Owing to soaring demands for various end devices, manufacturers have been ramping up their component procurement activities, and foundry capacities, as a result, have been in shortage since 2020, with various foundries raising their wafer prices and adjusting their product mixes to ensure profitability, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Despite the result for 4Q20 being a high base for revenue comparison and power outage incidents at some fab sites, the quarterly total revenue of the top 10 foundries rose by 1% QoQ to a record high of US$22.75 billion in 1Q21.
The shipment performances of server manufacturers for 2021 have mainly been driven by applications in the post-pandemic new normal, including data center build-outs by major CSPs, accelerated cloud migration efforts by various enterprises, roadside server infrastructures for self-driving cars, and industry 4.0 technologies, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. However, TrendForce is revising its forecasted QoQ growth of global server shipment for 2Q21 from 19.6% down to 17.7%, as the integration of new Intel and AMD CPU platforms into branded servers has been slightly slowed down, and certain infrastructure projects in China have been deferred. TrendForce expects these unfulfilled server orders to be fulfilled in 2H21, thus driving up global server shipment for the upcoming quarters.
Total NAND Flash revenue for 1Q21 increased by 5.1% QoQ to US$14.82 billion, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. In particular, bit shipments rose by 11% QoQ, while the overall ASP dropped by 5% QoQ; hence, bit shipment growth offset the decline in the overall ASP. Although NAND Flash demand from notebook computer and smartphone manufacturers remained high, clients from the data center segment exhibited relatively weak demand, since this segment had yet to leave the state of NAND Flash oversupply. Contract prices for this quarter therefore still mostly showed a considerable QoQ drop. On the other hand, OEMs/ODMs of end products began to increase procurement of NAND Flash products from the second half of January onward because they noticed that the shortage of NAND Flash controller ICs was affecting the production of medium- and low-density storage products. Besides avoiding a possible supply crunch in the future, OEMs/ODMs were placing additional orders because they were preparing for a push to expand market share. On account of these developments, the overall NAND Flash demand surpassed expectations in 1Q21.
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 Hsinta Power Plant in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City was shut down unexpectedly at 2:37 p.m. on May 13 (today local time) due to malfunction. The effect of this incident has been felt across the entire island. TrendForce has undertaken a swift survey on the damages and operation status of each supplier, and the results indicate that most DRAM and NAND Flash suppliers are provisioning power to their fabs normally; although some fabs experienced a reduction in voltage, this did not impact production. Regarding foundry, the Southern Taiwan Science Park located in Tainan sustained a relatively higher impact, with power outages occurring in some fabs, though the uninterruptible power supplies came into operation and ensured the power outage had only limited impact, according to preliminary investigations.