Semiconductor market news(Jan. 9 to Jan. 15)丨Samsung and SK Hynix plan to reduce procurement of silicon wafers; Infineon sells HiRel DC-DC converter business to Micross; ST launches its most affordable 32bit microcontroller…

01. Global semiconductor market is expected to exceed $1 trillion in 2030

Jan. 11, 2023 — According to reports, the size of the global semiconductor market will exceed $1 trillion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 7%. Automotive is considered the most promising semiconductor market.

In 2021, the global semiconductor market size was $556 billion, of which computing accounted for about 38%, communications accounted for 33%, and a total of more than 70%, while automotive, industrial and consumer electronics each accounted for about 10%.

Global semiconductor sales will exceed $1 trillion by 2030 as demand surges. The communications and computing markets will still account for more than 60%. In addition, the compound annual growth rate of automobiles is expected to exceed 10% in the next ten years, while the sales growth of industrial chips is also higher than the industry average.

Growth in the computing industry will flatten as demand for PCs and laptops saturates, the report said. However, emerging data centers will provide the driving force for semiconductor demand. It is expected that the computing industry chips will grow to $360 billion, with a CAGR of 6%.

Communication applications are mainly contributed by mobile infrastructure, which will drive demand for semiconductors, including mobile APs, base station CPUs, radio frequency components, power devices, and optoelectronics. Communications chips are expected to grow to $318 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 6%.

The adoption of electronic systems in the automotive industry is exploding today. Demand for components such as sensors, computing and control chips will continue to surge as electric vehicles become more common. Automation, electrification, and Internet of Vehicles will bring huge business opportunities to the automotive chip market. Automotive chips are expected to grow to $145 billion by 2030, a CAGR of 12%.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to drive the growth of the semiconductor industry in both industrial and consumer segments. In addition to core computing and control chips, radio frequency components and sensors are also key components. For industrial applications, the demand for power and analog ICs is higher due to higher power requirements. Industrial chips are expected to grow to $130 billion by 2023, with a CAGR of 9%, while the sales of consumer electronic chips will grow to $84 billion, with a CAGR of about 6%.

02. Samsung and SK Hynix plan to reduce procurement of silicon wafers

Jan. 12, 2023 — According to TheElec, Samsung and SK Hynix are planning to reduce the purchase of silicon wafers.

The report pointed out that due to changes in the semiconductor market at the end of 2022, Samsung and SK Hynix had discussions with silicon wafer suppliers to cut supply in the fourth quarter of 2022.

TheElec quoted industry sources as saying that these semiconductor manufacturers have already begun to consider future market changes and have reviewed relevant issues in advance.

The report further pointed out that the impact period of the semiconductor downstream market on upstream manufacturers is 6 to 9 months, and now the market response speed of upstream manufacturers is faster than expected, because the significant decline in the market occurred in the third quarter.

03. Infineon sells HiRel DC-DC converter business to Micross

Jan. 12, 2023 — Infineon Technologies AG yesterday announced that Micross Components, Inc. has entered a definitive agreement to purchase Infineon’s HiRel DC-DC converter business including its hybrid and custom board-based power products. This sale will enable Infineon to extend its focus and investments on core semiconductor developments for the high-reliability market, while deemphasizing businesses that require more customized product offerings for the high-reliability industry. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of calendar year 2023.

“Infineon is pleased to have reached an agreement with Micross to provide a more strategic home for our HiRel DC-DC converter business,” said Bob LeFort, President of Infineon Technologies Americas. “We believe this sale is in the best interest of both companies; our customers, employees, and shareholders. This transaction enables Infineon to remain focused on the HiRel business areas that benefit from Infineon’s leading semiconductor technologies. We look forward to working with Micross to ensure a seamless transition for our customers and employees.”

Vince Buffa, Chairman and CEO of Micross, said, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Infineon on their HiRel DC-DC converter business and to have the opportunity to partner with their highly experienced team which further expands Micross’ design capabilities. We are excited about the significant proprietary power management IP that combined with their state of the art manufacturing capabilities and product portfolio leads the way for advancement of innovative solutions. We will be better positioned to produce an even wider range of high-quality products for our customers. Together, we plan to pursue a number of compelling opportunities to further realize our exciting growth prospects, all while upholding excellent quality and service to our customers.”

The HiRel DC-DC converter business is a leading provider of high reliability DC-DC power conversion solutions for the toughest environments, including outer space, and will operate under the Micross Hi-Rel Products business segment. These DC-DC converter products are complete power solutions, including main power converter, control circuits, filters and housing.

“We are dedicated to our customer and partner base, and will continue to leverage our existing resources and talent to develop innovative solutions together,” said Chris Opoczynski, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, HiRel Business Line, Infineon Technologies. “In our retained HiRel businesses, Infineon will strengthen its focus on these target applications, along with others that demand the highest reliability and highest performance. We are committed to the mission-critical space, defense, and aerospace industries.”

04. TSMC: Arizona fab costs 4 to 5 times higher than Taiwan fab

Jan. 13, 2023 — According to reports, TSMC said yesterday that the cost of the Arizona fab is about 4 to 5 times higher than that of the Taiwan fab. However, the company’s U.S. fab’s target gross margin will be higher than 25% to ensure profitability.

TSMC stated that factors including labor and various local expenses have increased the cost of TSMC's US fab.

According to sources, TSMC's U.S. fab will receive a large amount of U.S. government subsidies to cover the fab's operating costs.

05. Resonac to boost EV power chip material output fivefold by 2026

Jan. 15, 2023 — Japanese electronics and materials maker Resonac Holdings will boost production to five times the current output by 2026 of material used in next-generation power semiconductors that can expand electric vehicle ranges, Nikkei has learned.

Power chips control and adjust electricity sent through equipment allowing for proper function. Better performing power chips equates to less electricity lost. The chips Resonac makes material for can extend the driving distance of EVs by 5% to 10%.

Resonac produces silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers, the component needed in power chips, and the wafer substrates used in the component in Japan.

Chips made from silicon carbide cost more than double traditional silicon chips but have the benefit of cutting the electricity loss by more than 5%.

Resonac, previously known as Showa Denko, has 25% of the material's global market share. As materials and components used in electric vehicles become more crucial to the shift toward decarbonization, the company's move could contribute to stabilize the supply chain in the sector.

Once production is expanded, Resonac will have the capacity to make around 50,000 SiC epitaxial wafers with a diameter of 150 millimeters per month, which amounts to about five times the current capacity.

By 2025, the company will begin mass production of wafer substrates with a 200-mm diameter. The substrate area will increase by 80%, raising efficiency by enabling more chips to be cut from them.

To mass produce the larger substrates, Resonac is considering investing in one of its plants in Saitama, Chiba and Shiga prefectures. The Saitama plant is the top candidate for boosting component output. The total investment is expected to be in the tens of billions of yen.

The company aims to raise sales of semiconductor-related products to 550 billion yen ($4.3 billion) in 2025 from 360 billion yen in 2021.

06. ST launches its most affordable 32bit microcontroller

ST targets the new STM32C0 series to equipment like home appliances, industrial pumps, fans, smoke detectors, typically served by simpler 8bit and 16bit MCUs.

The 32bit ARM Cortex M0+ core brings faster response, extra functions and network connection at similar overall cost and power consumption to 8bit devices. The controllers run at up to 48MHz and deliver 44 DMIPS instruction throughput with CoreMark performance/efficiency of 114, drawing just 80μA/MHz in run mode.

The STM32C0 series, now in high-volume production on a 90nm process, is covered by ST’s ten year longevity program for industrial products, renewed every year. Nine package choices are available, from 8 to 48 pins, including packages offering the smallest area and thickness, such as the WLCSP12, the UFQFPN and the 3 x 3 mm UFQFPN20 package, down to 1.70 x 1.42mm.

07. Taiwan foundry in talks over Indian wafer fab

Foundry Power Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (Hsinchu, Taiwan), is in talks with the Indian government about helping build a wafer fab there, according to a Digitimes report. The report says the disclosure came from PSMC chair Frank Huang.

PSMC offers a broad variety of manufacturing process technologies behind the leading-edge including logic, DRAM and flash memory, PMICs, CMOS image sensors, and high-voltage circuits. It is Taiwan’s third largest foundry TSMC and UMC.

There has been speculation that PSMC could be used to assist local companies such as Vedanta or Tata who have expressed a desire to enter the chip industry.

The Indian government introduced an incentive scheme at the start of 2021 to try and encourage inward investors to build semiconductor and electronics manufacturing plants in India. It also lobbied hard with the Taiwanese government.

The plans announced so far have remained ones primarily of intention with little action on the ground.

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