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Press Releases
TrendForce Estimates a 13% QoQ Growth in Global Foundry Revenue for 3Q19; Peak Season Will Be Weaker Than Expected Due to the US-China Trade Dispute

2019/09/04

Semiconductors

The global demand for semiconductor components in the second half of the year will be noticeably stronger compared with the first half due to the effect of the traditional peak season TrendForce currently estimates that the global foundry revenue in 3Q19 will increase by 13% QoQ TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries will again take first, second, and third place respectively in the revenue ranking TSMC’s revenue market share is estimated at 505% in 3Q19, whereas the market shares of Samsung and Global foundries are estimated at 185% and 8% respectively for the same period Although the end demand will be driven by the positive seasonality in 2H19, its growth will be lower compared with 2H18 due to the uncertainties around the US-China trade disputes TrendForce thus expects the rebound in the semiconductor market during the year’s second half to be significantly weaker compared with the same period of the previous years An overview of the recent performances of the major foundries reveals that TSMC as the market leader has much succeeded in leveraging its 7nm process to capture the demand from important customers such as Apple, HiSilicon, Qualcomm, and AMD The capacity utilization rate of the 7nm process is now approaching 100% At the same time, TSMC is seeing returning demand for some of its legacy processes Taking these factors into consideration, TSMC is forecasted to post a notable YoY growth of around 7% in its total foundry revenue for 3Q19 Samsung’s foundry business is also expected to push back against market headwinds by tapping into its in-house demand It is worth noting that Samsung has further segmented its process technologies in order to be more flexible in meeting different demands Additionally, Samsung has benefitted from the releases of 5G smartphones With respect to 5G smartphone modem chips, Samsung is using in-house chips for some of its 5G device offerings, while Huawei is using in-house chips for all of its 5G device offerings Samsung’s 10nm process is also mass producing Qualcomm’s 5G modem chip X50, which has been adopted by most other smartphone brands Supported by the 5G demand, Samsung’s foundry revenue in 3Q19 is projected to grow by about 33% YoY GlobalFoundries has recently sold off several fabs along with its chip business to several buyers in exchange for capital and the commitment from the same buyers to continue placing wafer orders The company has also been able to use its RF SOI technology to increase the revenue from applications related to networking and communication solutions However, GlobalFoundries could see some reduction in revenue generation once the sales of its fabs are completed Another challenge to its operation is AMD’s decision to proactively develop 7nm product lines This, in turn, will erode the revenue from the foundry’s 12/14nm processes UMC was able to raise shipments and its capacity utilization in 2Q19 by taking advantage of demand related to application processors for low-end and mid-range smartphones, components for switches and routers, etc UMC is expected to maintain revenue growth in 3Q19 SMIC saw impressive revenue generation from its 55/65nm and 40/45nm processes in 2Q19 on account of a substantial flow of orders from the smartphone, IoT, and other related application markets The demand for its 28nm process also started to return during the same period SMIC’s revenue is expected to continue on an upward trajectory in 3Q19 The foundry is currently developing its own 14nm process China’s growing demand and policy incentives could push domestic IC design firms like HiSilicon and UNISOC to allocate some of their production to SMIC’s 14nm process in the future if the yield rate for the technology is maintained at a high level Hua Hong Semiconductor’s revenue has gained on China’s demand for power discretes and PMICs The company is expected to record a stable revenue growth in 3Q19 Likewise, VIS posted a stellar revenue result for 2Q19 owing to the influx of orders for PMICs Its revenue generation reached the year’s peak in July Going forward, demand from the power semiconductor market is going to sustain VIS’s performance in 3Q19 and help the company to offset some of the revenue loss caused by the market shift to 12-inch wafers for display driver ICs TrendForce points out that the foundry market as a whole has been significantly impacted by the recent escalation of the US-China trade dispute The raising of tariffs on both sides has affected a large swath of the consumer electronics market, depressing the total annual demand for smartphones, notebook PCs, tablet computers, TVs, etc The impasse in trade negotiations between the two countries has also led to major Chinese OEMs being put on the US Entity List In the case of Huawei, the restriction on technology sales to the company is not expected to be lifted anytime soon; and the US government continues to add more of its subsidiaries and affiliates to the Entity List In light of these developments, foundries generally maintain a conservative view of the demand growth during the peak season of 2H19

Press Releases
In-Display Fingerprint Sensors Are Rising, and May Account for 13% of All Fingerprint Sensor Technologies in 2019, Says TrendForce

2018/08/27

Telecommunications / Semiconductors / Display / Consumer Electronics

Samsung will launch models with in-display fingerprint sensors, following Vivo, Huawei, Xiaomi, and OPPO, says TrendForce The adoption by these major Android smartphones has constantly increased the penetration of in-display fingerprint technologies, among which ultrasonic and optical fingerprint sensing have made considerable breakthroughs TrendForce estimates that ultrasonic and optical in-display fingerprint sensors will account for 13% of all fingerprint sensor technologies in 2019, significantly up from 3% in 2018 There are many types of biometric identification technologies adopted by smartphones, with fingerprint sensing, face recognition, and iris recognition to be the major ones In terms of fingerprint sensors, the development of capacitive solutions is the most mature, while optical and ultrasonic ones have started to make breakthroughs this year The increasing penetration of full-screen smartphone models has directly boosted the demand for in-display fingerprint sensors Optical in-display fingerprint sensors will be increasingly adopted by mid and high-end models The development of fingerprint sensor technologies has been previously restricted by low yield rate and insufficient investment from the supply chain, says TrendForce However, with the increasing demand for fingerprint sensors from smartphone vendors like Vivo, the design houses have invested heavily to increase yield rates and seek more cost-effective solutions The cost of the optical in-display fingerprint sensor of Synaptics was US$12~15 each in 2017, but has a chance to decrease to lower than US$8 in 2019, as Goodix, Silead and other companies in turn enter the field At that time, brands may also embed in-display fingerprint sensors in their mid and high-end models, instead of only in flagships, so as to fit in the design of full-screen On the other hand, led by the active product development by Qualcomm, the share of ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensors is expected to reach 63% in the smartphone fingerprint sensor market in 2019 There have been rumors in the market that Samsung will adopt Qualcomm's ultrasonic fingerprint sensors next year In general, the in-display fingerprint sensor market may grow by multiple times in 2019, and the market will no longer be dominated by optical solutions provided by Synaptics and Goodix Regarding the supply chain, it is worth noting that Qualcomm may change the landscape of the traditional capacitive fingerprint sensor market, although it is a latecomer to the competition If Qualcomm’s products are successfully embedded in Samsung’s phones, and further adopted by flagship models of Chinese smartphone brands in the future at a price close to that of capacitive solutions, then Qualcomm’s participation may influence the sales strategies of existing companies that provide both optical and capacitive solutions These companies, including Goodix and Silead, may have to lower their prices of both optical and capacitive solutions significantly in order to introduce the products to the middle and high-end smartphone segments There will be more Android phones featuring both fingerprint sensing and face recognition With the decreasing prices, in-display fingerprint sensor has become part of the standard equipment for Android phones at a price of RMB 2,500 or higher In order to provide consumers with more diversified specs, it is expected that there will be more Android phones featuring both fingerprint sensing (including in-display or conventional ones) and face recognition (including 3D and 2D) 3D sensing technology is still favored by flagships of major brands, and has been constantly improved in terms of costs, design, and algorithm In addition to Apple’s large-scale adoption of Face ID in 2019, major Android brands will also adopt 3D face recognition in their flagship models In the long run, 3D sensing will be embedded in middle and high-end smartphones, while 2D face recognition will penetrate into the middle and low-end segments which are more sensitive to costs

Press Releases
Chinese Providers Earn 26.9% of the Projected Revenue of Top 10 OSAT Providers for 1H18, Hitting a New Record High, Says TrendForce

2018/06/13

Emerging Technologies / Semiconductors

The total revenue from the global top 10 providers of outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) service for 1H18 is estimated to grow by 105% YoY, reaching US$1112 billion, reports TrendForce Particularly, JCET, TSHT and TFME, the major three Chinese OSAT providers, are projected to represent a share of 269% in the total revenue of the top 10 providers in 1H18, hitting a new record high The OSAT market expects slower growth in 1H18 in contrast to the growth rate of 164% in 1H17, due to slower expansion of global smartphone market and rising prices of wafers Furthermore, the entire IC testing and packaging industry is also influenced by the headwinds, with the total revenue estimated at US$2515 billion The YoY revenue growth is 14%, lower than 91% of a year ago The projected revenue ranking of the top 10 OSAT providers for 1H18 shows no change compared with the 1H17 ranking After a series of merger deals, JCET, TSHT and TFME all register outstanding performances, with double-digit revenue growths in 1H18 As for Taiwan-based companies, the merger of ASE Group and SPIL has come to an end, but the growth in revenue and gross profit margin is not as good as in 1H17, due to the weak market of high-end smartphones and higher wafer prices The situation is the same for Amkor, KYEC and ChipMOS As for UTAC Group, it witnesses slight revenue decline because of the closure of its fab in Shanghai It is also worth mentioning that PTI stages the most outstanding performances among other non-Chinese providers in the ranking The company benefits from higher prices of memory products, as well as the acquisition of Tera Probe and Micron Akita, which has pushed up the overall revenue TrendForce points out that, although the market remains generally optimistic about the automotive applications, 5G, AI, etc, but these emerging technologies are still in the early phases of adoption, creating limited growth momentum for the industry On the other hand, the packaging and testing business remains weak in the whole industrial value chain, so most of the packaging and testing service providers are faced with cost pressures Consequently, they record lower gross margins in 1H18 compared with one year ago The pressure of weak gross margins may continue to the end of this year despite the traditional peak season in 2H18, because the increasing gap between wafer supply and demand will continue to raise the costs of wafer fabrication

Press Releases
TrendForce Reports Top 10 Semiconductor Foundries Worldwide for 1H18, TSMC Ranks First with an Estimated Market Share of 56.1%

2018/05/24

Semiconductors

According to TrendForce’s latest report, the premium smartphone market experienced weak demand in 1H18, as the vendors blurred the lines between their mid-range and premium models, and the new devices released did not trigger a high level of replacement demand as anticipated The weak demand for smartphone indirectly reduced the demand for high-performance processors from smartphone vendors, and lowered the growth momentum for foundries to develop advanced process technology Therefore, TrendForce forecasts lower revenue growth for global foundries in 1H18 than in 1H17, with the total revenue reaching about US$2906 billion, a year-on-year growth of 77% As for the ranking of foundries by revenue, TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and UMC are expected to take first, second, and third place respectively TrendForce notes that the 1H18 top ten ranking of foundries remains almost the same as a year ago, except for X-Fab surpassing Dongbu HiTek and ranking the 10th The weak demand from smartphones has also influenced TSMC, who witnessed lower-than-expected growth momentum However, the company may still acquire a market share of 561% despite the headwinds GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ranking the second, sees subtle revenue increase in 1H18 compared with 1H17 since there is no significant change in its customer structure UMC is the third in the revenue ranking for 1H18, with limited revenue growth due to pressure from TSMC's dominant market share in advanced processes Currently, UMC focuses on developing new customers of products based on 28nm and 14nm processes, in order to consume the capacity Samsung, ranking the fourth, is actively promoting its Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) service among potential clients, exploring new possibilities of cooperation SMIC, ranking the fifth, is now devoted to improving the yield rate of 28nm process Manufacturing on other processes with mature yield remains the major driver for the revenue growth of SMIC, who has been continuously receiving orders from domestic customers in China TowerJazz has been adjusting its product mixes, increasing the share of high-profit products The adjustment has resulted in lower-than-expected revenue in the first half of the year, a decrease by 4% over the same period last year Powerchip has benefited from growing orders and staged remarkable performance, with an estimated revenue growth of 271% over the same period last year As for the production capacity of 200mm wafers, the market in 1H18 shows the same trend of undersupply as in last year Rising quotes for manufacturing products on 200mm wafers have brought remarkable revenue performance for 200mm wafer fabs VIS and Hua Hong Semiconductor are expected to record revenue growths of 151% and 135% respectively X-Fab is expected to benefit from industrial and automotive markets, recording a slight growth of 46% in 1H18 In addition, TrendForce also notes that, foundries have made progresses on the development of third-generation semiconductors VIS has become the first foundry in the world to provide foundry service on 200mm GaN-on-Silicon wafers X-Fab has integrated SiC to its 150mm wafer fab with a monthly capacity of 30,000 pieces Taiwan-based Episil Technologies is also actively developing its foundry service of SiC and GaN wafers

Press Releases
Third Generation Semiconductor Materials Show Market Potential Due to Rapid Development of 5G and Automotive Technology, Says TrendForce Highlights

2018/03/26

Emerging Technologies / Semiconductors

Revenue for SiC substrates and GaN substrates will be US$180 million and US$3 million respectively in 2018 SiC and GaN power devices market is closely associated with the development of electric vehicles, because SiC and GaN’s properties of low on-resistance and low switching loss will be key to improving automotive battery life Manufacturers have been providing foundry services of SiC and GaN devices, cutting into the supply chain where IDMs like Cree, Infineon, Qorvo, etc used to dominate 5G is expected to enter commercial operation in 2020, while vehicles become more intelligent, networked and electric, driving the development of SiC and GaN, the third-generation semiconductor materials TrendForce estimates that the revenue for SiC substrates and GaN substrates will be US$180 million and US$3 million respectively in 2018 SiC and GaN devices are more resistant to high-voltage operations compared with mainstream Si-based ones SiC and GaN materials also outperform Si in operations of high-temperature and high-frequency respectively In SiC and GaN power devices, the sizes of chips are smaller, while the circuit designs are simplified As the result, modules, components and cooling systems are also smaller in size The entire vehicles will become more lightweight in this way In addition, SiC and GaN’s properties of low on-resistance and low switching loss will be key to improving automotive battery life Therefore, the development of SiC and GaN power devices is closely associated with the advancement of electric vehicles However, SiC materials remain in the stage of testing and introduction In the automotive area, SiC power devices are only applied to race cars now, so SiC-based solutions’ output by area accounts for less than 01% of all automotive power devices worldwide, according to TrendForce Currently, GaN-on-SiC and GaN-on-Si are two mainstream production approaches for GaN power devices GaN-on-SiC has excellent heat dissipation performance and is suitable for high-frequency operations, making it commonly used in 5G base stations It is expected that the market of SiC substrates will escalate in the next five years after automobile companies finish the tests and 5G goes into commercial operation in 2020 The costs of GaN substrates remain high, so the revenue of GaN substrates is much smaller than that of SiC substrates for current stage However, GaN devices’ resistance to high-frequency conditions makes them a point of focus for technology companies GaN-on-SiC technology is now used in high-specification products On the other hand, GaN-on-Si is more cost-effective and becomes the mainstream in GaN power device market, with higher possibility of growth in sectors of power management chips and charging systems for automobiles and smartphones The third generation semiconductor materials show market potential due to rapid development of 5G and automotive technology Manufacturers have been providing foundry services of SiC and GaN devices, cutting into the supply chain where IDMs like Cree, Infineon, Qorvo, etc used to dominate For example, TSMC and VIS provide foundry service of GaN-on-Si WIN Semiconductors focuses on GaN-on-SiC sectors and business opportunities brought by 5G base stations In addition, X-Fab, Episil Technologies and GCS also provide foundry service of SiC and GaN The development of foundry services will drive the growth of third-generation semiconductor materials market

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