[News] Wistron Completes Factory Sale to NXP in Malaysia’s Free Trade Zones for approximately USD $392 Million

On November 9th, EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) giant Wistron, through its Malaysian subsidiary WMMY, disclosed the successful completion of the sale of consumer electronics production facilities in the Selangor and Sungai Way Free Trade Zones.

The company is set to sell the properties, which include factories and land in these two free trade zones, to semiconductor major NXP for approximately 1.85 billion Malaysian Ringgit (equivalent to roughly USD 392million).

Wistron announced that its subsidiary WMMY (Wistron Technology Sdn. Bhd.) signed a “Letter of Offer to Purchase” with the unrelated entity NXP Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. According to Malaysian regulations, when buying or selling a property, the buyer can place a deposit and sign a preliminary contract with the seller.

However, within 14 business days, a formal sales agreement needs to be signed between the buyer and the seller for the transaction to be completed.

Wistron had declared through its subsidiary WMMY back in September of this year that it intended to divest its property (including factories and land) in the Selangor and Sungai Way Free Trade Zones in Malaysia in response to external economic changes and global strategic considerations.

At that time, the specifics of the transaction, including the counterpart and amount, were undetermined. The company had only established that the total transaction amount should not be less than 185 million Malaysian Ringgit (approximately 39.2 million USD). The deal presented by NXP aligns with these conditions, thus facilitating the progress of the factory sale.

Wistron has initiated several factory sales in recent years, including the iPhone assembly plants in Kunshan, China, and India, as well as the consumer electronics plant in Malaysia. The Kunshan facility was sold to Luxshare, a Chinese manufacturer, while the Indian plant was acquired by Tata Group, an Indian electronics corporation. The Malaysian plant, in this instance, is sold to the semiconductor giant NXP, and the transaction is projected to conclude within 14 days.

NXP currently operates six wafer fabs in the United States, the Netherlands, and Singapore, with four assembly and testing facilities situated in Taiwan, China, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The company specializes in producing application processors, communication processors, wireless connectivity SoCs, RF amplifiers, security system ICs, various analog products, and MCUs (microcontrollers).

Wistron’s manufacturing facility in Selangor, Malaysia, is mainly responsible for material fabrication, manufacturing, industrial engineering, production management, mechanisms, quality assurance, and production management.

Read more

(Photo credit: Wistron)


[News] Chinese MCU Manufacturers Halt Price-Cutting, MCU Industry Signals Recovery

Semiconductor inventory adjustments are showing positive signs, with the MCU market, which was among the first to bear the brunt of price pressure, now leading the way as Chinese companies have recently ceased their aggressive price-cutting strategies to clear their inventory. In fact, some MCU product lines have even begun to see price increases.

According to reports from Taiwan’s Economic Daily, MCUs are widely used across various key sectors, including consumer electronics, automotive, and industrial control. The recent increase in pricing suggests a resurgence in end-demand, indicating that the semiconductor industry is on the path to recovery.

Prominent global MCU manufacturers include Renesas, NXP, and Microchip, all of which play essential roles in the global semiconductor industry. On the other hand, Taiwanese companies such as Holtek, Nuvoton, Elan, and Sonix represent the local landscape.

Industry experts attribute the current developments to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused disruptions in the supply chain throughout 2020 and 2021, leading to a frenzied rush to secure semiconductor components. This resulted in a surge in orders and significant price increases for ICs. However, 2022 marked a change in the industry landscape as demand weakened in various end-user applications. MCUs were hit hardest, and manufacturers’ inventories climbed steadily, reaching historical highs, with some industry leaders acknowledging that their inventory levels reached several months’ worth of supply.

To address the challenges posed by these soaring inventories, the MCU industry faced its darkest period from the fourth quarter of last year to the first half of this year. Chinese MCU manufacturers resorted to aggressive price cuts, even drawing renowned IDMs into the price-cutting competition. Fortunately, recent market conditions have started to ease the inventory-clearing phase. Chinese MCU manufacturers, who could no longer bear losses, have stopped selling below cost and have even made slight price adjustments to return to a more reasonable pricing range.

Unnamed Taiwanese MCU manufacturers revealed that as the attitude of Chinese companies towards price-cutting has softened, the pricing gap between products from Taiwanese and Chinese companies have gradually narrowed. Moreover, there are indications of small, urgently needed orders coming in, which will facilitate faster inventory reduction.


TrendForce Analysis: TSMC’s Ambitious ESMC Project Faces Global Labor Challenges and Regulatory Complexities

Leading semiconductor companies TSMC, Robert Bosch GmbH, Infineon, and NXP Semiconductors have jointly to invest in the European Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (ESMC) GmbH, situated in Dresden, Germany. This strategic move aims to bolster the region’s semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, particularly catering to the burgeoning automotive and industrial sectors. The establishment of ESMC marks a significant stride towards the realization of a 300mm fabrication facility, pending the final decision on public funding, as part of the European Chips Act framework.

The planned fab is expected to have a monthly production capacity of 40,000 300mm (12-inch) wafers on TSMC’s 28/22 nanometer planar CMOS and 16/12 nanometer FinFET process technology, further strengthening Europe’s semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem with advanced FinFET transistor technology and creating about 2,000 direct high-tech professional jobs. ESMC aims to begin construction of the fab in the second half of 2024 with production targeted to begin by the end of 2027.

The prospective joint venture will see TSMC holding a substantial 70% ownership stake, while Bosch, Infineon, and NXP will each possess a 10% equity share, contingent upon regulatory approvals and meeting specific conditions. Total investments exceeding 10 billion euros are anticipated. Operational oversight of the fabrication facility will reside under TSMC’s purview.

However, industry analysts at TrendForce have highlighted potential challenges that lie ahead for TSMC’s groundbreaking endeavor. One such challenge pertains to the looming labor shortage issue in TSMC’s US fabrication facility, which is projected to reverberate globally. Moreover, navigating the intricacies of implementing subsidy policies in accordance with the European chip legislation and anticipated administrative procedures is expected to introduce a layer of complexity to the venture.

(Photo credit: TSMC)


2022 Global Automotive MCU Market Grows 11.4% YoY to Reach US$8.286 Billion

The global new energy vehicle (NEV) industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two years, especially in Chinese markets where 6.46 million NEVs were sold in 2022 — an impressive 89.5% YoY growth. The penetration rate of NEVs jumped from 14.3% in 2021 to 25.6% in 2022.

The global automotive MCU industry has also grown hand in hand, largely in part due to the explosive growth of NEVs and their tight supply-demand relationship. In 2022, the global automotive MCU market generated US$8.286 billion in revenue — an 11.4% YoY growth. Looking ahead to 2023, the market is predicted to grow 4.35%, reaching a value estimation of US$8.646 billion as a result of continued market expansion and technological advancements in the NEV industry.

Automotive MCUs to undergo a technological and demand revolution

More advanced NEVs will demand higher processing power from MCUs, requiring them to bear heavier performance loads. Foundries such as NXP, Renesas, and Infineon are working to improve the performance of their automotive MCUs through a two-pronged approach: Upgrading the manufacturing process and testing out new forms of storage to prevent a performance bottleneck.

Demand for automotive MCUs will be significantly boosted in the short term as NEVs become more intelligent, functional, complex, and comfortable. In the long-term, the electrical architecture of NEVs plans to shift from a decentralized to a more centralized design, consolidating multiple functions into one domain controller. While this will increase performance loads for MCUs, it also means a fewer number will be needed.

Chinese automotive MCU market experiences boom as domestic production ramps up in the face of a global shortage

China’s automotive MCU market has rapidly expanded in the past three years due to two factors: First, a global shortage has provided Chinese manufacturers an opportunity to break into the market. Especially since China is the world’s largest producer of NEVs, which translates to a higher demand for MCUs than any other region. In the past year alone, 16 Chinese manufacturers have launched their own MCUs; while some are currently in the certification process, others have already entered production.

Second, in the midst of a domestic production boom, an increasing number of Chinese automakers have switched to using domestic MCUs. Domestic NEVs account for more than half of China’s market share, providing Chinese MCU manufacturers with more opportunities to cooperate with Chinese automakers. A number of Chinese automakers have even begun investing in domestic MCU manufacturers.

Over the past three years, the rapid expansion of China’s automotive MCU industry has helped them gain a competitive edge within the market. In the mid- to long-term, China’s MCU market will continue to grow thanks to ramped up domestic production and a thriving NEV market.


Automotive MCU Market Hot in 2022, Market Size Estimated to Grow by 25.7% Annually

Although the overall economy is unstable, the use of automotive MCUs is still increasing gradually due to electric and smart vehicle trends. In order to meet market demand, IDMs have strengthened their investment in production resources. There will also be volume and price growth in 2022. Overall market size is estimated to reach US$8.58 billion, with an annual growth rate of 25.7%.

Automotive MCU market dominated by major international IDMs, 32-bit penetration rate will reach 80.1% in 2022

NXP, Renesas, and Infineon account for approximately 70% of global automotive MCU market share. In 2022, NXP will focus on the development of its S32 series and presented a S32M test chip featuring TSMC’s 5nm process, symbolizing a major milestone in the development of automotive chips. Renesas is focusing on its RH850 series, supplemented by the Low Power RL78 to stabilize development. Infineon’s automotive MCU development is focused on its AURIX series which features a self-developed TriCore core and is designed to perform mid-to-high-level automotive system control.

In general, major international IDMs have a complete line of automotive MCUs. With the increasing number of automotive functions, requirements for MCU computing power have advanced. Considering the optimization of major manufacturers’ product portfolios, the penetration rate of 32-Bit MCUs will also increase year by year and is forecast to grow to 80.1% in 2022.

Nuvoton ranks among top ten MCUs producers worldwide, Taiwanese manufacturers’ operations suffer headwinds after tide of shortages recedes

Taiwanese MCU manufacturers are represented by Nuvoton, Holtek, and Sonix. There are other manufacturers such as Generalplus, Nyquest, Hycon, and Megawin but their revenue scale is small and proportion of MCU is low. Overall, only Nuvoton is an IDM with a MCU market share ranked among the top ten in the world and readily available automotive MCU products.

Taiwanese manufacturers mainly focus on mid-to-low-end consumer electronics applications with low barriers to entry. Most of them are fabless manufacturers, meaning the barriers to entry for capital are also low. Therefore, it is difficult to compare their product portfolios with major international manufacturers. After the shortage of semiconductors subsided, operation in 1H22 inevitably encountered headwinds and demand for consumer electronics in 2H22 will continue to be weak, signaling the arrival of a cold winter for the consumer MCU market.

(Image credit: Pixabay)

  • Page 1
  • 2 page(s)
  • 9 result(s)