TSMC is confident that the company will beat Samsung Electronics in ramping up production on its 10nm lines, according to the Taiwan-based foundry. TSMC continued that in the 10nm FinFET race, Intel will be its major competitor. Samsung disclosed during a recent technology forum in the US that the company plans to enter mass production of chips using its 10nm FinFET process by the end of 2016, about the same time as TSMC.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is scheduled to establish a 10nm pilot line at its 12-inch wafer plant in Hsinchu (Fab 12), northern Taiwan, in June, according to a recent Economic Daily News (EDN) report. TSMC with its 10nm FinFET node is eyeing orders for Apple’s A10 SoC chips, but Samsung Electronics will also be involved in the race for orders, the report said.
Samsung Electronics has stepped up purchases of IC parts from its Taiwan-based suppliers, including Himax Technologies, Richtek Technology and Silergy, according to industry sources. Silergy has extended its partnership with Samsung, through providing LCD driver ICs, power management ICs (PMICs) for handsets, and most recently, PMICs for SSDs IC suppliers, the sources said. Orders placed by Samsung buoyed Silergy’s revenues and profits over the past three years, the sources indicated.
Qualcomm may not serve as one of the top-five clients for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in the second half of 2015 as the US-based chipmaker has placed more 14nm orders with Samsung Electronics, while giving more 28nm orders to United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), according to industry sources. Qualcomm’s decision may aim to reduce its reliance on TSMC and to avoid its previous experience of not being able to gain enough 28nm foundry capacity from TSMC, the sources noted.
TSMC will reportedly manufacture fingerprint sensors for use in the next-generation iPhone series at its 12-inch wafer fabs using 65nm process technology, according to industry sources. In response, TSMC said the company does not talk about any customer engagements. For existing iPhone models, fingerprint sensors are being built using TSMC’s 0.18-micron process at the foundry’s 8-inch facilities, the sources noted.
After less-than-stellar market growth in 2013, the market for power management semiconductors surged in 2014. Even after a seasonal revenue decline of roughly 5% in the fourth quarter of 2014, global power semiconductor market revenues grew nearly 7%, according to IHS. Demand was particularly strong for power semiconductors in the automotive and industrial end markets, said IHS. Increased demand was led by an increase in power semiconductors used in powertrain, infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) applications in automotive applications.
Xiaomi, which uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC for its Note-series smartphones, will likely switch back to MediaTek for its flagship smartphones, according to industry sources. Xiaomi uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC for its latest flagship series – Mi Note – compared to the company’s previous flagship models utilizing MediaTek’s solutions. Nevertheless, MediaTek with its recently-unveiled 10-core chip, the Helio X20, is expected to attract orders from Xiaomi, the sources said.
Taiwan’s major IC foundries will see their combined revenues decrease 4.5% sequentially in the second quarter of 2015, according to Digitimes Research. Weaker-than-expected smartphone shipments as well as downward pressure on the world economy have prompted many of IC suppliers to continue adjusting their inventory levels.
MediaTek’s recently-introduced Helio X20 SoC series for high-end smartphones has reportedly received positive feedback from international smartphone vendors. MediaTek’s new 10-core chip solutions will likely attract orders from the company’s existing clients including Sony, LG Electronics, HTC, ZTE, Lenovo and Meizu, according to industry sources. Huawei and Xiaomi have also expressed interest in MediaTek’s Helio X20 chips, said the sources.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) reportedly has landed SSD controller chip orders from Apple, in addition to recent orders from Marvell Technology and Phison Electronics, according to industry sources. TSMC will utilize a 28nm process to fabricate the controller chips for Apple, widening TSMC’s market share against rival foundry houses including United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and Globalfoundries in the segment, said the sources.
A Chinese investment group led by Hua Capital Management, a private equity company based in Beijing, has acquired US-based chip manufacturer Omnivision Technologies after paying USD1.9 billion, the American technology firm has confirmed. OmniVision chairman and CEO Shaw Hong has confirmed the acquisition and said the deal will allow its team of designers to develop more innovativeproducts and solutions for its range of customers.
SEOUL: Samsung kicked off construction of a new chip plant to help fuel growth as smartphone sales slow, saying it would invest 15.6 trillion won ($14.3 billion) until production begins in 2017. The South Korean electronics giant, which has seen a surge in demand for chips, broke ground on the new plant in the city of Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometres (44 miles) south of Seoul. Production at the 2.89 million square-meter plant will begin in the latter half of 2017, Samsung said in a statement.
Taiwan-based Winbond Electronics will likely place orders with Shanghai Huali Microelectronics (HLMC), a 12-inch wafer foundry in China, according to industry sources. Winbond will reportedly contract HLMC to manufacture NOR flash memory chips on 12-inch wafers, the sources revealed. HLMC will use 65nm process technology to make Winbond’s NOR chips with production to kick off in the second half of 2015, the sources said.
MediaTek established itself as the world’s second-largest maker of Long-Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled cellular baseband processors in 2014, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics. Qualcomm, which has had near total dominance of the high-growth LTE baseband segment in the past and had a 95% share in 2013, maintained its top spot in the segment in 2014, Strategy Analytics said, without disclosing its specific market share.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) backend integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging (WLP) technology will start contributing significantly to the IC foundry’s revenues in 2016, according to industry sources. TSMC’s in-house developed InFO-WLP technology is expected to attract many orders including orders from Apple in 2016, said the sources. Qualcomm, MediaTek and Huawei are all pinpointed as potential customers of TSMC’s IC backend business.
MStar Semiconductor has completed its acquisition of fellow IC design company Alpha Imaging Technology, according to a MediaTek filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE). MediaTek announced that subsidiary MStar has acquired about 29.89 million shares of Alpha exceeding the required minimum. MStar will continue to acquire the remaining shares.
Responding to China’s ambitions to step into the memory industry, Inotera Memories and Nanya Technology both believe that it is unlikely China can develop home-grown DRAM technology within at least five years. China might be able to gain access to proprietary technologies through technology licensing, but building a certain scale of production capacity would still require a period of time, the Taiwan-based DRAM makers commented.
TAIPEI–MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), one of Taiwan’s leading integrated circuit designers, has decided not to revise its 2015 target for smartphone chip shipments, although it has cut its shipment forecast for the second quarter of the year. At an investor conference Thursday, MediaTek President Hsieh Ching-jiang (謝清江) said the company remains optimistic that market demand in the second half of this year will offset the slow season effects of the first half. MediaTek, therefore, is maintaining its shipment target of 450 million units for the whole of 2015, he said.
Leading telecom chipmaker Qualcomm is speeding up its development of 4G product lines and is scheduled to introduce a new chip with advanced carrier aggregation technology Cat 10 before the first half of this year, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Commercial Times. It took eight years for the Chinese market to reach 100 million 3G users but it has only taken one year to get to 100 million 4G users. This is the result of the rapid growth in mobile internet demand in the country, Qualcomm China head Wang Xiang said at the company’s innovation summit in Beijing on April 27.
Foundry chipmaker United Microelectronics (UMC) expects its wafer shipments and ASPs to stay flat sequentially in the second quarter of 2015, while sales generated from 28nm process technology will continue to grow. UMC reported consolidated revenues of NT$37.65 billion (US$1.20 billion) for the first quarter of 2015, up 1.1% sequentially, when wafer shipments increased 3.5% on quarter. Gross margin and operating margin came to 24.3% and 10.9%, respectively.