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Press Releases
TSMC Steadily Ahead in Technology and Will Lead Asian Foundries to Achieve US$40 Billion in Revenue Next Year, Says TrendForce

2015/12/09

Semiconductors

According to global market research firm TrendForce, the combined revenues of major Asian semiconductor foundries are projected to exceed US$36 billion for 2015, up 4~5% year on year These foundries now account for over 80% of the global foundry revenue and are poised to achieve US$40 billion in revenue next year In 2016, IC design houses will be facing declining prices and order cutbacks from downstream clients on account of slowing growth in the smartphone market and flat PC shipments Pressures on the IC design industry in turn will affect the margins and capacity utilization rates of foundries Much of the next year’s market demand will come from Apple and Chinese IC design companies, and Asia will continue to be the center of competition among foundries The following is a brief analysis on performances and pursuits of major Asian foundries in 2016: TSMC: Foundry giant will be the chief market growth driver in 2016 as it maintains its lead in advanced manufacturing technology TSMC has been on top this year in both technology and capacity Its strengths were especially on display when the A9 processors it produced for Apple were reported to perform better compared with the counterparts made by Samsung Thus, TSMC’s position among clients worldwide is firmly cemented TrendForce estimates TSMC’s total revenue for 2015 to reach US$26~27 billion, and its total revenue for 2016 may hit US$30 billion Looking ahead to 2016, TSMC is likely to grab most of the orders for Apple’s upcoming application processor (referred here as “A10”) The foundry giant will also benefit from the rising demand for products made on the 16nm process TSMC’s capex for next year is expected to increase significantly to US$95~105 billion, and most of this spending will be used on expanding the 12-inch wafer capacity and R&D on the 7/10nm technology Taking an optimistic view of the growth potential of IC design market in China, TSMC also announced on December 7 that it will build a 12-inch wafer fab in Nanjing TSMC is the sole owner of this venture and will be investing around US$3 billion The fab is scheduled to be in operation by the second half of 2018 and its initial capacity is planned at 20,000 wafers per month on the 16nm process  UMC: Taiwanese foundry will step up R&D on the 14nm technology and focus on the Chinese market TrendForce estimates UMC’s total revenue for 2015 to reach US$45~47 billion, and its total revenue for 2016 is forecast around US$5 billion UMC’s revenue growth for next year will be mainly attributed to its 28nm process, which is expected to widen the foundry’s technological lead over its trailing competitors as well as helping the foundry to make inroads in the Chinese market Much of UMC’s capex for next year is allocated to R&D on the 14nm technology and 12-inch wafer capacity expansion (which will include the fabs in Taiwan as well as the fab in Xiamen, China) The newly built Xiamen fab is also going to be in operation ahead of schedule in the second half of 2016 The initial capacity will be 6,000 wafers per month on the 40/55nm processes The Xiamen fab furthermore will help expand UMC’s business in China, where the foundry has set its sights on markets for the low-end and mid-range smartphone chipsets and display driver ICs In the future, UMC also plans to use the Xiamen fab in its migration to the 28nm technology SMIC: Chinese foundry will concentrate its efforts on raising the 28nm yield as its revenue growth is supported by government policy The progress that SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp) made on its 28nm technology has exceeded the market’s expectations and will come to fruition by 2016 Technology maturation will give SMIC a local advantage in terms of product yield rate and quality (at least until its foreign competitors have set up new fabs in China) TrendForce forecasts SMIC’s total revenue for 2015 to come in around US$21~23 billion For next year, the Chinese foundry may achieve about US$25 billion in revenue As for its capex strategy, most of SMIC’s capital spending next year will be on capacity expansion for its 8-inch wafer fab in Shenzhen and 12-inch wafer fab in Beijing The Beijing fab in particular will increase its capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 wafers per month Samsung: South Korean powerhouse will continue to challenge TSMC in leading-edge manufacturing Samsung’s foundry business is expected to get fewer orders for Apple’s next smartphone chipset than TSMC next year due to the fact that the Samsung version of A9 processor was not favorably received by consumers Sales of Samsung’s high-end smartphones are projected to slow next year as well This in turn will also drag down the revenue growth of the company’s foundry unit TrendForce estimates Samsung’s foundry revenue to be around US$24~25 billion for 2015 Next year’s total revenue may reach US$25 billion In terms of capex, Samsung’s System LSI division is projected to have spent around US$4~$5 billion for this year Capex is expected to drop next year, however, as the company’s foundry business decelerates its capacity expansion of the 14/10nm technology TrendForce’s recent analyses find that the Chinese semiconductor policy aims to build a domestic memory industry Acquisitions and mergers made this year by Chinese companies have accelerated the process as well as putting increasing pressure on Samsung’s memory business

Press Releases
Shipments of Large-Size LCD Panels Will Drop in 2016 but Their Total Area Will Expand by 8%, Says TrendForce

2015/11/27

Display

WitsView, a division of TrendForce, estimates that the shipments of large-size LCD panels  (sized 7 inches and above) for the entire 2015 will reach 794 million units in its latest report This figure represents a 41% year-on-year drop and a first-ever annual shipment decline for the LCD panel industry The anemic IT application market has been a drag on large-size panel shipments during this year On a brighter note, panel shipments in the TV application market have been strong and provide the critical support for large-size panels’ total shipment area, which is projected grow 38% year on year in 2015 According to WitsView’s forecast for 2016, large-size panel shipments will slide to 793 million units on account of the stagnant tablet market On the other hand, TV panel products will grow larger in average size and their shipments are projected to reach 2736 million units Next year’s TV market will again drive the expansion of large-size panels’ total shipment area, which is set to grow by 8% year on year Below are major trends that will unfold in the large-size panel market next year: 4K products will account for almost 40% of South Korean panel makers’ TV product shipments Shipments of TV panels sized 50 inches and larger for this year are estimated at 487 million units and will grow to 554 million in 2016 as prices of this size segment becomes more affordable for the consumers Panels sized 60 inches and above will become the market’s focus and their shipments will take up 15% of the 50-inch and above panel shipments next year Size expansion in the TV application market will be a noticeable trend in the near future Another trend worth highlighting is the rise in the adoption of 4K resolution South Korean panel makers have the most ambitious shipment targets for next year LG Display (LGD) in particular has a leading cost advantage resulted from its development of M+ technology 4K products may make up as much as 38% of LGD’s TV panel shipments next year Samsung Display Corp (SDC) will follow closely with 37% of its shipments belonging to 4K products, whereas AU Optronics (AUO) will likely rank third with about 33% Innolux and Chinese panel makers have been behind in developing 4K products and focused more on small-size panels 4K’s penetration rate in their respective shipments for next year will be lower than 20% IPS to take up to 30% of global monitor panel shipments next year and gaming market will drive development of high-end monitor panels  Shipments of monitor panels for 2015 are estimated to total 142 million units, down significantly by 109% year on year WitsView anticipates monitor shipments to remain generally flat next year, and focus of product development will be in-plane switching (IPS) panels WitsView also estimates that around 30% of monitor panels shipped worldwide will be products based on IPS technology in 2016 Korean panel makers again will be driving the IPS adoption effort, with LGD having the lead over its competitors in terms of cost and technology as well Next year, the penetration of IPS technology in LGD’s monitor panel shipments will be at 85%, while the respective penetration rates for SDC and BOE Technology Group (BOE) may hit 40% and 30% Penetration rates for Taiwanese manufacturers will be lower at under 10% because of constraints in their IPS capacity Long replacement cycles have stalled monitor demand Currently, the bright spot in the monitor market is the rising gaming segment, which is generating upgrade demand for monitor panels According to WitsView’s estimation, the gaming market segment will spur the increase in the size of mainstream monitor panels and drive up the shipments of monitor panels sized 27 inches and above, from 118 million units in 2015 to 14 million in 2016 Larger monitor displays will complement the developments in high-resolution technologies and curved-screen designs, fulfilling the consumers’ desire for superior visual experiences  Panel makers to promote notebook and tablet products featuring Full HD and 3:2 aspect ratio With the mobile PC market (ie notebooks and tablets) being not as robust as before, panels shipments in both applications have suffered decline WitsView’s latest data indicates that notebook panel shipments worldwide for this year will fall 87% year on year to 175 million units, while the tablet panel shipments will also fall 96% year on year to 207 million Annual notebook panel shipments are expected to increase slightly to 176 million units next year, whereas annual tablet panel shipments are projected to drop to 200 million Panel makers will also want to further differentiate their products for mobile PCs in order to maintain high utilization rates and product margins They therefore are working to apply features such as high resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio As price difference between Full HD panels and HD panels steadily narrows, WitsView anticipates a sharp increase in the penetration rate of Full HD in notebook panel shipments, from 18% this year to the estimated 26~30% next year Moreover, the rising popularity of 2-in-1 PCs has resulted in growing user demand for displays that are excellent for both portrait and landscape viewing WitsView expects 3:2 aspect ratio will be a prospective feature  that will set apart their tablet and notebook products

Press Releases
Global LCD TV Shipments May Suffer Negative Annual Growth as 53.1 Million Units Were Shipped in Q3, Says TrendForce

2015/10/28

Consumer Electronics

Third-quarter LCD TV shipments worldwide stood at 531 million units, based on the latest reporting from WitsView, a division of TrendForce Global shipments grew 83% quarterly due to the effects of the traditional peak season However, economic stagnation in Europe and the emerging markets also led to a slight year-on-year decline of 18% in third-quarter shipments China, too, is suffering from economic slowdown and its TV sales fell year on year for the first time for both the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday periods These are indications that the worldwide market demand for LCD TV remains generally weak According to WitsView, Singles Day sales in China (on November 11) and Christmas holiday sales in Europe and the US will drive fourth-quarter shipments, which are projected to rise by 171% quarterly to 622 million units However, this figure is a 75% drop on a year-on-year basis WitsView’s latest forecast also reveals that global LCD TV shipments for the entire 2015 will total 216 million units This is a downward revision from the earlier estimate of 220 million units Correspondingly, the projected annual growth has been changed from a positive 174% to a negative 01%, raising the specter of first-ever negative growth result after 2013 Samsung maintained its No 1 position in global shipments while TCL stepped up its efforts during the Chinese holiday events South Korean brands Samsung and LG Electronics (LGE) were respectively the leader and runner-up in the global LCD TV shipment ranking in the third quarter Firmly holding on to its title, Samsung’s shipments increased by 38% quarterly, totaling 109 million units Due to fluctuations of currency exchange rates in the emerging markets, LGE’s shipments during the same period were below expectations and fell 7% quarterly to 66 million units Moreover, LGE’s market share contracted from 145% in the second quarter to 124% in the third quarter Among the Chinese LCD TV vendors, The Creative Life (TCL) suffered from slowed shipments in the second quarter because of rising channel inventory In order to achieve its annual shipment target, the vendor was quick to seize the demand generated by the holiday events in China and greatly expanded its shipments, which rose to 366 million units TCL managed to edge out Hisense to reach the No 3 spot in the shipment ranking with a staggering quarterly growth of 314% Hisense’s third-quarter shipments were also lifted by the demand of the Chinese holiday sales events and rose steadily by 44% over the prior quarter to 334 million units Sony finished at fifth place with 273 million units shipped in the third quarter While the Japanese vendor posted a quarterly growth of 38%, it also suffered a massive year-on-year decline of 262% Sony’s shipment result was attributed its ongoing focus on developing market segments related to high-end and large-size TV models

Press Releases
Major Foundries Ready to Battle for a Share of China’s Fast-Growing IC Market, TrendForce Reports

2015/10/20

Semiconductors

Taiwan-based chip maker and semiconductor foundry Powerchip broke ground for a 12-inch fab today (October 20) in Hefei, capital city of Anhui Province in China This fab is a RMB 1353 billion joint venture between Powerchip and Hefei City Government and will be initially producing large-size LCD driver ICs on the 015um process The fab is expected to be in operation in 2017 with a capacity of 40,000 wafers per month According to global market research firm TrendForce, Chinese IC design houses have benefitted from generous government subsidies in recent years Moreover, Chinese OEM vendors are extending their overall share of the downstream system market worldwide As their products become increasingly competitive, Chinese IC design houses such as HiSilicon and Spreadtrum are also developing into a growing challenge to the US and European IC industries At the same time, major foundries are scrambling to China in order to seize a strategic position in this vast market TrendForce’s latest data reveals that the strength of the Chinese fabless IC industry has built up significantly since 2009 due to strong domestic demand and rise of domestic IC design companies China’s share of the global fabless IC sales therefore has expanded steadily, from 71% in 2009 to the estimated 185% in 2015 The total sales revenue of the Chinese fabless IC industry between 2009 and 2015 is also projected to grow at a high CAGR of 25% Based on TrendForce’s analysis, foundry demand growth will be highest in China in the next three years due to increasing orders from Chinese IC design houses The 2015~2017 period will therefore be crucial for major international foundries in their competition to establish a secure foothold in China as to benefit from the anticipated demand surge Process technologies, from the 28nm to the more advanced 14/16nm, will also be a key factor in gaining Chinese market shares Other important factors to success will include developing strategic alliances with local technology enterprises and getting strong support from the Chinese government To achieve these, international foundries would need to find ways to maximize mutual benefits with all local industry participants in China UMC is ahead of other foundries in setting up operations in China Among the foundries that have set up operations in China, Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) has been the fastest in building fabs there Presently, UMC has a fab in Suzhou with a capacity of 60,000~70,000 wafers per month This fab, which is a joint venture with a local foundry service HeJian Technology, is not planned for further expansion in 2016 However, UMC has partnered up with Xiamen Municipal People’s Government, to build a 12-inch fab in Xiamen The construction of the Xiamen fab began in March of this year, and UMC will be investing US$13~14 billion in the US$62 billion project within this five-year period The fab is scheduled to be in operation sometimes during the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, with the initial capacity of 10,000~20,000 wafers per month on the 40/55nm processes Depending on the market situation, UMC may expand Xiamen fab’s capacity and upgrade its manufacturing technology to the 28nm in the future China’s leading domestic foundry, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), presently has three 8-inch fabs respectively situated in Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenzhen The Shanghai and Tianjin fabs have a combined capacity of 130,000~140,000 wafers per month, whereas the Shenzhen fab is scheduled to start production in the fourth quarter of this year SMIC’s 8-inch capacity in total is estimated to reach 150,000~160,000 wafers per month in 2016 SMIC also has two 12-inch fabs separately located in Shanghai and Beijing Their combined capacity is about 50,000 wafers per month, and the foundry plans to expand the Beijing fab’s capacity by another 10,000 wafers per month Whether SMIC can elevate to a new level of operation will depend on its ability to overcome the bottleneck in the 28nm manufacturing Foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) currently has an 8-inch fab located in Songjiang Industrial Zone, southwest of Shanghai This plant’s capacity is around 100,000~110,000 wafers per month The company is also internally assessing the necessity of building a 12-inch fab in China Once the plan is given the go ahead, TSMC will probably first introduce the 28nm or more advanced process to the new plant considering the construction schedule and market demand

Press Releases
TrendForce 2016 IT Industry Forecast – Optoelectronics and Semiconductor Sectors Braces for a Challenging 2016 as Consumer Electronics Product Shipments Weaken

2015/10/15

Semiconductors / Consumer Electronics / Display / LED / Energy

Global market research firm TrendForce held its 2016 IT Industry Forecast Conference at Room 101 of the NTUH International Center in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 15, 2015 A team of senior analysts assembled from TrendForce’s major research divisions – TrendForce, DRAMeXchange, WitsView, LEDinside and EnergyTrend – will share their detailed forecasts on trends in major tech industries for 2016 Below is a summary of the presentations given during the second half of the conference TrendForce: IoT to play a key role in the transformations and adjustments of IC industry in 2016 The integrated circuit (IC) industry has undergone quantitative and qualitative changes in 2015 The annual growth rate has dropped from 72% in 2014 to 2~3% this year TrendForce research manager Jian-Hong Lin notes that developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector will increasingly exert influences on semiconductor products in terms of design features and production cycles Going into 2016, IC companies will need to differentiate their products to become more competitive as well as transforming their business models in order to prepare for the next wave of innovations IoT in particular will significantly change the production cycles of products and affect the distribution of profits among supply chain partners in some applications At the same time, however, IoT also gives rise to new, underdeveloped market segments that can create values for companies To fill these market gaps, companies will have to develop new positioning strategies and design processes In sum, transformations and adjustments will be the primary challenges for the industry next year DRAMeXchange: Weak demand continues to drag down DRAM prices Even though the DRAM industry has become an oligopoly of three companies – Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron, competition remains fierce this year Among different types of DRAM products, PC DRAM and server DRAM have been hit hard by weak demand through much of 2015 PC DRAM prices have fallen close to 40% year on year while the price decline in the server DRAM market is expected to be steeper during this year’s second half The mobile DRAM market on the other hand has been the exception to the severe downtrend as its growth is sustained by smartphone sales As Apple continues to upgrade iPhone’s memory specs and equipped the latest iPhone 6s with 2GB RAM, the drop in the mobile DRAM prices has moderated in general  Looking ahead to 2016, Samsung will maintain its technological lead and put considerable pressure on its competitors by migrating to the 18nm process However, SK Hynix and Micron will also have plans to make sure that they are not too far behind Ken Kuo, DRAMeXchange assistant vice president, expects the DRAM chip market to suffer sharper price decline next year if there is not enough demand to effectively consume the DRAM chips DRAMeXchange: Demand bit growth of NAND Flash at 44% next year, posing challenges for suppliers The year 2016 will be filled with challenges and opportunities for the NAND Flash industry On the supply front, the migration to advanced manufacturing process will continue and the development of 3D-NAND Flash technology will accelerate DRAMeXchange’s latest projection shows that annual supply bit growth for next year will reach 50% On the other hand, the demand forecast for next year is on the conservative side Sean Yang, DRAMeXchange assistant vice president, points out that the slowing global economy will be negatively affecting OEM end demand as well as retail markets for memory cards and USBs Demand bit growth for 2016 is currently estimated at 44%, meaning that the NAND Flash market will be having a notable oversupply problem next year LEDinside: Market for high-brightness LED products to grow just 2% this year as the industry prepares for consolidation next year This year has been very difficult for companies in the LED industry While LED lighting products are seeing rising demands and have replaced numerous traditional products in different applications, their average selling prices have gone down by 30~40% due to oversupply According to LEDinside, the value of the market for high-brightness LED products is projected to grow 2% year on year to US$1452 billion in 2015 Duff Lu, LEDinside research manager, notes that the industry will undergo consolidation next year with companies merging or being driven out of business With uncompetitive players leaving, the industry will gradually reorganize itself EnergyTrend: PV market to see falling prices in 2016; devising new business strategies will become imperative The photovoltaic (PV) sector have consistently achieved high growth each year, and EnergyTrend forecasts the total market demand to grow by almost 10% annually in 2016, reaching 58GW With China and the US being the main growth driver, the global PV market will be unaffected by seasonality and stay hot during the first half of next year China’s share in the global demand will gradually increase The US on the other hand will significantly scale back its investment tax credit (ITC) benefits; but before this cut in subsidy rate, PV companies will keep expanding their shipments Consequently, installed capacity growth in the US is expected to peak next year  According to EnergyTrend analyst Corrine Lin, the current oversupply situation in the market is unlikely to ease due to the ongoing capacity expansion efforts by major PV companies Prices across the PV supply chain therefore will still be under heavy downward pressure in 2016 The strategic concern of industry participants will be to develop businesses outside the low-margin market segments WitsView: Prices to remain weak in the panel market during the first half of 2016 as production capacity outstrips market demand The downturn of the global economy has seriously weakened the demand for consumer electronics products this year Respective shipments of monitors, notebooks and tablets are projected to drop 10% year on year on average, while shipments of LCD TVs are seeing near-zero growth For next year, vendors will be offering products with special features and technologies, such as HRD TVs, wide-viewing angle monitors and HD notebooks They are banking that these products, along with the promotion of large-size tablets, will become strong incentives to consumers However, the overall demand will stay stagnant because various applications markets are becoming saturated Eric Chiou, WitsView senior research director, noted that panel makers are constantly expanding their production capacity for large- and small-size panels Furthermore, their stances on capacity adjustments have been generally conservative since they want to retain their market shares The oversupply situation will therefore gradually worsen On a quarterly basis, the overall panel supply-demand ratio is estimated to be upwards of 9% between this year’s fourth quarter to the middle of 2016 Panel prices will also remain weak 

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