was sanctioned by the US Department of Commerce These events marked an upturn in demand for smartphone components, including IC products However, although foundries ramped up their capacity utilization rates in response to soaring end-product demand, semiconductor component supply has been lagging behind the rising demand Case in point, TDDI IC prices have been increasing due to the component’s tightening supply As foundries’ production capacities at their 12-inch fabs’ 80/90nm nodes are unable to meet the global demand for TDDI ICs, IC design companies have been stepping up the pace to transition the manufacturing process of their higher-end TDDI IC products from the 80/90nm nodes to the 55nm node instead Smartphone and tablet manufacturers, on the other hand, have expanded their procurement activities for TDDI ICs owing to a forecasted shortage of these components These factors propelled smartphone TDDI IC shipment for 2020 to 700 million units, a 25% increase YoY Tablet TDDI IC shipment for 2021 is projected to reach 95 million units as the tablet market becomes the next battleground for IC design companies Smartphone manufacturers have been ramping up TDDI IC adoption in light of smartphone TDDI ICs’ increasing maturity In addition, as 8-inch capacities become fully loaded across the foundry industry, IC design companies are accelerating the transition of traditional discrete DDIC architecture to TDDI IC, which is primarily manufactured with 12-inch wafers This transition is expected to result in even higher demand for foundry capacities As previously mentioned, wafer capacities at the 80/90nm nodes have been in severe shortage Therefore, to mitigate the risk of tight wafer supply in 2020, IC design companies are now not only transitioning their TDDI IC manufacturing process towards the 55nm node, but also looking to secure a stable supply of wafer capacities by outsourcing their manufacturing operations across a diverse number of foundries As smartphone demand rises going forward, smartphone TDDI IC shipment for 2021 is expected to reach 760 million units, an 86% increase YoY Likewise, IC design companies have also turned their attention to the budding tablet market and started releasing TDDI ICs for tablets IC design companies are primarily interested in developing TDDI ICs for tablets for two reasons: First, a mid-range or high-end tablet contains double the number of TDDI ICs per unit compared to smartphones Secondly, most of these tablets feature active stylus compatibility, which means the ASP for their display ICs is relatively high For the past two years, Huawei in particular has been ambitious in cultivating its tablet market and developing TDDI ICs However, other IC design companies are now following suit and participating in this market as IC design technologies become more mature, and more tablet manufacturers become proactive in adopting TDDI ICs for tablet use Tablet TDDI IC shipment for 2020 is estimated at 65 million units, whereas this number is projected to reach 95 million for 2021, an impressive 462% increase YoY For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms Vivie Liu from the Sales Department at vivieliu@trendforcecom

Press Releases
Power Outage at UMC’s Lixing Fabs Results in Large-Scale Voltage Drops in Vicinity, Forecasted to Cause Minor Impact, Says TrendForce



An abnormality which caused a power outage in the GIS (gas insulated switchgear) equipment at UMC’s facilities on Lixing Road, Hsinchu, resulted in a voltage drop for other fabs located in the surrounding area, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations Affected foundries include TSMC, Vanguard, and PSMC However, TrendForce’s investigations also reveal that, apart from the temporary power outage at UMC’s Lixing fabs, facilities operated by TSMC, Vanguard, and PSMC experienced only a temporary voltage drop While the uninterruptible power supplies of the facilities kicked in shortly after the outage, normal manufacturing operations resumed following certain equipment crashes that occurred during the transition from one power source to another UMC’s Lixing fab has currently resumed operations after about four hours of power outage, and TrendForce expects the impact from this incident to be minimal TrendForce believes that the total production capacity in the affected area accounts for about 20% and 4% of the respective global production capacity of 8-inch wafers and 12-inch wafers Although the affected area is a strategically significant location of semiconductor production, investigations show that this incident resulted in a mere voltage drop for the immediate surroundings, and the affected parties have resumed operation after making adjustments As such, their overall production capacities have not been substantially impacted With regards to UMC, the power outage primarily took place at its Fab 8A(B), which focuses on the 025~05µm processes mainly used to produce power discretes such as MOSFET, whereas Fab 8C/D, which primarily produces DDIs and PMICs with 035~011µm processes, sustained minimal impact from the voltage drop The incident’s impact on UMC is expected to come to less than 1% of the foundry’s yearly revenue, which can be essentially compensated for through hot runs TrendForce indicates that UMC manufactures driver ICs (mainly with 8-inch 011~015µm processes) at Fab 8C/D for certain desktop and notebook monitors With regards to driver ICs, the power outage incident is expected to have very limited impact on their global supply However, as large-sized driver ICs have been in shortage since 2H20, this incident may exacerbate the industry-wide panic over the availability of driver ICs, thereby resulting in additional upward momentum ensuring persistent price hikes for large-sized driver ICs and IT display panels For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom

Press Releases
Global Notebook Computer Shipment Expected to Reach 217 Million Units in 2021, with Chromebooks Accounting for 18.5% of Total Shipment, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

Owing to the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, not only did yearly notebook computer shipment surpass 200 million units for the first time ever, but the 225% YoY growth was also the highest on record, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations However, in comparison with 2Q20, during which production lines resumed operations, and notebook demand saw an uptick, the current global market is plagued by the ever-intensifying pandemic, with various countries instating border control and lockdown measures, making it impossible at the moment to accurately forecast the state of the notebook market in 2H21 Nevertheless, TrendForce currently expects global notebook shipment for 2021 to reach 217 million units, an 86% increase YoY Incidentally, it should be noted that the increasing popularity of distance education has also galvanized a rising demand for Chromebooks, which have contributed substantially to the growth of the overall market Chromebooks accounted for 148% of the global notebook shipment in 2020, while this rate is expected to rise to 185% in 2021 As WFH becomes the new normal for office work, online meeting functionalities will be a major focus of business notebook designs Since 2020, various companies worldwide have announced the implementation of WFH measures, with certain companies adopting WFH until September this year In order to meet the audiovisual demands of online meetings, as well as the personal and entertainment needs of end users, notebook brands have been making improvements to their business notebooks’ functionalities, including AI, camera modules, sound quality, background noise removal, and image qualities In particular, HP, Dell, and Lenovo are each releasing new mid-range and high-end mixed-use business notebooks in response to the commercial opportunities generated by the aforementioned user demands Demand for this product category is expected to peak in 1H21 and in turn massively raise overall notebook shipment for the period as well In addition to mixed-use business notebooks, the new normal in the post-pandemic era has compelled brands to quickly establish dominance in the Chromebook market as well Although Chromebook shipment reached 296 million units in 2020, an impressive 74% YoY growth for year, current demand from most educational markets has yet to be met This, along with continued Chromebook adoption in Central America, South America, and the Asia-Pacific regions, resulted in peak Chromebook demand At the moment, TrendForce projects yearly Chromebook shipment to exceed 40 million units in 2021, a 37% YoY growth Moreover, given Google’s aggressive product strategies, this projection may have even further room for growth Continued high demand for Chromebooks has resulted in shifts in the OS and CPU markets With regards to operating systems, Windows remains the dominant choice in the notebook market However, due to the rapid growth of Chromebooks in 2020, Windows’ market share dropped below 80% for the first time ever Windows is unlikely to recover its lost market shares in the short run, since its decline is expected to persist going forward TrendForce expects the market shares of Windows, Chrome OS, and MacOS to each stabilize at about 70-75%, 15-20%, and below 10%, respectively With regards to notebook CPUs, AMD’s Zen+ microarchitecture-based CPUs saw a major uptick in notebook adoption in 2019, with about an 114% market share This figure rose to 201% in 2020 after a period of product ramp-up In particular, the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs have been receiving excellent market feedback in the entry-level and mid-range notebook segments, thereby convincing notebook brands to start equipping their Chromebooks with AMD CPUs, bringing about a further and considerable growth in AMD’s market share The Apple Silicon M1 processors, based on the ARM architecture and officially released in November 2020, reached a mere 08% market share for the year Apple adopted the ARM architecture primarily to optimize MacBook performances Along with the release of Apple Silicon M1, Apple has also completed the integration between its hardware, software, and SaaS platforms The company is expected to release 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, both of which will be equipped with Apple’s in-house CPUs, after 2Q21, raising Apple’s notebook market share to about 7% The 7% and 20% market shares from Apple and AMD, respectively, mean that Intel will be faced with increasing competitive pressure in the market and need to deliver an appropriate product strategy in response For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms Vivie Liu from the Sales Department at vivieliu@trendforcecom

Press Releases
Global Smartphone Production Expected to Reach 1.36 Billion Units in 2021 as Huawei Drops Out of Top-Six Ranking, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

Owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global smartphone production reached a mere 125 billion units in 2020, a record-breaking 11% YoY decrease, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations The top six smartphone brands ranked by production volume for 2020, in order, are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo The most glaring change from the previous year is Huawei’s market share TrendForce indicates that Honor will formally separate from Huawei and operate as an independent smartphone maker at the start of 2021 The aim behind this spin-off is to ensure the survival of Honor, which has become a major brand in the global smartphone market after years of labor However, it remains to be seen whether the “new” Honor can capture consumers’ attention without the support from Huawei Also, Huawei and the new Honor will be directly competing against each other in the future, especially if the former is somehow freed from the US trade sanctions at a later time With the new Honor seeking to ramp up production, Huawei will have more difficulty in regaining market share for smartphones Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, TrendForce believes that the global smartphone market will gradually recover as people become accustomed to the “new normal” resulting from the pandemic Moreover, this year will likely see a relatively strong wave of device replacement demand as well as demand growth in the emerging markets Assuming that these conditions will materialize, the annual global smartphone production for 2021 is forecasted to increase by 9% to 136 billion units Regarding the annual global ranking of smartphone brands for 2021, Huawei will experience a further and significant decline in its device production This is because of the effects of the US export restrictions and the spin-off of Honor as a separate entity operating in the smartphone market Huawei is currently projected to tumble from third place in 2020 to seventh place in 2021 The top six for 2021, in order, will be Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, and Transsion Together, they will account for almost 80% of the global smartphone market Nevertheless, the pandemic will remain the central variable (or the biggest uncertainty) in the production projection because it will continue to exert significant influence on the global economy Besides the pandemic, the performance of smartphone brands during 2021 could also be affected by geopolitical instabilities and the lack of available production capacity in the semiconductor foundry market Penetration rate of 5G smartphones is likely to rise to 37% in 2021, while production will still be constrained by limited foundry capacities Thanks to the Chinese government’s aggressive push for 5G commercialization in 2020, global 5G smartphone production for the year reached about 240 million units, a 19% penetration rate, with Chinese brands accounting for almost a 60% market share While 5G will remain a major topic in the smartphone market this year, various countries will also resume their 5G infrastructure build-out, and mobile processor manufacturers will continue to release entry-level and mid-range 5G chips As such, the penetration rate of 5G smartphones is expected to undergo a rapid increase to 37% in 2021, for a yearly production of about 500 million units It should be noted that, under the optimistic assumption that the pandemic can be resolved within the year, shipment for various end-products, including servers, smartphones, and notebook computers, will undergo a YoY increase compared to 2020 Case in point, the number of PMICs and CIS (CMOS image sensors) contained per handset will each double in order to meet increased smartphone specifications On the other hand, major Chinese foundry SMIC has recently been added to the Entity List once again This is expected to exacerbate the foundry industry’s already-strained production capacity TrendForce indicates that smartphone brands’ recent bullish outlook towards the 2021 market and their attempt to secure more semiconductor supplies by increasing their smartphone production targets can potentially lead these brands to overbook certain components at foundries However, smartphone brands may adjust their component inventories from 2Q21 to 3Q21 and reduce their semiconductor procurement activities if actual sales performances fall short of expectations, or if component bottlenecks remain unresolved, leading to a widening inventory gap between bottlenecked and non-bottlenecked parts Even so, TrendForce still forecasts an above-90% capacity utilization rate for foundries in 2021 For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom

Press Releases
Foundry Revenue Expected to Reach New High in 2021 with Close to 6% YoY Growth as Capacities Remain Scarce Across Industry, Says TrendForce



Global foundry revenue is expected to reach US$846 billion in 2020 by undergoing a 237% YoY growth, which is the highest % growth in nearly 10 years, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations This performance took place on the backs of several developments, including OEMs’ aggressive inventory procurement brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the “new normal” involving WFH and distance education in 1H20 The second half of the year, on the other hand, saw US sanctions tilting forward Huawei’s component demand, as well as the increased penetration rate of 5G smartphones and increased 5G base station build-outs TrendForce has made the following three assumptions regarding foundry demand in 2021: First, pandemic-induced demand for networking products and from the stay-at-home economy will persist somewhat due to uncertainties in the vaccine’s efficacy and side effects Second, the China-US trade war will remain unresolved Finally, the global economy will recover in 2021 after the yearlong downturn in 2020 The demand for components will likely rise thanks to not only a forecasted 2-9% growth in the smartphone, server, notebook computer, TV, and automobile markets next year, but also the continued rollout of next-generation networks, including 5G base stations and WiFi 6 technologies Therefore, the foundry industry is expected to reach its highest revenue ever by growing 6% YoY in 2021 While foundries accelerate their capacity expansion efforts for advanced processes ahead of 2022, tight supply of 8-inch wafers remains unresolved With regards to the state of client orders, TSMC’s capacity utilization rate for advanced processes 5nm and below is about 90%, as US sanctions barred Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon from ordering wafer starts, while 5nm wafer starts from Apple, which is TSMC’s primary client at the 5nm node, are unable to fully make up for the absence of HiSilicon As for TSMC’s 7nm node and Samsung’s 7/5nm nodes, the two foundries are seeing high demand from AMD/MediaTek and Nvidia/Qualcomm, respectively, in turn ensuring nearly fully loaded capacities at these nodes, likely to persist through 2Q20 Looking ahead from 2H21 to 2022, both TSMC and Samsung have made plans to aggressively expand their 5nm capacities in response to their HPC clients’ high demand for components in 2022 Although wafer starts for most of these clients will generally ramp up from late-2021 to 2022, meaning the two foundries’ capacity utilization rates for the 5nm process may take a slight dip in 2H21, TrendForce believes that production capacities for advanced processes will once again be in severe shortage in 2022 given the rapid growth of the HPC market and the increased orders from Intel, which is accelerating the outsourcing of its production Furthermore, TrendForce has observed that OEMs have been aggressive procuring components used in various end-products, including CIS, TDDI, RF front-end, TV chip, WiFi, Bluetooth, and TWS components This demand momentum, combined with emergent applications such as WiFi 6 chips and heterogeneous integration for AI Memory, as well as the fact that certain products (PMICs and DDICs) are slowly migrating to 12-inch fab manufacturing, means 12-inch fab capacities have been in shortage for the 90-14nm nodes, which are relatively mature processes, as well With regards to 8-inch wafers, most foundries currently are able to increase their manufacturing efficiencies to a limited degree only by using their existing fab spaces, improving equipment that presents a bottleneck, or leasing second-hand machines As well, the arrival of the 5G era has brought about a corresponding explosive growth in PMIC demand due to the proliferation of 5G smartphones and base stations, in turn leading to a short supply of 8-inch wafer capacities Although foundries are gradually transitioning the manufacturing of certain products, such as the aforementioned PMICs and DDICs, to 12-inch fabs, the tight supply of 8-inch capacities is unlikely to be alleviated in the short run Recent escalations in the US-China trade dispute could lead to more severe supply crunch in foundry market by 2H21 The other key factor influencing the shift in production capacities across the foundry industry is US sanctions against SMIC TrendForce indicates that Broadcom and Qualcomm are SMIC’s major clients from the US Since the news broke on September 10 that the US government was planning to put SMIC on the Entity List, both Broadcom and Qualcomm have been reassigning orders that are originally going to SMIC to other foundries outside China Also, GigaDevice, which is SMIC’s client in the domestic market, has modified the allocation of its wafer input so that the majority of its products will instead be manufactured by HHGrace The US Commerce Department formally placed SMIC on the Entity List on December 18 and is now requiring US-based technology suppliers to obtain a special license in order to ship their products to the Chinese foundry Moreover, the US government has adopted “presumption of denial” in reviewing the license application for the equipment used in fabrication processes that are 10nm and below in die shrink Chinese equipment suppliers can only support nodes down to the 90nm but not beyond Furthermore, the chance of China’s semiconductor industry achieving self-sufficiency for all the equipment deployed in a wafer production line is extremely slim in the short term Although SMIC has not reached the mass production stage for the 10nm or more advanced nodes, the latest trade action is a huge obstacle that will impede its efforts in developing process technologies and expand production capacity The biggest concern for SMIC at the moment is the supply of consumables (including equipment parts) and raw materials (ie, specialty chemicals) Recognizing the growing risks associated with the US-China trade dispute, SMIC has hastened the adoption of import substitutes from domestic suppliers of consumables and raw materials However, there is still much uncertainty on the progress that it has made so far in implementing this strategy On the whole, TrendForce believes that there is the possibility that the potential easing of the pandemic in 2H21 will cause a correction in the demand for end products related to the stay-at-home economy (eg, notebook computers and TVs) This, in turn, might compel OEMs to adjust inventory for the end products’ respective semiconductor components On the other hand, more infrastructure projects related to 5G and WiFi 6 networks will be carried out around the world Furthermore, the penetration rate of 5G smartphones will continue to rise Due to the growing demand related to the next-generation network technologies, foundries will unlikely experience a significant drop in their capacity utilization rates in 2H21 They are still projected to maintain a level of around 90% during the period On the other hand, SMIC should be able to maintain normal production for another six months given its existing inventory of semiconductor materials However, if the US sanctions are still in place in 2H21, then the products that are originally assigned to SMIC will have to be made somewhere else Under this scenario, the supply situation of the global foundry market could become even tighter than it is now, and some products and IC design houses could experience an even more serious squeeze in production capacity For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom

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