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Keyword:TrendForce391 result(s)

Press Releases
TrendForce Says Tsinghua Unigroup’s Bid on Micron Shows China Extending Its Efforts in Domestic Semiconductor Sector



On October 14, 2014, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced the establishment of the National Integrated Circuitry Industry Investment Fund This fund shows China’s intention of building a domestic semiconductor sector with the DRAM industry as the cornerstone There has been incessant merger activities since then, and China is showing its strong determination to carry out its mission, whether its efforts are publicly known as in SummitView Capital’s acquisition of ISSI or hidden as in the recruitment of industry talents  The latest in this series of dealings is Tsinghua Unigroup’s bid to acquire Micron on July 14 with an offer totaling US$23 billion If this deal were carried out, it would be the largest Chinese takeover of a US company on record  Investigation by DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, confirms that Tsinghua Unigroup did submit a bid, but this was just the initial stage of a long and difficult negotiation The proposal to sell the company will have to be first passed by Micron’s board of directors and then agreed by the shareholders According to US government’s policy on the export of high-tech products, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) will also review the deal and decide if it affects the US national security Since the semiconductor sector is deemed vital to US national security, CFIUS has the power to stop the transaction  Intel presents another interesting factor in the Micron acquisition In addition to DRAM products, Micron also develops NAND flash technology with Intel Therefore, Tsinghua Unigroup will have to negotiate with both Micron and Intel when it comes to the transfer of NAND flash technology Another reason why Intel is crucial to this deal is that it already made a strategic alliance with Tsinghua Unigroup Intel purchased a 20% stake in Tsinghua Unigroup for US$15 billion in September 2014, so there is a chance that Tsinghua will be able to obtain both DRAM and NAND flash technologies at once if the Micron acquisition goes through Such scenario will motivate the US government to scrutinize this deal very closely  In terms of financing, Tsinghua Unigroup’s current market cap is about 47 billion yuan RMB, or US$76 billion Buying Micron at US$23 billion will require financial support from other investment funds or consortiums as Tsinghua Unigroup evidently lacks the capital to do the takeover by itself However, China is presumably set on growing its semiconductor sector, so the Chinese government will employ all the necessary national resources to bring about successful industry mergers State-backed funds for instance might even come to Tsinghua Unigroup’s assistance Excluding the concerns of the US government, the Micron acquisition is financially feasible 

Press Releases
TrendForce Lowers LCD Monitor and Notebook Shipment Forecasts for Q2 and Q3 Due to Depreciation of Currencies


Display , Consumer Electronics

WitsView, a division of TrendForce, has made downward revisions to shipment forecasts of monitors and notebooks for this year’s second and third quarters according to its latest research The revision is based on the depreciation of the euro and the emerging markets’ currencies as well as other factors  According to WitsView’s Research Manager Anita Wang, the sharp depreciation of the euro has depressed the market demand for LCD monitors during the entire second quarter The channel retailers are unwilling to stock up because they are not clearing their inventories quickly enough Under this cycle of inventory accumulation and dropping demand, the projected monitor shipments for the second quarter will not grow but rather shrink by 1~2% quarterly, reaching 301M units shipped The main goals of branded monitor vendors in the second quarter were to adjust their product mixes and help channel retailers get rid of excess inventories Vendors are hoping demands will pick up in this year’s second half, when the overall inventory level in the channels is returning to normal By that time retailers will stock up more product models carrying low-cost panels in preparation of annual sales events, which are important to vendors’ shipment targets  “The base period for the second quarter shipments is relatively short,” Wang added “This will spur monitor vendors to work harder to reach their annual shipment targets and spur stock-up demands in the channels” The third quarter shipments are therefore likely to see a growth of 5~7% with 319M units shipped This estimated shipment figure, however, also represents a 48% year-on-year decline  Notebook market struggles as peak season sales did not reach expectations  WitsView has also revised the estimated shipments of notebooks for the second quarter downward from a quarterly growth of 8~9% to 2~4%, arriving at 395M units shipped Traditionally, this is the period when branded notebook vendors launch their new models and retailers stock up for the back-to-school sales However, the notebook market like the monitor market is badly affected by the depreciation of the euro and the emerging markets’ currencies Hence, the notebook sales have fallen short of expectations Vendors moreover have stocked up too many panels as they have maintained the same procurement volumes respectively On the whole, the gradual recovery of the North American market is unlikely to offset the losses in Europe  The notebook market appears to be uncharacteristically conservative as it enters the third quarter, which is the peak season for IT products Even though Windows 10 is set to launch at the end of July, the news has not lifted the notebook market demand because the current Windows 7 and above users can get a free upgrade In order to make the annual shipment quotas, notebook vendors are relying on the next-generation, Windows 10 notebooks that also carry the new Intel Skylake processors They are also aggressively promoting the older models to prop up sales figures With the notebook shipments performing below expectation in the second quarter, WitsView estimates the quarterly growth in the third quarter will reach 7~9%, down from the original projection of 12~13% There is also an adjustment in the projected year-on-year decline for the period, from the original 02% to the revised 64% As for the expected notebook shipment volume, about 429M units will be shipped in third quarter 

Press Releases
TrendForce Reports Global DRAM Module Industry in 2014 Saw 21% Revenue Growth at US$8.8 Bln with Kingston in Lead



The latest DRAM module maker ranking by DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, reports that the gross sales of the global DRAM module market for 2014 was US$88 billion This amount represented a 21% increase over the 2013 gross sales of US$73 billion This dramatic growth was attributed to the stabilization of prices for PC DRAM and the rise of contract transactions relative to spot trades The top five module manufacturers remained dominant, accounting for 81% of the 2014 gross sales Moreover, the top ten companies made up 92% of the market revenue for that year Kingston firmly established itself as the industry leader with an annual revenue growth of 44% Ramaxel and ADATA took the second and third place with impressive performances as well  DRAMeXchange’s research shows 2014 was a very profitable year for the DRAM industry as the market consolidated into an oligopoly that brought the supply-demand situation under control With the right product mix strategies, manufacturers also benefitted from the brisk sales of smartphones and the steadily growing server market As a result, DRAM prices was steady throughout the entire 2014, with the average contract price of DDR3 4Gb staying at US$365 This was an 18% increase over the 2013’s contract price of US$31 The spot market for 2014 had also been strong with the average price hanging around US$4 This was a 17% jump compared with the spot price of US$343 during 2013 The price difference between the contract and spot market was roughly 10% in 2014, so the module companies enjoyed a significant increase over 2013 in their annual revenue The leading companies also became stronger than ever  Kingston sat at top of industry during 2014 and is expected to focus on contract trades this year  Kingston held on to the title of No 1 DRAM module maker due to the rising proportion of contract trades and the price stability in the spot market Kingston Solution Inc (KSI), which is responsible Kingston’s eMCP products, reaped much rewards for its efforts in China and has inserted itself into the supply chains of local smartphone vendors Overall, KSI is on its way to become a top-tier eMCP manufacturer Ramaxel followed Kingston at No 2 and posted a 13% annual revenue growth owing to its businesses with Lenovo and the increase of server DRAM in its product mix ADATA, which was No 3 in the 2014 ranking, had adjusted its strategy and reduced the share of DRAM in its product mix It nonetheless remained the leader among Taiwanese module companies Micron Consumer Products Group stayed at the the fourth place and saw a 619% annual revenue growth Transcend, which gained from the continuing market growth of industrial memory products, came in at No 5  DRAMeXchange moreover finds that with the DRAM spot market shrinking this year, module manufacturers must look to new markets to sustain their revenue growth Kingston offers the best case scenario as it has effectively made inroads into the contract market While smaller manufacturers may have difficulty emulate Kingston’s success, there are alternatives to the contract market The industrial and gaming applications, for examples, are important markets that demand high-margin products Capitalizing on these opportunities and increasing the proportions of flash and other strategic products in the product mix are some of the ways manufacturers can survive in the changing business market environment 

Press Releases
TrendForce Reports XMC to Be China’s Memory Base as It Gathers Technologies and Coordinates Nation’s DRAM Industry Development



On October 14, 2014, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced the establishment of the National Integrated Circuitry Industry Investment Fund This announcement signaled China’s intent to create a competitive domestic semiconductor sector, starting with the DRAM industry Since the revelation of the policy, six major Chinese regional governments have been gathering technological, human and financial resources as they sought to attract the DRAM industry to settle in their provinces The region that secures the DRAM production base is expected to become the heart of the country’s semiconductor sector  After months of competition, MIIT’s semiconductor division led by its director general Ding Wenwu has set its sight on Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, as the center for DRAM industry development The city’s own semiconductor company, Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing (XMC) will spearhead the project and serve as the focal point of investments Zhao Haijun, COO and executive VP at Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), is reported to lead XMC in fundraising DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, reports several domestic tech companies and investment groups will be joining MITT’s IC industry fund in this investment project, including SMIC, Hubei Science and Technology Investment Group, and Hua Capital The Wuhan venture will be the first official undertaking in the development of China’s DRAM industry Its goals are to eventually raise US$24 billion and create a long-term target capacity of 300K wafer starts per month  Set to become China’s memory base, XMC will gather DRAM, 3D-NAND and NOR under one roof  Established in 2006, XMC was an important strategic investment project backed by Hubei province and Wuhan city The company’s 12-inch wafer fab, which was completed and began production in 2008, initially operated under SMIC’s ownership When SMIC gave up ownership in 2013, XMC became an independent foundry supported by the city authority The company’s management team is composed of industry veterans with solid technological background Occupying roughly 87 acres of Wuhan’s New Technology Development Zone, XMC’s 12-inch wafer fab is currently the company’s only operating fab XMC’s earlier products were NOR flash memory Starting this year, however, XMC has been developing 3D-NAND flash technology in collaboration with Spansion, a US-based IC solution provider  As its fab is nearly at full capacity, XMC would need to build another 12-inch wafer fab as to accommodate the additional DRAM capacity load and satisfy potential demands DRAMeXchange expects XMC to have at least two 12-inch wafer fabs as it turns into a DRAM production center Moreover, XMC will lead China’s semiconductor industry as it is draws in DRAM, 3D-NAND flash and NOR technologies 

Press Releases
TrendForce Expects SMIC to See Benefits from Its Alliance with Qualcomm, Huawei and imec in 3~5 Years



Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China's leading semiconductor foundry, has announced it will set up an equity joint venture company that focuses on developing the next-generation CMOS logic technology SMIC’s partners include Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Belgian nano-electronic research institute imec, and Qualcomm’s affiliate company Qualcomm Global Trading Pte Ltd All of the participants signed the agreement on June 23  Known as SMIC Advanced Technology Research & Development (Shanghai) Corporation, this joint venture’s mission is to become the most advanced R&D center for integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing in China Its starting objective is to design its own 14nm processes that will later do pilot runs at SMIC’s fabs  The scale of the capital investment and the distribution of shares among partners have yet to be revealed However, SMIC is expected to have the controlling stake as its CEO/Executive Director Dr Chiu Tzu-Yin is the legal representative of the joint venture Yu Shaofeng, SMIC’s vice president, will also serve as the general manager of the new company Huawei, imec and Qualcomm will probably have relatively smaller stakes  With the monthly capacity of around 140K 8-inch wafers and 50K 12-inch wafers, SMIC is China’s largest pure-play foundry Its most advanced processes currently under mass production are the 40/45nm At the same time, it has also teamed up with clients in developing 28nm As for the 14nm, SMIC has yet to set a timetable for mass production  TrendForce finds SMIC’s partners for this international collaboration have the necessary expertise regarding 14nm manufacturing Even with the right partners, however, it will take at least three to five years before the Chinese foundry giant sees the results of its R&D efforts Besides the absence of immediate benefits, TrendForce also points out other issues with this joint venture  1) Huawei and Qualcomm’s conflicting interests  While Huawei has established a long-term relationship with Qualcomm, Huawei’s subsidiary HiSilicon is one of Qualcomm’s challengers The competing interests of these two companies will affect their level of commitment to the new R&D company, and this factor will spell success or failure for the entire project  2) imec excels at initial research of advanced manufacturing but has limited experience with actual mass production  imec is the top research center for advanced IC manufacturing process and materials in Europe Its tasks at hand include the 14nm node and the next-generation 7nm node However, much of the organization’s work is related to initial research and has limited contribution to the mass production of advanced chips imec’s early studies were also mainly based on 6- and 8-inch wafers, and there seems to be a lack of experience on the 12-inch  3) Obtaining HKMG and FinFET technologies will be crucial to SMIC’s R&D efforts  Since semiconductor manufacturing moved on to the 28nm process, industry players have also been working transistor design that would satisfy clients’ demands for low-power and high-performance ICs Currently, the key technologies in transistor architecture are HKMG (High K/ Metal gate) and FinFET Whether SMIC will be able to obtain such technologies from its partners will be critical in forming its own R&D capabilities as well as stepping up its expansion 

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