Semiconductor market news(Mar. 03 to Apr. 09)丨Chip market falls 4% in February; Samsung cuts memory chip output on weak demand amid supply glut…

01. Samsung cuts memory chip output on weak demand amid supply glut

Samsung Electronics said on Friday that it was reducing memory chip production after it flagged a 95.8 percent plunge in the first quarter's operating profit from the same period last year, as a downturn in semiconductor demand hurts it and other manufacturers of the components, according to Nikkei Asia.

"The company is cutting memory production volumes to a meaningful level," the South Korean company said in a statement shortly after releasing earnings guidance, adding, "Demand for memory has declined due to the macroeconomic situation and low consumer sentiment," Samsung said operating profit likely came down to 600 billion won (USD 455 million) for the three months through the end of March, compared with 14.1 trillion won last year.

It sees revenue having fallen 19 percent to 63 trillion won during the same period. The company will release full earnings data, including for net profit, later this month, Nikkei Asia reported.

02. SIA: Chip market falls 4% in February

Apr. 7, 2023, According to a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Global semiconductor industry sales totaled $39.7 billion in February 2023, down 4.0% from January's total of $41.3 billion and down 20.7% from last February's total of $50.0 billion.

“Global semiconductor sales continued to slow in February, decreasing year-to-year and month-to-month for the sixth consecutive month,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. “Short-term market cyclicality and macroeconomic headwinds have led to cooling sales, but the market’s medium- and long-term prospects remain bright, thanks to growing demand across a range of end markets.”

Regionally, year-to-year sales increased slightly in February in Japan (1.2%), but decreased in Europe (-0.9%), the Americas (-14.8%), Asia Pacific/All Other (-22.1%), and China (-34.2%). Month-to-month sales were down across all regions: Europe (-0.3%), Japan (-0.3%), Asia Pacific/All Other (-3.6%), the Americas (-5.3%), and China (-5.9%).

03. Kyocera plans to invest $470 million to build a new factory

Apr. 6, 2023, According to Nikkei Asia, Kyocera recently announced that it will invest 62 billion yen (470 million U.S. dollars) in new factories for fine ceramic components for semiconductor-related applications and semiconductor packaging materials.

The report pointed out that Kyocera's new factory will be located in Isahaya City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, with the goal of achieving mass production in 2026, and is expected to achieve an output value of 25 billion yen in fiscal year 2028.

"We will capture the market for advanced semiconductor components, which will double in the medium to long term," Kyocera said.

Kyocera noted that demand for components is expected to continue to grow as semiconductor technology advances, the capabilities of smartphones and other communication devices grow, 5G base stations and data centers expand, and innovations in electric vehicles proliferate.

04. NXP is in discussions with foundry partners to set up fabs in India

Apr. 6, 2023, According to reports, NXP CEO Kurt Sievers recently mentioned in an interview that he will support its manufacturing partners in considering setting up fabs in India, such as TSMC and Globalfoundries.

"We think India should be a very neutral and democratic place with global manufacturing. We had discussions and they were very open. I'm very supportive of our manufacturing partners considering India," Kurt Sievers said.

The report pointed out that India's strong product manufacturing capabilities in the automotive, industrial and healthcare sectors could drive chip manufacturing into the country.

For years, India has failed to attract foreign investors to set up fabs. While there have been proposals for fabs involving Foxconn and Tower Semiconductor, so far there has been little chip manufacturing in India.

05. Japan announced restrictions on the export of 23 types of chip manufacturing equipment

Apr. 5, 2023, According to Reuters, the Japanese government said last week that it plans to restrict the export of 23 types of chip manufacturing equipment in 6 categories. Although China is not directly listed as the target of relevant restrictions, Reuters pointed out that Japan is cooperating with the United States to curb China's ability to manufacture advanced chips.

Reuters pointed out that the export restrictions will take effect in July, involving chip cleaning, deposition, lithography, etching, etc., and may affect Japanese companies such as Nikon and Tokyo Electronics.

Tokyo's decision came after the U.S. imposed sweeping restrictions on exports of chip-making tools to China last October, citing concerns over China's plans to use advanced chips to bolster its military, the report said.

06. Top 25 global and Chinese chip companies ranked

Apr. 3, 2023 , According to a report recently released by Gartner, global semiconductor revenue in 2022 increased by 0.2% year-on-year to $599.1 billion.

Gartner releases ranking of Top 25 Semiconductor Vendors-SemiMedia

The report shows that in 2022, global semiconductor revenue reached US$599.1 billion, a slight increase of only 0.2% year-on-year. The total revenue of the top 25 semiconductor manufacturers increased by 1.9% year-on-year, while the total revenue of other companies decreased by 5.1%.

The top 5 companies are Samsung, Intel, Qualcomm, SK Hynix and Micron.

From the perspective of revenue rise and fall, ADI’s business in the industrial, automotive and communication fields achieved substantial growth last year, so the company’s revenue increased by 46% year-on-year last year, the largest revenue growth rate among the global TOP25 semiconductor manufacturers; AMD benefited from Embedded, data center and gaming business growth, last year's total revenue increased by 45%. The company with the largest decline was Novatek (-23%), followed by Intel (-20%).

It is worth mentioning that among the TOP25 manufacturers, the revenue of memory manufacturers Samsung, SK hynix, Micron and Western Digital decreased by 13%, 10%, 6% and 17% respectively last year.

The deterioration of the memory chip market is intensifying. Due to the impact of slowing demand for smartphones and other influences, the inventory has increased, and the downward pressure on memory prices continues.

07.TSMC Gears Up To Launch New, Advanced 2nm Chip Technology

According to a new report from Taiwan, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will commence mass production of its 2-nanometer semiconductor process in 2025. The timeline matches TSMC's schedule, which its management has provided several times during analyst conferences.

Additionally, these rumors suggest that TSMC is also planning a new 2-nanometer node called N2P which will enter production in the year after N2. TSMC is yet to confirm a new process called the N2P, but it has used similar naming for its current 3-nanometer semiconductor technologies, with N3P being an enhanced version of N3 and reflecting refinements in the production process.

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