Semiconductor market news from DPE- November 22 to November 28

1、The price of 8-inch wafers will increase by 10-20% next year

The silicon wafer fab Hejing is driven by applications such as automotive and CIS, and its production capacity continues to be fully loaded. The visibility of orders is expected to next year. Since next year will focus on the expansion of 12-inch production capacity, 8-inch production will only be expanded through debottlenecking projects In addition, the recent supply of 8-inch silicon wafers is tighter than that of 12-inch wafers. With production capacity in short supply, the price of 8-inch silicon wafers next year is expected to increase by 10-20%.

2、Micron and UMC reach a global settlement deal

Nov. 25, 2021, United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and Micron Technology, Inc. today announced a settlement agreement between the two companies worldwide. The companies will globally withdraw their complaints against the other party, and UMC will make a one-time payment of an undisclosed amount to Micron. UMC and Micron look forward to engaging in mutual business cooperation opportunities.

3、Apple plans to let TSMC make its self-designed 5G modem from 2023

Apple’s main chip manufacturing partner TSMC will be beginning to produce Apple’s first in-house 5G modem chips for the iPhone in 2023, according to a report from Nikkei Asia. The move, which has been under development for several years and enhanced by Apple’s 2019 acquisition of the majority of Intel’s modem business, will allow Apple to shift away from Qualcomm as a supplier for the important chips that support cellular connectivity.

Apple plans to adopt TSMC’s 4-nanometer chip production technology to mass-produce its first in-house 5G modem chip, four people familiar with the matter said, adding that the iPhone maker is developing its own radio frequency and millimeter wave components to complement the modem. Apple is also working on its own power management chip specifically for the modem, two people briefed on the matter said.

4、Japan to support chip fabs with $5.2bn fund

The Japanese government is to allocate approximately ¥600bn from its 2021 stimulus package to support the manufacture of advanced silicon chips, Nikkei has reported.

According to the Nikkei report, of the ¥600bn allocated to advanced semiconductor manufacturers, the lion’s share will go towards supporting this TSMC-Sony venture. Nikkei placed the value of government support at ¥400bn.

The remaining ¥200bn will support setting up other factories. A number of projects are under consideration by the Japanese government, including ventures supported by US memory chipmaker Micron Technology and Japan’s own Kioxia Holdings.

5、Hon Hai’s IC packaging, testing plant in Qingdao starts production

Nov. 27, A new integrated circuit packaging and testing factory in Qingdao, China, opened by Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., started production on Friday.

According to Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn on the global market, the factory located in the Qingdao West Coast New District of Shandong province, is expected to roll out 30,000 units a month after reaching mass production.

Construction of the Qingdao plant began in July 2020 and it only took Hon Hai 18 months to build the factory and get it ready for production as the company intensifies efforts to develop its semiconductor business.

6、The US puts 12 Chinese Firms on Trade Blacklist

The US has placed a dozen Chinese groups involved in quantum computing and other advanced technologies on an export blacklist, saying they pose a risk of gaining access to critical American technologies for the People’s Liberation Army.

The move, which makes it almost impossible for US companies to sell technologies to the listed companies, targeted a total of 27 entities, including 12 in China and two affiliated firms in Japan and Singapore. In addition to quantum computing, the list included companies in the semiconductor and aerospace industries.

“Today’s actions will help prevent the diversion of US technologies to the People’s Republic of China’s and Russia’s military advancement,” said Gina Raimondo, the US commerce secretary.

The Chinese firms placed on the list include three affiliates of Corad Technology, which the US alleges has sold American technology to Iran, North Korea and groups connected to the PLA. The quantum companies include Shanghai QuantumCTek and Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale.

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