As the global vaccination rate rose, and border restrictions in Europe and North America eased, social activities also began to enter a period of recovery, with the consumer electronics market seemingly ready for the arrival of the traditional peak season in 2H21, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. At the same time, however, the global supply chain was affected by delays in maritime transport, skyrocketing shipping costs, and component shortages, in addition to already-prohibitive price hikes for certain components in 1H21. Given the parallel rise in both material and manufacturing costs, the market for end products has not undergone the expected cyclical upturn in 2H21. Even so, the overall demand for and shipment of smartphones, notebook computers, and monitors experienced QoQ increases in 3Q21, thereby driving up businesses for major OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) companies. For 3Q21, the revenues of the top 10 OSAT companies reached US$8.89 billion, a 31.6% YoY increase.
Despite the intensifying COVID-19 pandemic that swept Taiwan in 2Q21, the domestic OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) industry remained largely intact, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Global sales of large-sized TVs were brisk thanks to major sporting events such as the Tokyo Olympics and UEFA Euro 2020. Likewise, the proliferation of WFH and distance learning applications propelled the demand for IT products, while the automotive semiconductor and data center markets also showed upward trajectories. Taking into account the above factors, OSAT companies raised their quotes in response, resulting in a 26.4% YoY increase in the top 10 OSAT companies’ revenue to US$7.88 billion for 2Q21.
Demand for telecom base stations, converters, and charging stations has seen considerable growth this year as a result of ongoing developments in 5G telecommunication, consumer electronics, industrial energy conversion, and new energy vehicles (NEV), according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. While this demand generated a corresponding surge in demand for components and devices powered by third-generation semiconductors GaN and SiC, the GaN power devices market is expected to undergo the highest magnitude of growth. TrendForce expects GaN power devices revenue for 2021 to reach US$83 million, an impressive 73% YoY increase.
National governments in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia, have been instituting increasingly stringent pandemic control measures in response to the intensifying COVID-19 pandemic in these countries. Remarkably, these countries are all hotspots in the electronic component supply chain, and Malaysia, home to many semiconductor packaging and testing facilities as well as passive component fabs, has now come under the international spotlight as a result. In particular, Malaysia’s MCO 3.0 (Movement Control Order 3.0) lockdown, which was extended on June 1, specifically excludes the semiconductor industry, as this industry boasts relatively high market revenue. As such, packaging and testing facilities are currently operating normally in Malaysia, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations.
Revenues of the top 10 largest packaging/testing (OSAT, outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) companies reached US$7.17 billion in 1Q21, a 21.5% increase YoY, with most of these companies recording double-digit growths, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. This bullish performance is primarily attributed to the fact that the post-pandemic new normal, which entails such activities as WFH and distance education, adopted by the general public had become commonplace, as well as the fact that vaccinations in Europe and North America began to somewhat abate the intensity of the pandemic in those areas, with cities successively terminating lockdown measures. Furthermore, demand for IT products, TVs, 5G devices, and automotive electronics persisted given the impending Tokyo Olympics. Finally, end-device manufacturers had been aggressively procuring components since 2H20, in turn leading to a tight production capacity for actors across the semiconductor supply chain. Hence, OSAT companies gradually increased their prices in response to strong demand from clients. Taken together, these aforementioned factors propelled the overall revenue performances from the OSAT industry in 1Q21.
The third-generation semiconductor industry was impaired by the US-China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic successively from 2018 to 2020, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. During this period, the semiconductor industry on the whole saw limited upward momentum, in turn leading to muted growth for the 3rd gen semiconductor segment as well. However, this segment is likely to enter a rapid upturn owing to high demand from automotive, industrial, and telecom applications. In particular, the GaN power device market will undergo the fastest growth, with a $61 million revenue, a 90.6% YoY increase, projected for 2021.
Demand for end-devices saw a continued growth due to the rise of the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2Q20, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. As U.S. sanctions against shipping chips manufactured with U.S. equipment and technologies to Huawei took effect on September 15, various OSAT companies rushed to make deliveries prior to the September 15 deadline. Driven by this wave of urgent orders, the top 10 largest OSAT companies’ quarterly revenue reached US$6.759 billion in 3Q20, a 12.9% increase YoY.
The border restrictions and national lockdowns instituted by various governments due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact in 1Q20 resulted in low inventory levels for clients of packaging and testing (OSAT, outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) companies and for distribution channels as well, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. As the supply chain gradually recovered in 2Q20, governments began instituting fiscal policies to stimulate the economy. These factors, combined with the rise of the stay-at-home economy, led to an increased restocking demand from downstream clients, in turn providing a boost to OSAT revenue, which reached US$6.325 billion in 2Q20, a 26.6% increase YoY.
RF front-end component IDM and foundry revenues will be affected under the dual influences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Chinese government’s policy of decoupling from the U.S., driven by the ever-intensifying U.S.-China trade war that began in 2019, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Lowered demand for telecommunications end-devices in 2020 is also expected to lead to a bearish market for GaAs RF front end as well. GaAs RF front end revenue is projected to reach US$5.793 billion this year, a 3.8% decline YoY.