01. Global Semiconductor Sales Increase 19.3% Year-to-Year in May

    July 8, 2024, According to the latest report from SIA, global semiconductor industry sales reached $49.1 billion in May 2024, a 19.3% increase from the total of $41.2 billion in May 2023 and a 4.1% increase from the total of $47.2 billion in April 2024.

    Regionally, year-to-year sales were up in the Americas (43.6%), China (24.2%), and Asia Pacific/All Other (13.8%), but down in Japan (-5.8%) and Europe (-9.6%). Month-to-month sales in May increased in the Americas (6.5%), China (5.0%), Asia Pacific/All Other (3.0%), and Japan (1.6%), but decreased in Europe (-1.0%).

    02. Supply chain: MPS chips are in short supply

      July 9, 2024, According to the supply chain, some products of analog chip company Monolithic Power Systems have recently been in short supply due to a surge in demand.

      According to public information, MPS’ main products are DC/DC chips, which accounted for 94% of MPS’ total revenue in 2023. MPS’ main markets include computing and storage, enterprise data, automotive, industrial, communications and consumer.

      Supply chain sources said that the demand for some general-purpose chips from MPS has been rising since October last year, and has gradually increased since April this year. After entering May, the demand has begun to explode, and the customer order volume has increased from a few thousand pieces to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of pieces. These demands are mainly concentrated in the consumer, industrial, AI power and automotive fields, and the price has risen by up to 60%.

      Supply chain sources said that MPS’ chip demand has been relatively stable in the past, even during the supply chain crisis in the past two years. The models that are seeing an increase in demand this time are generally not expensive, but are highly versatile and in high demand.

      03. DDR4 Drives DRAM Spot Price Increase

        According to TrendForce’s latest memory spot price trend report, prices of DDR4 chips have risen noticeably. Though inventory levels are still high for DDR4, buyers prefer DDR4 over DDR5 due to the price discount. On the other hand, the NAND Flash spot market remains lethargic in transactions.

        04. Sony and other Japan chipmakers to spend $30bn in production race

          Nikkei Asia reported on July 8 that eight Japanese companies, including Sony, Mitsubishi Electric, Rohm, Toshiba, Kioxia, Renesas, Rapidus, and Fuji Electric, will invest JPY 5 trillion in the semiconductor field by 2029, driven by the promising prospects of AI, EV, and carbon reduction markets.

          As per Nikkei News, based on the capital investment plans from the fiscal 2021 to 2029 of these manufacturers, in order to rejuvenate Japan’s domestic chip industry, these companies will increase their investments in power semiconductor, sensor, and logic chip fields, which are seen as core technologies to the burgeoning sectors such as AI, decarbonization, and EV.

          05. AMD acquires AI startup Silo AI

            July 11, 2024, AMD recently announced that it will acquire Finnish artificial intelligence (AI) startup Silo AI for $665 million to expand its AI services.

            Silo AI, based in Helsinki, Finland, is one of Europe’s largest private AI labs, providing tailor-made AI models and platforms for corporate clients. Silo AI is committed to open-source AI models, which are freely available and can be customized by anyone. This is different from companies such as OpenAI and Google, which tend to be proprietary or closed source.

            AMD said that Silo AI’s 300 members will use its software tools to build custom large language models (LLMs). The all-cash acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of this year, but it still needs regulatory approval.