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Press Releases
ams OSRAM Stands to Benefit from Apple Adopting Micro LED for Its Products, Says TrendForce



According to TrendForce, Apple is expected to adopt Micro LED for its consumer electronic products in the close future The Apple Watch will likely be the first among Apple’s products to feature a Micro LED display, and the adoption is anticipated to occur in 2024 Then, during the period from 2026 to 2030, the application scope of Micro LED could expand to encompass AR headset displays, smartphone displays, automotive displays, etc The Apple Watch as a product line was launched in 2015 and has been in the market for more than eight years The Apple Watch Ultra as the latest model was released near the end of 2022 and offers improvements to display specifications Apple enlarged the display size to 193 inches and raised the display brightness level to 2,000 nits These upgrades indicate that smartwatch brands continue to seek a larger and sharper display that can show texts clearly in an outdoor setting TrendForce believes Apple will make a breakthrough for its smartwatch in 2024 by incorporating Micro LED With this technology, the display of the Apple Watch could exceed 2 inches and achieve an even higher contrast level Such improvements would satisfy the viewing needs of professionals and enthusiasts of various outdoor sporting activities Apple Watch Will Facilitate Entry of Micro LED Display into Market for Mainstream Consumer Electronics TrendForce points out that Apple has always been careful about adopting a new technology, and its process for evaluating a new technology is very lengthy On the other hand, once Apple has decided to use a particular technology, the company usually tries to apply it across different product lines Take OLED display as an example Besides being incorporated into the Apple Watch and the iPhone, OLED display is expected to be featured in the iPad models for 2024 and the MacBook models for the 2025~2026 period With the penetration of OLED among Apple’s products serving as the prime case study, TrendForce believes Apple will begin the gradual introduction of Micro LED starting in 2024 Whether Micro LED is incorporated into smartwatches, AR headsets, or smartphones, two major factors will determine the market competitiveness of this technology The first factor involves lowering the costs of Micro LED chips A notable solution to make the production of Micro LED chips much more economical is to enlarge the wafers that they are made from Currently, the production lines for the mainstream Micro LED chips take in 6-inch wafers Switching to 8-inch wafers will certainly result in a considerable cost reduction The second factor is about flexibility Micro LED has to work with different types of backplanes that contain glass, CMOS, etc A reliable semiconductor manufacturing process is needed to serve as the basis for scaling up production Such process is also critical for the provisioning of a total solution (ie, from chip production to mass transfer, inspection, and repair) Among suppliers for LED chips, ams OSRAM has formed the tightest collaborative relationship with Apple in the field of Micro LED at this moment because it has advantages in addressing the two aforementioned factors In the future, ams OSRAM will very likely become Apple’s key partner in supplying the Micro LED components that are embedded in next-generation displays Micro LED Remains Apple’s First Choice in Selection of Future Display Technologies Due to Considerations Pertaining to Loss of Display Brightness and Impactful Product Innovations Looking at the new kinds of display technologies that have emerged lately, Micro OLED and Micro LED are ones capable of meeting the demand for a high number of pixels per inch (PPI) However, Micro OLED cannot reach the higher level of brightness that Micro LED can achieve due to some inherent material-related limitations Currently, there is a market rumor saying that Apple will be unveiling a headset device featuring a Micro OLED display this year Nevertheless, in the development of AR headsets over the medium to long term, TrendForce believes building a headset with a completely transparent display will require an optical waveguide technology However, incorporating optical waveguide will reduce the original brightness of a display by as much as 99% Therefore, Micro LED with its huge brightness advantage can provide the sufficient leeway to compensate for this massive loss of brightness If Apple wants to release an AR headset or a pair of AR glasses that features a completely transparent display in the future, then Micro LED is most likely its first choice for the display technology Turning to the smartphone market, most brands in the Android camp have made foldable OLED display a main design feature for their upcoming flagship models However, Apple as the second largest smartphone brand has yet to enter the much-discussed market segment for foldable OLED models TrendForce believes a possible reason as to why Apple is slow to enter this segment is its focus on Micro LED In addition to rigid backplanes that have glass and CMOS, Micro LED is also highly suitable for flexible backplanes made of PI or other kinds of materials with similar attributes And by adopting Micro LED, Apple may be able to make iPhone displays foldable, rollable, and even “stretchable” in the future Hence, Micro LED has the potential to be the key technology that Apple will use to realize game-changing product innovations and thereby get further ahead of other brands in the market competition 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
Projected YoY Growth Rate of Global Server Shipments for 2023 Has Been Lowered to 1.87% Due to North American Cloud Service Providers Cutting Demand, Says TrendForce



Facing global economic headwinds, the four major North American cloud service providers (CSPs) have scaled back their server procurement quantities for 2023 and could make further downward corrections in the future Meta is the leader among the four in terms of server demand reduction, followed by Microsoft, Google, and AWS TrendForce has lowered the YoY growth rate of their total server procurement quantity for this year from the original projection of 69% to the latest projection of 44% With CSPs cutting demand, global server shipments are now estimated to grow by just 187% YoY for 2023 Regarding the server DRAM market, prices there are estimated to drop by around 20~25% QoQ for 1Q23 as CSPs’ downward corrections exacerbate the oversupply situation Looking at the four CSPs individually, the YoY decline of Meta’s server procurement quantity has been widened to 30% and could get larger The instability of the global economy remains the largest variable for all CSPs Besides this, Meta has also encountered a notable obstacle in expanding its operation in Europe Specifically, its data center in Denmark has not met the regional standard for emissions This issue is expected to hinder its progress in setting up additional data centers across the EU Moreover, businesses related to e-commerce account for about 98% of Meta’s revenue Therefore, the decline in e-commerce activities amidst the recent easing of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Meta’s growth momentum Additionally, Meta’s server demand has been affected by the high level of component inventory held by server ODMs Turning to Microsoft, its server procurement quantity for this year will still register a double-digit growth rate because it has not significantly curbed its demand related to enterprise cloud investments However, the growth rate has been lowered to 134% from the previous projection of 169% TrendForce is not ruling out a further downward correction in the future because the recent wave of corporate downsizing that is felt across many sectors could affect Microsoft’s revenue from SaaS Furthermore, as companies cut spending due to the uncertain economic outlook, Microsoft could see limited growth for its cloud-related revenues (eg, revenues from IaaS and PaaS) On the top of all these, inventory reduction is proceeding at a slower-than-expected pace in the server supply chain Therefore, production has been scaled down for servers that run on the Gen 9 platforms (ie, Intel’s Sapphire Rapids, AMD’s Genoa, and Ampere’s Siryn)  Looking at Google, the projected YoY growth rate of its server procurement quantity for 2023 has been lowered to 52% Google’s server procurement plan could still be affected by two factors First, new servers running on Intel’s Sapphire Rapids or AMD’s Genoa have not met Google’s expectations in terms of total cost of ownership This could lead to a shrinkage of Google’s server demand for 2H23 Second, the slump in the e-commerce market during this post-pandemic period is limiting the growth of Google’s revenue from cloud services Hence, Google could scale down its server deployment plan  Lastly, regarding AWS, its orders for components such as CPUs, connectors, and CCLs have been affected by the recent performance of the wider economy On the whole, AWS has shrunk the scale of its component orders by about 30% from last year Therefore, the YoY growth rate of its server procurement quantity for this year has also been corrected down to 62% Two factors could lead to a further revision to its demand First, most its servers that run on its in-house Graviton CPUs are being used to provide services to its clients in the enterprise market If these clients cut their demand this year, AWS will also make a corresponding adjustment to its demand for Graviton servers Second, AWS originally planned to begin the mass production of servers that run on the Graviton 3 platform in 3Q23, but there are now indications of an immediate migration to the new Graviton 4 platform If AWS has formally decided to replace the models that run on the Graviton 3 with the ones that run on the Graviton 4, then the contribution from the servers with the more advanced platform will arrive too late to be reflected in the server shipment figure for this year 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
Value of 5G Market Will Reach US$37 Billion in 2026 as Applications Related to Metaverse Act as Notable Demand Driver, Says TrendForce



TrendForce forecasts that the value of the global 5G market will reach US$145 billion in 2023 thanks to the promotion of 5G private networks by enterprises and the upgrading of the equipment purposed for small cells and 5G FWA Then, the global 5G market will further scale up to US$37 billion in 2026, with the CAGR for the 2023~2026 period coming to 110% Applications related to the Metaverse will help spur the demand for 5G networks during the period TrendForce states that the main application segments of the market for 5G networks are industrial manufacturing, energy and utilities, medical solutions, smart vehicles, public transportation, and consumer electronics Regarding the distribution of the projected total market value of US$37 billion in 2026 by application, industrial manufacturing will have the largest share of 32% Manufacturing companies will leverage 5G to mainly upgrade their factories, such as making production processes more intelligent and combining production processes with solutions related to data visualization and analysis Energy and utilities will have the second largest share of 18% The connection of smart energy meters to a power grid will require a 5G network Furthermore, 5G technologies will be embedded in the energy equipment for monitoring power generation and predicative maintenance Medical solutions will have the third largest share of 15% Efforts to incorporate 5G into the field of healthcare will mainly focus on telemedicine that can raise clinical efficiency in remote areas As for smart vehicles and public transportation, their collective portion of the total market value in 2026 will come to 25% Since 5G offers lower latency, carmakers and suppliers for automotive components want to leverage this advantage to develop better advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) Turning to public transportation, 5G is expected to play a vital role in the development of platforms for mobility as a service (MaaS) Lastly, with regard to consumer electronics, this application segment will account for 10% of the total market value in 2026 Various 5G solutions will be embedded in smart appliances and devices so that they are all interconnected Regarding Taiwan-based companies that are involved in the 5G market, they mainly focus on products related to small cells, commercial private 5G networks used by enterprises, and 5G FWA equipment In recent years, the build-out of 5G infrastructure worldwide has been proceeding at a rapid pace This has also contributed to significant advances in technologies for edge computing Taiwan’s SERCOM, for example, has developed 5G small cells and 5G FWA equipment Shipments of its products have also been ramped up in order to meet the surging market demand generated by the aforementioned developments Askey, which is another network equipment provider from Taiwan, came to CES 2023 to promote its 5G private networks The company seeks to expand its presence in the European and North American markets for 5G applications and services Demand for Applications Related to Metaverse Will Not Truly Take Off Until After Two to Three Years, but It Will Act as Notable Demand Driver in Meantime TrendForce points out that the biggest difference between applications under the Metaverse and those under cloud services is that the former places much greater emphasis on interactions among multiple parties Through real-time image rendering and data synchronization, the Metaverse seeks to create a shared platform among users, as opposed to the more traditional video-based communications Moreover, Metaverse platforms create digital twins of users for engaging in deeper real-time interactions through speech, visual cues, movements (as performed by avatars), etc Data transmissions associated with these virtual activities are much larger in scale and more complex, so the platforms will require a high-speed and reliable network in order to provide the full user experience Currently, the Metaverse is a newly emerged concept, so companies that are involved in the related applications and services are still in the initial exploratory phase Also, more time is needed to develop the key technologies such AR/VR and control interfaces that allow users to sense and operate within a virtual environment Therefore, TrendForce believes the market for Metaverse-related applications will take at least two to three years of cultivation Development efforts will remain focused on social media, multi-player games, education services, simulation training, remote collaboration, and virtual meetings Among the global telecom operators and network equipment manufacturers, Nokia, Ericsson, and Huawei are now eyeing opportunities coming from the Metaverse To support related services and applications, these companies have invested resources to upgrade their network equipment and optimize their network environments In doing so, they will be able to handle the high-speed computing demand generated by large-scale and real-time virtual interactions that are taking place on Metaverse platforms Nokia, for example, is developing two key Metaverse technologies through its subsidiary Bell Labs: human augmentation and digital-physical future As for Ericsson, it is now working on time-critical communication as one of its core 5G offerings Time-critical communication can optimize 5G hardware and ensure highly reliable real-time services Compared with Nokia and Ericsson that mainly focus on improving 5G technologies, Huawei is also deploying hardware across Africa in addition to its existing markets in North America and Europe For instance, Safaricom, which is the largest telecom operator in Kenya, has become the first telecom operator in East Africa to roll out a commercial 5G high-speed network by adopting Huawei’s solutions for network infrastructure For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Foundry Revenue Is Forecasted to Drop by 4% YoY for 2023 Due to Slow Inventory Consumption and Falling Wafer Input from Customers, Says TrendForce



TrendForce’s recent analysis of the foundry market reveals that demand continues to slide for all types of mature and advanced nodes The major IC design houses have cut wafer input for 1Q23 and will likely scale back further for 2Q23 Currently, foundries are expected to maintain a lower-than-ideal level of capacity utilization rate in the first two quarters of this year Some nodes could experience a steeper demand drop in 2Q23 as there are still no signs of a significant rebound in wafer orders Looking ahead to the second half of this year, orders will likely pick up for some components that underwent an inventory correction at an earlier time However, the state of the global economy will remain the largest variable that affect demand, and the recovery of individual foundries’ capacity utilization rates will not occur as quickly as expected Taking these factors into account, TrendForce currently forecasts that global foundry revenue will drop by around 4% YoY for 2023 The projected decline for 2023 is more severe when compared with the one that was recorded for 2019 TrendForce also points out that the latest geopolitical risks have led to a geographical realignment across the supply chain In the case of IC design houses, they are preparing to lower the share of chip production based in China, and the effect of this reallocation of foundry orders will be increasingly noticeable in 2H23 and become quite obvious by 2024 The supply and demand conditions of the foundry market will gradually become regionalized as well This, in turn, will cause divergences among foundries with respect to capacity utilization Hence, the recovery of the whole foundry industry’s capacity utilization will be influenced by not only seasonal patterns and clients’ inventory levels but also geographical distribution of orders within the supply chain This last factor warrants greater attention as well Order Reallocation Is More Significant in 8-Inch Wafer Segment, Mature Nodes Have a Higher and Steadier Capacity Utilization Rate Compared with Advanced Nodes in 12-Inch Wafer Segment Now, entering 1Q23, sales of consumer electronics including smartphones, notebook (laptop) computers, and TVs are in a slump because of the traditional low season Moreover, the sluggish pace of inventory consumption will affect foundry orders from IC design houses for components such as consumer-grade PMICs, MOSFETs, etc Due to these developments, 8-inch wafer foundries still suffer an ongoing decline in capacity utilization rate On the other hand, the 8-inch wafer orders for 2Q23 show a slight demand rebound This is mainly attributed to some orders involving special industrial computers and a few clients adjusting order allocation among foundry partners Nevertheless, the contribution from these sources of demand to the utilization of the overall 8-inch wafer foundry capacity is limited TrendForce’s latest investigation indicates that 8-inch wafer foundries’ capacity utilization rates will remain mostly constant between 1Q23 and 2Q23 For now, TrendForce does not believe a substantial recovery will occur in the near future Turning to 12-inch wafer foundries operating with the advanced nodes, TSMC is expected to keep a lower-than-ideal level of capacity utilization rate in 1H23 Then, TSMC should be able to raise the rate of its 7nm node in 2H23, though the increase will still be limited As for TSMC’s 5nm node, its rate will eventually return to the optimal level in 2H23 thanks to stock-up activities related to the releases of new devices during the traditional peak season Looking at Samsung, capacity utilization rate will stay low for its ≤8nm nodes through 2023 chiefly because its main clients Qualcomm and NVIDIA have opted to reallocate orders to other foundries Regarding 12-inch wafer foundries operating with the mature nodes, they will mostly retain a capacity utilization rate of 75~85% in 1H23 These foundries, which include TSMC, UMC, and GlobalFoundries, are actively expanding into application segments that offer a more stable level of demand Examples include automotive electronics, industrial equipment, and medical devices Thus, the mature nodes are able to maintain a relatively high capacity utilization rate TrendForce has also observed that the 28nm node has a higher rate compared with the 55/40nm nodes Furthermore, foundries that have a higher proportion of consumer-grade chips in the product mix have experienced a larger rate drop Their rates have mostly dipped to around 65~75% Capacity Utilization Rate Will Rally in 8- and 12-Inch Wafer Segments in 3Q23 Owing to Anticipation of Peak-Season Demand and Ongoing Realignment of Supply Chain In 2H23, significant geopolitical risks will likely persist Furthermore, some major OEMs have initiated a review of supply partners so that they can meet the requirements of the tenders released by the US government Therefore, they are going to continue with their efforts to relocate their supply chains Also, IC design houses have successively moved portions of their orders to foundries based outside China Most of these reallocated orders are for 8-inch wafer foundry Therefore, non-Chinese foundries such as UMC and Vanguard will likely see a slightly above-average hike in the utilization rate of 8-inch wafer foundry capacity during the second half of the year The market for end products as a whole has gone through about a year of inventory corrections Therefore, the momentum of stock-up activities will get stronger for certain consumer-grade chips later in 2023 as OEMs prepares for the traditional peak season TrendForce says some urgent orders and a few other orders involving products with special specifications will arrive and slightly boost foundry demand in 2Q23 Then, starting in 3Q23, capacity utilization rate will climb more noticeably in both the 8- and 12-inch wafer segments However, this rise in foundries’ capacity utilization rates could be constrained by the uncertain economic outlook Thus, foundries are not expected to return to the fully-loaded status within the short term More Than 20 New Wafer Fabs Will Be Built in Coming Years as Countries Provide Generous Subsidies to Support Their Construction and Foundry Industry Marches into New Era of Regionalization In the medium to long term, the foundry market will become more fragmented because the building and diversification of production capacity will take place across different regions TrendForce’s research finds that plans for a total of more than 20 new wafer fabs have been initiated in recent years Regarding the geographical distribution of these new fabs, Taiwan will have five, the US will have five, China will have six, Europe will have four, and another four will be located among South Korea, Japan, and Singapore Governments worldwide are now much more aware of the importance of local manufacturing due to recent geopolitical events, and semiconductor chips have gradually emerged as a strategic resource Therefore, apart from commercial interests and cost structure, foundries now have to give a greater consideration to certain countries’ subsidy policies and their clients’ need for local content At the same time, they will still need to maintain a healthy supply-demand balance for the whole market TrendForce believes a diverse range of offerings and an effective pricing strategy are the key factors that will enable foundries to maintain a successful operation in the future 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
Notebook Computer Shipments for 1Q23 Are Projected Reach 10-Year Low for First-Quarter Result, and 10% of Global Notebook Computer Shipments for 2023 Will Come from Vietnam, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

Due to the various major events that affected the global economy and politics, the overall demand for consumer electronics made a sharp downward turn in 2022, and global shipments of notebook (laptop) computers began to fall over the quarters TrendForce’s latest analysis finds that global shipments of notebook computers (from ODMs) reached just around 186 million units for 2022, showing a YoY drop of 245% As for 2023, the outlook on the performance of the notebook computer market remains uncertain at this moment TrendForce expects the YoY decline to moderate to about 78%, but shipments are projected to total only 171 million units Because market demand was anemic in 4Q22, promotional activities related to the traditional year-end peak season did not generate a lot of sales momentum Looking at regional markets, notebook brands (PC OEMs) slashed prices in the US and China, but their sales results still did not meet expectations This development was mainly attributed to factors such as high inflation suppressing consumers’ disposable income Since the sales results for 4Q22 were lackluster, efforts to get rid of the existing stockpile of whole devices might continue through 2Q23 Furthermore, order placements from channels are going to be much more restrained Additionally, the Lunar New Year holiday for 2023 is going to arrive earlier compared with the previous years, and notebook brands have anticipated that the course of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in China will become a huge market variable after the holiday Besides low demand visibility, whether device shipments will be impacted by another round of pandemic-induced component shortages has also been a major concern In view of this situation, notebook brands have raised inventory for their popular device models Moreover, they completed shipments for some orders ahead of schedule before the end of 2022 Because of these actions, global notebook shipments are forecast to drop by 95% QoQ to 351 million units for 1Q23 This projection is a 10-year low for first-quarter result Supply Chain Is Shifting, and US-Based Brands Are Main Driving Force Behind ODMs’ Relocation Efforts The continuation of the US-China trade dispute has led to increasing geopolitical tensions across the globe Hence, the major electronics brands have revamped their supply chain strategies in recent years Among them, US-based brands have been the most aggressive in relocating device production and finding alternative sources of component supply While political and economic pressures are the well-recognized factors that propel US-based brands to change their strategies, these major brands themselves also have the scale to persuade the rest of the participants in the supply chain to follow their lead According to TrendForce’s latest observations, strategic considerations about future geopolitical developments could lead to two models for notebook production located outside China The first model will be centered on Vietnam as the country has both geographical and demographical advantages Materials and components from China can be quickly transported to assembly plants in Vietnam At the same time, Vietnam has a relatively young and low-cost labor pool The demographical advantage might be the more significant incentive for brands and ODMs to set up shop there Presently, ODMs such as Compal, Wistron, and Foxconn have begun to build notebook assembly lines in Vietnam in response to the requests made by their clients from the US Additionally, among the US-based notebook brands, the leader in commercial models has set the target of raising the share of its device shipments from Vietnam to 20% for 2023 Moreover, this brand will reduce the share of its device shipments from China to just 20~30% by 2027 Likewise, another US-based electronics brand that has gained substantial brand influence with its in-house SOCs has decided to establish a complete manufacturing cluster for its products in Vietnam From that country, this brand will ship not only notebook computers but also earphones, smartphones, etc TrendForce estimates that Vietnam will account for 10% of its notebook computer shipments for 2023 As for the second model, it involves setting up assembly lines and raising device production in or near a sizable consumer market One US-based brand (that is separate from the two that are mentioned above) will be raising device production volume at its assembly lines in Mexico in order to better serve the North American market Moreover, the same brand is seeking partners in India so as to set up local assembly lines that manufacture products targeting local consumers Since foreign manufacturers that set up shop in India will benefit from a substantial tax incentive, this brand will be able to attain a considerable price advantage as well Data from the UN indicate that India’s population will surpass that of China within 2023 become the world’s most populous country Hence, electronics brands around the world are preparing to make the Indian market their main battleground A potential development that the market looks forward to in the near future is whether India can replicate the same kind of model that has existed in China for outsourcing and selling electronics 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/

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