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Press Releases
Display Driver IC Prices Predicted to Stabilize in 2Q23 as Demand for Panels Grows QoQ, Says TrendForce



Panel makers have aggressively driven down the prices of display driver ICs (DDIs) over the past few quarters in response to slumping panel prices Meanwhile, foundries have not made any significant price adjustments recently Even when Nexchip lowered prices in 2022 to increase their capacity utilization rate, wafer prices remained relatively stable TrendForce’s research has revealed that instead, many foundries have offered deals such as discounts or free wafers to effectively lower DDI prices without officially changing them, since demand is expected to recover in 2H23 As of 1Q23, the prices of large-sized DDIs have been resistant to falling as it’s too difficult for wafer prices to return to their pre-pandemic levels The ASP of DDIs is expected to remain level throughout 2Q23 or dip slightly by 1–3% TrendForce further iterates that DDIs have faced a long period of strict control over ICs in order to manage inventory levels, which appear to be at a healthy level moving into 2Q23 It was rare to see DDI inventory peak for more half a year in 2022 since most products usually fall to a healthy level in about 8–10 weeks As prices of large-sized DDIs fell significantly by the end of 2022, it’s predicted that panel demand in 2023 will increase QoQ — especially in the third quarter, which has traditionally been the peak season An increase in demand for panels will in turn help drive up demand for DDIs Taking a look at DDI applications, it’s expected to see demand for panels increase QoQ TV panel prices have rebounded since falling significantly and brands are raring to stock up just in time for China’s 618 Shopping Day and Amazon Prime Day Notebook brands have been gradually replenishing panel inventory for their high-end laptops; gaming LCD monitor panel makers have also adjusted output to keep up with increased demand from Internet cafes reopening in China TrendForce observed that DDI wafer input has increased However, when compared to before the pandemic, all parties within the supply chain have grown more fearful of stockpiling ICs With that being said, it’s predicted that demand for DDIs will continue to rise QoQ while prices stay relatively the same Demand is expected to peak as we move into the third quarter and since suppliers have become hesitant to stockpile, it may take 2–3 months to prep enough inventory Therefore, TrendForce notes that the question of whether enough stock will be ready in time for the demand peak is still up in the air If there is insufficient supply to meet the demand, or production capacity is not enough to fulfill that excess demand, then DDIs will once again have to cope with being in tight supply in the short term TrendForce does not rule out the possibility that the effects of this could trickle through the entire panel supply chain 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 For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Global NAND Flash Revenue Reports a QoQ Decline of 25% in 4Q22 as ASP Drops Further, Says TrendForce



TrendForce’s latest investigations reveal that the global NAND Flash market has been facing a demand headwind since 2H22 In response, the supply chain has been scrambling to clear out inventory, driving down NAND Flash contract prices by 20–25% Enterprise SSD took the brunt of the fall with prices plummeting 23–28% Despite manufacturers lowering prices in an attempt to drive up demand, clients are hesitant to purchase more components for fear of overstock As a result, NAND Flash bit shipments rose by a mere 53% as ASP fell 228% Global NAND Flash revenue was reported to be US$1029 billion in 4Q22 — down 25% QoQ TrendForce reports that Kioxia and Micron saw both a reduction in production and price in 4Q22 Kioxia’s revenue plunged 305% due to weak demand from PC and smartphone clients and data centers readjusting their inventory Micron generated a quarterly revenue of US$11 billion — a staggering 347% QoQ drop — that has led them to drastically decrease their capacity utilization rate for fabs Luckily, Micron was able to ship their 232-layer client SSDs in 4Q22 as scheduled, and with the 176-layer QLC enterprise SSD hot on its heels, Micron’s bit shipments are predicted to steadily improve in 2023 with their revenue climbing gradually quarter by quarter Samsung has continued to push high-capacity products thanks to their cost advantage, leading to an increase in total bit shipments Nevertheless, they were unable to avoid the drop in ASP, generating revenue earnings of US$348 billion in 4Q22 — down 191% QoQ Samsung continues to hold the top position, retaining 338% of the market share, and currently has no plans to cut back on production Samsung’s competitors in the NAND Flash market have managed to ramp up production in recent years as a result of technological advancements, threatening Samsung’s position as top dog Evidently, this is why while the rest of the industry has slowed down production, Samsung continues to maintain capital expenditure and invest heavily in R&D, all to gain a greater advantage in technology and production capacity SK Group (SK hynix & Solidigm) has similarly found itself affected by client destocking and the price war, posting a fourth quarter revenue of US$176 billion — down 309% QoQ Nonetheless, their bit shipments saw a quarterly increase of 67%, largely in part to a number of reasons: consumer electronics accounting for a higher percentage of SK hynix’s product portfolio, new smartphone products boosting demand, and enterprise SSDs being shipped on schedule Western Digital (WDC) also reported a 20% increase in bit shipments in 4Q22 despite the sudden dip in prices However, their NAND Flash revenue only hit US$166 billion — down 38% QoQ NAND Flash revenue will continue to decrease heading into 1Q23 due to traditionally low first quarter Kioxia, Micron, Western Digital, and SK hynix will continue cutting back on production moving into 1Q23, giving them an opportunity to alleviate their current overstock situation As a result, the drop in NAND Flash ASP should shrink to around 10–15% Unfortunately, given that first quarters are traditionally low because of low client purchasing power, this means growth in client orders will be constrained TrendForce predicts NAND Flash revenue will continue to see a decrease of 81% in 1Q23 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 For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Smartphone Camera Module Output Predicted to Grow to 4.62 Billion Units in 2023 as Smartphone Demand Picks Up, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

Falling global smartphone production brought about by high inflation and China’s COVID policies resulted in only 446 billion camera modules being manufactured in 2022 However, as the global economy is slowly set to stabilize in 2023, smartphone production is also projected to rise by 09% Furthermore, increased production of camera lenses for budget smartphones means that production of phone camera modules is expected to increase by 36%, reaching a total output of 462 billion units in 2023, according to TrendForce research Consumers are now, more than ever, prioritizing camera performance when it comes to choosing a smartphone With a maturing smartphone market making it more difficult for phone brands to launch significantly innovative products, smartphone manufacturers have elected to highlight improved camera performance to entice consumers to continue upgrading Smartphone brands such as Samsung, Xiaomi, vivo, and Oppo are set to introduce an advanced periscope camera module in their smartphones that can deliver optical quality Additionally, smartphone manufacturers have been collaborating with iconic and prestigious photography camera brands (eg, Xiaomi and Leica; vivo and ZEISS) to provide customers with the finest image quality and details When it comes to camera module design, most smartphone brands continue to employ a triple camera setup, with one high-resolution camera and two low-resolution cameras For example, vivo released the v27 in March of 2023, which featured a main 50 MP wide-angle camera, an 8 MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2 MP macro camera Similarly, Xiaomi released the Xiaomi Redmi K60 Pro in January, 2023, which featured a main 54 MP wide-angle camera, an 8 MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2 MP macro camera Utilizing this particular camera module design allows smartphone manufacturers to maintain triple camera specifications in their phones while minimizing production costs, and allows customers to reap the benefits of a high-performance camera without paying exorbitant prices TrendForce believes this is why triple cameras will continue to be a major design trend in mid-range smartphones Since the main camera bears the most responsibility when it comes to camera performance, smartphone brands will continue to use high-pixel resolution camera lenses, mainly from 49 to 64 MP It has been noted that smartphone brands have been releasing an increasing number of smartphones with even higher camera resolutions For example, Honor released the X8a in February of this year Marketing for this phone heavily focused on its 100 MP main camera as the phone’s selling point Samsung also equipped their mid-range Galaxy A73 5G with a 108 MP main camera, demonstrating that smartphone manufacturers are gearing towards significantly upgrading the pixel resolution of their main cameras TrendForce reports that smartphone manufacturers will continue to focus on improving rear camera performance when it comes to upgrading smartphone hardware, promoting their phones’ picture and video taking capabilities, and highlighting special features such as night or astrophotography mode To achieve these performance upgrades, manufacturers will need to not only strengthen the optical performance of their camera modules, but utilize AI algorithms and software to improve image quality For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Total Revenue of Top 10 Foundries Fell by 4.7% QoQ for 4Q22 and Will Slide Further for 1Q23, Says TrendForce



According to TrendForce’s latest survey of the global foundry market, electronics brands began adjusting their inventories in 2Q22, but foundries were unable to rapidly adapt to this development because they reside in the more upper portion of the supply chain Moreover, revising procurement quantities of long-term foundry contracts takes time as well Hence, only some tier-2 and -3 foundries were able to immediately respond to the changes in their clients’ demand Also, among them, 8-inch wafer foundries made a more pronounced reduction in their capacity utilization rates As for the remaining foundries, the downward corrections that they made to their capacity utilization rates did not become noticeable until 4Q22 Hence, in 4Q22, the quarterly total revenue of the global top 10 foundries registered a QoQ decline for the first time after 13 consecutive quarters of positive growth The quarterly total revenue of the top 10 foundries came to US$33,530 million, reflecting a drop of 47% from 3Q22 Moving into 1Q23, TrendForce projects that the quarterly total revenue of the top 10 will show an even steeper drop on account of seasonality and the uncertain macroeconomic situation Although TSMC and GlobalFoundries Actually Managed to Raise Revenue Market Share in 4Q22, Top Five Foundries All Inevitably Faced Massive Reduction in Orders In 4Q22, foundries’ revenues were affected by an underwhelming peak season and their customers’ inventory corrections Even with stock-up activities related to new iPhones and Android smartphones, TSMC still posted a QoQ drop of 10% in revenue to reach US$19,962 million However, TSMC’s revenue market share climbed to almost 60% mainly because tier-2 and -3 foundries took a heavier hit with respect to customers’ inventory corrections Competitors’ weaker performances thus allowed TSMC to gain market share Regarding the revenues from TSMC’s process technologies, the decline in the revenues from the 7/6nm nodes was mostly offset by the rise in the revenues from the 5/4nm nodes The share of the ≤7nm nodes in TSMC’s overall revenue remained stable at 54% Turning to Samsung, it experienced a drop in orders for advanced processes and a general demand contraction as its customers were concentrating on inventory reduction However, the demand drop associated with these factors was marginally offset by stock-up activities related to the components for the new iPhones and Android smartphones All in all, Samsung posted a QoQ drop of 35% in foundry revenue to reach US$5,391 million for 4Q22 TrendForce also points out that Samsung has lost a significant amount of demand for its ≤7nm nodes as Qualcomm and NVIDIA made the decision to reallocate orders for chips used in flagship hardware products Currently, there are no new major customers that can effectively address the idling production capacity caused by the order reallocation Therefore, the utilization rates of Samsung’s advanced processes are projected to remain at a low level of around 60% through 2023 In sum, Samsung lacks the momentum to achieve a positive YoY revenue growth for this year Regarding other the major foundries, UMC saw a drop in both capacity utilization rate and wafer shipments in 4Q22, so its revenue fell by 127% QoQ to US$2,165 million In the aspect of wafer size and process technology, UMC saw a QoQ revenue decline for both 12- and 8-inch wafer foundry services, and its 035/025μm nodes had the worse revenue performance with a QoQ decline coming to 47% Conversely, in the case of GlobalFoundries, its revenue actually rose by 13% QoQ to US$2,101 million thanks to the optimization in its ASP and product mixes, as well as an increase in revenue from its non-wafer business GlobalFoundries was the only one among the top 10 to record a positive QoQ growth, and its revenue market share also climbed to 62% Turning to SMIC, it also saw a drop in both wafer shipments and wafer ASP As a result, its revenue slid by 150% QoQ to US$1,621 million Looking at SMIC’s revenue by application or production category, the sharpest drops were experienced by chips related to smart home and consumer electronics To get its customers to raise wafer input, SMIC has been offering price concessions However, this aggressive pricing strategy has not been particularly effective as customers are concerned about the risks associated with the US-China trade dispute Therefore, SMIC’s capacity utilization rate and revenue are expected to shrink further in 1Q23 Downturn of Display Panel Industry Led to Significant Revenue Drop for VIS and Nexchip, and the Latter Exited Top 10 Group TrendForce notes that the extent of the impact from order cuts varied for individual foundries in 4Q22 Consequently, there were two notable changes in the quarterly revenue ranking from sixth to 10th place First, Nexchip fell out of the top 10 group and will unlikely return in the short term DB Hitek filled in the 10th place vacated by Nexchip in 4Q22 However, its capacity utilization rate dropped to 80-85% due to the recent market downturn DB Hitek posted a QoQ drop of around 124% in revenue to reach US$292 million Second, Tower, which was in ninth place in the 3Q22 ranking, benefited from the stable demand for chips based on specialty process technologies and a relatively steady flow of orders from European clients during 4Q22 Tower posted a marginal QoQ decline of 56% in revenue to reach US$403 million, and this result enabled it to surpass VIS to take eighth place in the 4Q22 ranking Conversely, VIS was impacted by the downturn of the display panel industry and the slumping demand for consumer electronics in 4Q22 With a QoQ decline of around 30% in wafer shipments, VIS also recorded a QoQ drop of 303% in revenue to reach US$305 million Because of this performance, VIS slipped to ninth place in the ranking HuaHong Group benefited from the domestic demand for its specialty processes in 4Q22, but the same period also saw strong market headwinds that weakened the demand for logic ICs All in all, HuaHong’s overall revenue for the quarter fell by 265% QoQ to US$882 million Before this drop, HuaHong had maintained positive QoQ revenue growth for two straight years Lastly, looking at PSMC’s performance in 4Q22, capacity utilization rate slid significantly for both 8- and 12-inch wafer foundry Consequently, PSMC posted a QoQ decline of 273% in foundry revenue to reach US$408 million With this result, PSMC has recorded QoQ revenue drop for three consecutive quarters Its revenue market share also shrank to just 12% in 4Q22 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 For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Global Smartphone Production Fell by 15.5% YoY to 301 Million Units for 4Q22 Due to Underwhelming Busy Season, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

Smartphone brands hoped that the promotional activities related to the year-end holiday season or initiated by e-commerce companies would lead to a significant reduction in channel inventory near the end of 2022 However, the recent downturn of the global economy continued to impact consumer confidence in 4Q22, so smartphone sales were lower than expected and thereby dragged down the speed of inventory consumption Moreover, the labor shortage problem at Foxconn’s electronics assembly base in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou affected Apple’s efforts to raise iPhone production in 4Q22 According to TrendForce’s latest research, quarterly global smartphone production totaled around 301 million for 4Q22, reflecting a QoQ growth of 4% and a YoY decline of 155% Earlier in 1H22, China’s enforcement of its zero-COVID policy and the Russia-Ukraine military conflict caused the demand for consumer electronics to plunge Later in 2H22, the global economy experienced a decline that was worse than expected as factors such as high inflation, food shortages, and rising energy prices came into play As a result, consumer demand was further weakened Besides these negative factors, the high level of channel inventory was also a major reason as to why smartphone brands suffered a drop in annual device production Based on TrendForce’s calculation, annual global smartphone production fell by 106% YoY to 1192 billion units for 2022 This YoY decline was larger than one recorded for the year when the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged Despite the labor shortage at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou base, 4Q22 was the peak season for the sales of the latest iPhone models, and Apple was able to raise iPhone production against market headwinds by 447% QoQ to 735 million units With this performance, Apple became the world’s top smartphone brand by quarterly production For the whole 2022, Apple posted around 233 million units in iPhone production and took second place in the global ranking of brands by annual production Moving into 2023, Apple will focus on upgrading the hardware specifications of its iPhone models and have its second partner for EMS start assembling the iPhone Pro models Moreover, Apple will continue to expand its device production in India Samsung again lowered the capacity utilization rates of its device assembly lines last December in order to balance out its smartphone inventory As a result, Samsung’s smartphone production fell by 92% QoQ to 583 million units for 4Q22 The brand’s lowest quarterly production figure for the year was also recorded in the fourth quarter Regarding the ranking for the entire 2022, Samsung remained at the top with around 258 million units and a YoY drop of 61% Going forward, Samsung will pay more attention to the high-end segment of the smartphone market in order to yield a higher profit growth Chinese brands Xiaomi (including Redmi, POCO, and Black Shark), OPPO (including Realme and OnePlus), and Vivo (including iQoo) were third, fourth, and fifth respectively in the ranking by quarterly production for 4Q22 All of them posted a decline for the quarter and the entire 2022 TrendForce’s latest investigation finds that Xiaomi prioritizes the reduction of channel inventory for the first quarter of this year, so its device production in the same period will also be affected by this decision OPPO managed to raise the share of overseas markets in its overall smartphone sales to almost 60% by the end of 2022, but its device production is currently being constrained by the high level of channel inventory Therefore, the brand will again be scaling back output in 1Q23 as it concentrates on inventory adjustments As for Vivo, TrendForce points out that it was the first among brands for Android smartphones to begin adjusting inventory, and its inventory level was again relatively healthy at the end of 2022 However, by being aggressive in carrying out this task, Vivo’s annual smartphone production fell under the threshold of 100 million units for the first time in 2022 Moreover, Vivo still mainly concentrates its efforts on the domestic market that has already become very saturated At the same time, Honor as the competing Chinese brand has been able to grow its share of the domestic market, thereby becoming more of a direct threat to Vivo Additionally, Vivo is still holding a fairly conservative outlook for the domestic market, even though there is a widespread anticipation that China’s domestic demand will rebound as the country’s economy recovers from the latest wave of COVID-19 lockdowns Global Smartphone Production Is Projected to Rise by 09% for 2023 as Channel Inventory Eventually Returns to Healthy Level Due to brands’ lackluster sales performances near the end of 2022, the pressure from the high level of channel inventory is going to persist through 1Q23 Furthermore, China’s domestic demand has yet to make a significant recovery following the lifting of the rules for controlling COVID-19 outbreaks Therefore, smartphone production will again show a drop in 1Q23 TrendForce currently forecasts that global smartphone production will reach around 251 million units for 1Q23, reflecting a YoY decline of 189% TrendForce also notes that channel inventory as a whole will return to a fairly optimal level within 1H23 as brands continue to make adjustments Looking further ahead to 2H23, brands’ performances will depend on the extent of the economic turnaround in the US and Europe The extent of the positive effects that the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions on China’s economy will be also be a major factor in driving smartphone production TrendForce currently projects that global smartphone production for the whole 2023 will still rise a bit by 09% YoY to 1202 billion units 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 For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

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