Friday, November 03, 2017
The supply of some IC parts and components, including wafers, passive components, and DRAM, MOSFET and NOR flash chips, will remain tight in 2018 due to the absence of capacity ramps by major suppliers, according to industry sources.
While demand for these rather mature IC parts and components has been strong since the beginning of 2017, the proliferation of IoT/AR/VR applications, cloud services, drone devices, and smart voice assistant products has worsened the shortages, said the sources.
Besides, an acceleration of the development of 5G applications will also keep demand for mature IC parts growing in 2018, making the short supply a constant, indicated the sources.
Among the major items, the supply of DRAM chips may increase in 2018 through the introduction of new process nodes. But suppliers of other products are likely to increase their output mainly through improvements in manufacturing processes and yield rates rather than expand production facilities for capacity ramps, said the sources.
In addition to huge investment amounts required for new production facilities, it is also difficult for component suppliers to pass the increased production costs on to clients, thwarting makers' willingness to commmit on capacity ramps, added the sources.
For example, major Taiwan-based MOSFET chip suppliers, including Advanced Power Electronics, Sinopower Semiconductor, and Niko Semiconductor, have been hiking their quotes slowly since the beginning of 2017 when the supply began to tight up, said the sources.
Sinopower and Niko began to see their earnings improve significantly till September when they reported an EPS of NT$0.63 and NT$0.35, respectively, for the month, up 53% and 775% from a year earlier.
With the prospects that the shortages of MOSFET chips are likely to continue to widen in 2018, quotes for MOSFET parts, particularly those for high-end and automobile applications, will hike further in the coming year, noted the sources.
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