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Press Releases
Supplier Pricing Clash Crashes Prices to Reduce Inventory, NAND Flash Pricing Forecast to Drop by 15~20% in 4Q22, Says TrendForce

2022/09/26

Semiconductors

According to TrendForce research, NAND Flash is currently oversupplied Buyers started focusing on destocking and greatly reducing purchases in 2H22 while sellers began offering rock-bottom prices to shore up purchase orders, causing wafer pricing to drop by 30-35% in 3Q22 All types of NAND Flash end products remain weak and factory inventory increased rapidly, resulting in a 15-20% decline in NAND Flash pricing in 4Q22 Most manufacturers’ NAND Flash product sales will also officially cross over into loss territory before the end of this year, which means that certain suppliers under pressure from operating at a loss will likely reduce production as a way to reduce losses In terms of client SSDs, since purchasing demand in 2H22 is far less than that in 1H22, PC brands currently feel pessimistic regarding demand next year and reducing inventory is a top priority, causing suppliers to increase client SSD price flexibility to surge shipments PCIe 40 SSD shipments continued to rise this year and more suppliers launched 176-layer products to increase the penetration rate of this interface In particular, 512GB quickly became the focus of supply Coupled with a large supply of QLC SSDs, the supply side generally latched onto the 512GB capacity for fixed-volume or two quarter consolidated price negotiation strategies, intensifying price competition at this capacity The decline in PC client SSD pricing is estimated to broaden to 15~20% in 4Q22 In terms of Enterprise SSDs, purchase volume has also declined due to the expectation that server shipments will fall in 4Q22 However, though demand for consumer products has dropped significantly, manufacturers are eager to expand sales of enterprise SSDs Notably, US manufacturers began providing 176-layer products to clinch market share and Solidigm released a SK hynix 128-layer enterprise SSD for customer verification At the same time, Kioxia is eagerly partnering with North American cloud service providers for PCIe 40 SSD Price competition among suppliers is bound to intensify as more products enter the market Thus, the price of enterprise SSD is forecast to drop by 15-20% in 4Q22 In terms of eMMC, sluggish demand for chromebooks and TVs is cultivating a negative attitude among buyers towards eMMC stocking As for demand visibility of networking products, visibility is optimistically expected to extend to the end of the year but, considering sluggish overall demand, only limited support for eMMC demand can be provided by networking products alone With weak demand for consumer products and sustained growth in supply and output, inventory pressure forced manufacturers to offer low prices in 3Q22 for fixed-volume sales in 2H22 to stimulate buyers' willingness to buy However, buyers’ order requirements generally trend towards small quantities across several batches This will lead to a decline of eMMC pricing until the end of the year and eMMC prices are estimated to fall by approximately 13-18% in 4Q22 In terms of UFS, the main application of UFS which is the smartphone market remains weak and traditional peak season sales has fallen short of past performance Brands retain high inventory levels in both whole devices and components and their willingness to buy UFS has decreased Therefore, manufacturers began looking for fixed-volume shipments starting in 3Q22, aggressively attracting transactions with branded companies though low prices and reaching supply agreements with certain Chinese brands in succession However, since the market is generally pessimistic regarding demand next year, the status of manufacturer transactions has been poor and inventory pressure has not eased significantly Therefore, manufacturers will continue to intensify price incentives to stimulate stocking momentum UFS pricing in 4Q22 is estimated to drop by approximately 13~18%, with further slips a possibility In terms of NAND Flash wafers, even though some module makers have experienced slight pressure relief after several quarters of inventory adjustment, the overall market situation is still pessimistic, so attitudes towards stocking is extremely passive Demand for products such as SSDs, memory cards, and drives at the retail end is stagnant as consumer products continue its slump and fail to become a force supporting wafer pricing The supply side continues to increase wafer supply and a slowdown in the pace of process migration to higher layers has not been realized Since a downward trend in pricing is inevitable, manufacturers are forced to accelerate process migration to optimize cost structure In addition, manufacturers have been slashing prices since 3Q22, resulting in wafer contract pricing quickly approaching factories’ cash cost TrendForce observes, against the framework of a perfectly competitive market for NAND Flash, suppliers intend to accelerate wafer price drops, and NAND Flash wafer pricing in 4Q22 is estimated to fall 20-25% QoQ 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
Consumer Demand Remains Stagnant, Supply Chain Inventories Remain High, DRAM Q4 Price Drop to Expanded to 13~18%, Says TrendForce

2022/09/22

Semiconductors

According to TrendForce research, rising inflation has weakened demand for consumer products, flattening the peak of peak season In 3Q22, memory bit consumption and shipments continued to exhibit quarterly decline Due to a significant decline in memory demand, terminal buyers also delayed purchases, leading to further escalation of supplier inventory pressure At the same time, the strategies of various DRAM suppliers to increase their market share remain unchanged There have been cases of "consolidated Q3/Q4 price negotiations" or "negotiating quantity before pricing" in the market, which are the reasons leading to a ballooning of declining DRAM prices to 13~18% in 4Q22 In terms of PC DRAM, due to weak demand for notebooks, PC OEMs will remain focused on destocking DRAM inventory While the DRAM supply side has not actually reduced production since operating profit remains favorable, bit output continues to rise and pressure on suppliers' inventory becomes increasingly obvious From the perspective of DDR4 and DDR5, the price drop forecast in 4Q22 is 13~18% with DDR5 declining more than DDR4 However, as the penetration rate of DDR5 continues to rise, coupled with a higher unit price, the penetration rate of DDR5 in the PC DRAM sector will increase 13~15% in 4Q22, which will buoy the average unit price of overall PC DRAM (combined DDR5 and DDR4) marginally and PC DRAM pricing in 4Q22 is estimated to drop by approximately 10~15% In terms of server DRAM, server terminals have reduced server DRAM bit purchases due to a delay in their new platform and shipments of whole servers is expected to decline in 4Q22 Client server DRAM inventory will be at a high watermark for approximately 9-12 weeks At the same time, as OEMs and Chinese cloud service providers have slowed their purchasing momentum, manufacturers have shifted focus to negotiating pricing and volume with North American cloud service providers However, output cannot be effectively digested, compounding manufacturers’ inventory pressure In addition, barring the binding two-quarter consolidated price schemes originally negotiated in 3Q22, it cannot be ruled out that at the end of this year, sellers will offer buyers lower pricing to make advanced purchases for 1Q23 Therefore, the quarterly decline in DDR4 pricing in 4Q22 is likely to be as severe as 13~18% DDR5 will officially enter mass production in 4Q22 with sample pricing dropping by 25~30% compared with sample pricing in the previous quarter However, the initial penetration rate of mass production is only around 5% Therefore, the impact on overall server DRAM (combined DDR5 and DDR4) pricing is limited and server DRAM prices are estimated to  drop by approximately 13~18% in 4Q22 In terms of Mobile DRAM, smartphone brands continue to adjust their mobile DRAM inventory Inventory levels are expected to be maintained at 7-9 weeks by the end of 3Q22 and variables remain in the seller’s market Therefore, smartphone brands continue to revise their annual production targets downward which increases the difficulty of destocking mobile DRAM As the proportion of advanced processes utilized by manufacturers continues to grow, their contribution to mobile DRAM bit output has increased These factories’ consolidated price negotiation strategy in 2H22 has yet to bear fruit, so demand from client brands did not increase Although new Apple products are bound to boost market demand in 4Q22, due to the pressure exerted by previously accumulated inventory and increased 4Q22 supply, pressure on factory inventory will worsen The price of mobile DRAM is estimated to drop by approximately 13~18% in 4Q22 and it may continue to deteriorate In terms of Graphics DRAM, TrendForce expects another round of price cuts for graphics cards However, various types of terminal promotions can only eliminate preexisting inventory, which possesses limited value in driving new demand Demand for GDDR6 8Gb and 16Gb has weakened simultaneously due to buyer inventory adjustment Buyers’ purchasing volume was not stimulated even though DRAM suppliers slashed prices in 3Q22 Therefore, preexisting graphics DRAM inventory continues to pile up, creating greater pressure coupled with the gradual production of previous wafer starts From the perspective of 4Q22, although there are only two GDDR6 8Gb suppliers, Samsung and SK hynix, due to huge inventory pressure, the two parties will inevitably compete for orders by undercutting the other’s pricing Therefore, the decline of GDDR6 8Gb in 4Q22 may be higher than GDDR6 16Gb, lowering prices by approximately 10~15% In terms of consumer DRAM, although networking benefited from an alleviation of materials shortages and infrastructure upgrades in Europe and the United States stabilizing consumer DRAM shipments, offsetting declining demand for other end products proved difficult In a down price cycle, customers have kept their inventories at healthy levels and are not actively stocking Demand for consumer DRAM is expected to remain weak Affected by downward revisions in smartphone production throughout the year, demand for image sensors (CIS) has also declined Therefore, Korean manufacturers have slowed the pace of migrating old processes (DDR3/DDR4) to CIS, resulting in continuous output of heavy consumer DRAM bit volume and inventory pressure that has become difficult to reduce As oversupply has not eased, DDR3 and DDR4 prices are expected to drop by 10-15% in 4Q22 and overall consumer prices will drop by 10-15% 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
OLED Mobile Phone Panel Penetration Rate Estimated to Exceed 50% in 2023, Brands to Expand IT Product Promotions in 2024, Says TrendForce

2022/09/21

Display

According to the latest TrendForce research report, the proportion of OLED in the mobile phone market is expected to exceed 50% in 2023, up from 42% in 2021 As the penetration of OLED in the mobile phone market gradually expands, IT products will be the next battlefield for key OLED developments In order to further expand the IT market, panel manufacturers have increased capital expenditures for the construction of IT panel production lines and shifted planning to higher generational fabs to achieve more effective and economical sectioning but also taking on increasingly technical challenges Compared with the performance of traditional LCDs in laptops, OLED present obvious disadvantages in terms of lifespan and pricing and its IR drop (voltage drop) has a more obvious effect on power consumption as size increases In order to resolve voltage drop and pixel non-uniformity caused by current passing through a large area, in addition to the transparency and thickness (resistance) of the cathode, the design of additional auxiliary electrodes is even more important in reducing power consumption In terms of performance, COE (Color filter On Encapsulation) and MLP (Micro Lens Panel) technology can also be used to increase light extraction efficiency and reduce overall power consumption Coupled with the introduction of Tandem technology, connecting OLEDs in series can effectively extend material lifespan since current is halved at the same brightness, thus meeting the specifications of notebook PCs In terms of materials, in order to solve the problems related to poor traditional fluorescent luminous efficiency and blue phosphorescence lifespan, in addition to LGD's mass production of deuterium blue series fluorescent materials, the strategic deployment of third-generation OLED material TADF (Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence) and fourth-generation super-fluorescence mass production has also gradually accelerated The 100% energy conversion that could only be achieved previously by doping noble metals in phosphorescence can be achieved by TADF, while super-fluorescence is achieved by doping TADF fluorescent materials to improve the issues of TADF’s large half-wave width, poor color purity, and lifespan In addition to actively improving the luminous efficiency of blue light, SDC also recently acquired German company Cynora and 300 to 400 OLED patents Previously, Cynora released green and blue TADF materials, claiming blue materials increase luminous efficiency by 15% In addition to restraining the price of UDC’s blue phosphorescent materials, this acquisition also poses a threat to panel factories that choose to use TADF materials in the future If there is a dispute with Kyulux, another Japanese company that has made progress in TADF, SDC can form a protective barrier of patents TrendForce further indicates, in the construction of large-generational OLED panel fabs, glass substrates laminated with thin-film encapsulated hybrid OLEDs will be prioritized to reduce weight and to cope with the problem of wrinkling at the edges of PI substrates as surface area increases In addition, evaporation machinery size limitations have always been problematic Arranging the various generations of evaporation machinery has become key to the development of the current wave of technological evolution In order to overcome sagging FMM mask center of gravity caused by the lengthening and resolution of larger generations and to ensure evaporation yield after surface totals increase, SDC partnered with ULVAC to develop vertical evaporation equipment However, the transportation of vertical substrates, the distribution of tension after vertical meshing, and the uniformity of material flow during vertical evaporation will all lead to more challenges in the new process In addition, since SDC signed an agreement with ULVAC, other panel manufacturers are looking to TOKKI to continue discussions regarding generational re-optimization of horizontal machines and wish to overcome core problems in a more stable fashion such as with G86 or multiple G6 machinery As for the large-generational printed OLED jointly developed by CSOT and JOLED, relevant materials and equipment have yet to be perfected, which will affect the subsequent planning of CSOT in regards to OLED notebooks and the development of its T8 production line In summary, TrendForce believes the next few years will be a critical period for the enhancement of OLED penetration In the past, Apple has repeatedly played a key role in many new technologies and the launch of new products The aforementioned development and discussion of numerous medium-sized OLED technologies are also highly related to Apple's plan to adopt OLED panels in future mid-size products Since the near-term remains constrained by the slow evolution of the efficiency of large generational equipment and materials, coupled with the overall impact of a poor economic environment as a whole, the development of OLED panels in medium-sized IT products will continue to move slowly in the next two years However, if Apple can launch iPad and MacBook series with OLED panels in accordance with its planning after 2024, it is expected to bring extremely positive benefits to the development of OLED panels in terms of IT products 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
Impact of Earthquake on Production Status of Taiwan's Semiconductor and Panel Industries Limited, Says TrendForce

2022/09/19

Semiconductors , Display

On the evening of September 17, an earthquake with a magnitude of 64 on the Richter scale occurred in Guanshan Township, Taitung Yesterday (9/18) afternoon, an earthquake with a magnitude of 68 on the Richter scale occurred in Chishang Township, Taitung Following up on these recent powerful earthquakes, TrendForce’s investigation into their impact on Taiwan's semiconductor and panel industries is as follows: In terms of foundries, due to shock-absorbing plant designs, earthquake vibrations inside fabs are one level of magnitude less than outside In terms of equipment manufacturers, currently there are no reports of substantial factory damage In the worst case, some machinery required initialization after crashing In terms of memory, Nanya Technology has already carried out a shutdown inspection If there was any wafer damage, Nanya maintains sufficient inventory to compensate Micron recalled engineers to inspect equipment and has confirmed no losses Thus, the capacity utilization rate of these two companies has not been affected nor has supply In terms of panel makers, the panel industry is currently on a down cycle with serious sustained oversupply issues Panel makers are reducing production in succession Global average utilization rate in 3Q22 is expected to be revised to 65% Innolux, located in Tainan, also started reducing production on a large scale in September Thus the actual impact of the recent earthquakes should be limited in severity According to TrendForce investigations, machinery had been slowed or shut down for maintenance during the earthquake and operations have, subsequently, been resumed Some panel factories have even extended the maintenance period for their production lines to cope with the problem of poor overall demand In terms of passive component MLCC, Taiwanese factories Yageo and Walsin Technology’s factory campuses are located in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu, Daliao, and Nanzih Districts Due to the slowdown in terminal market demand, production capacity utilization rate has been maintained at approximately 70% since July At the same time, Taiwan factory campuses have cancelled weekend overtime and returned to a normal shift schedule with only the sintering process in continuous operation The power supply in the Kaohsiung area was not affected by the earthquake and production line sintering furnaces remain in normal operation In addition, finished product inventory at these two suppliers' plants has exceeded 90 days Supply is sufficient, stable, and remains unaffected 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
Driven by Digitalization and Sustainable Development, Global E-paper Market Estimated to Reach US$4.7 Billion or 50% YoY in 2022, Says TrendForce

2022/09/19

Consumer Electronics

The global electronic paper (e-paper) industry is on the rise due to digitization trends and ESG sustainable development Based on e-paper’s power conservation and low carbon advantages, products such as e-paper tablets, electronic shelf labels, and electronic notebooks have quickly penetrated into the consumer and commercial markets According to TrendForce estimates, the size of the global e-paper market will be approximately US$465 billion in 2022, growing 481% YoY, and is expected to reach US$2034 billion by 2026 According to TrendForce, E Ink is currently the world's largest supplier of e-paper modules, electronic ink films, and other related materials, as well as finished products such as electronic shelf label (ESL) In addition to continuing improvement of its operational performance through new production lines, E Ink's biggest advantage comes from its alliances and partnerships with numerous manufacturers such as its partnerships with Qingyue Technology, Yes Optoelectronics, Jiangxi Xingtai Technology, and other e-paper module factories to develop and promote e-paper industrialization, technology sharing, and utilizing manufacturing and market advantages to expand the scope of e-paper application in the Chinese market In 2021, E Ink announced the expansion of 4 production lines in its old Hsinchu factory from the initial 2 material production lines to 6 material production lines The capacity of the last production line will come online in 1Q23 In addition, E Ink is currently planning to set up two new material production lines in its Hsinchu factory in 2024, with a production capacity equivalent to the total of the company’s three existing production lines E Ink also plans to build new factories in Guanyin (Taiwan) and Yangzhou (China) E-paper products such as e-paper tablets and ESL are primarily composed of three parts: display module, wireless chips, and battery The internal structure of an e-paper display (EPD) module consists of electronic ink coated onto a layer of plastic film which is then attached to a TFT panel This module needs to be controlled by a driver IC to form pixel graphics An e-paper TFT panel should be equipped with approximately 11 driver ICs As e-paper continues to trend towards large-size screens, the number of installed driver ICs will also increase, which will be beneficial for the performance of suppliers Fitipower, UltraChip, and Solomon Systech in the field of e-paper in the next five years This is especially true for ESL driver ICs which is a market equally divided among these three companies, in general In terms of Fitipower, the company’s main products are mostly concentrated in consumer electronic such as TVs and PCs, followed by ESL, e- paper, EPD, and TCON IC which account for 15% of overall revenue In terms of UltraChip, the visibility of its EPD IC orders has reached the end of 2022 and its STN driver IC orders are mostly in the fields of automotive, industrial instruments, and white goods The company has migrated part of its production capacity to a 12-inch plant According to TrendForce, approximately 75% of UltraChip's production capacity for electronic label driver ICs from 2020~2022 came from 12-inch wafer foundries and is currently actively promoting 12-inch 80nm and 70nm processes which are more cost-effective compared with its competitors who utilize 8-inch wafers foundries Solomon Systech's products include e-book readers and ESL The company’s main products are EPD driver ICs, OLED driver ICs, Mobile ICs, and large display ICs According to TrendForce, from the perspective of future trends in the e-paper market and the application of existing digital technologies, various e-paper products can be integrated into smart logistics, smart warehousing, smart retail and other fields to replace traditional paper Utilizing cloud platforms and IoT, shelf labels can be changed on the fly and inventory information can be obtained in real time, thereby reducing labor costs and traditional paper consumption The willingness of retail, logistics, and warehousing companies to adopt e-paper tablets, ESL, and other products will increase greatly, especially as digitalization and sustainable development continue to trend The development of e-paper products from black and white to colors has become a primary growth driver of e-paper market size 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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