Semiconductor market news(May. 08 to May. 14)丨US chip imports up 13% in Q1; Global IC market will drop by 3.1% this year and recover in 2024…

01. Global IC market will drop by 3.1% this year and recover in 2024

May. 15, 2023, According to the semiconductor industry report recently released by Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), the global market is expected to decline by 3.1% in 2023. It is expected that the second half of the year will improve from the first half and recover in 2024.

MIC estimates that the global market size in 2023 will be US$556.6 billion. The reason for the decline was negative factors in the external environment and poor demand in the consumer market. In addition, EMS/OEM, system integration factories, semiconductor chip distributors and manufacturers are all facing the problem of excessive inventory levels, which also affects the global semiconductor sales performance this year.

MIC said that the development of artificial intelligence will bring business opportunities to the chip industry. As AI technology accelerates calculations from specific fields, it progresses to general-purpose calculations such as ChatGPT, which promotes data centers and high-end servers, which in turn drives demand for CPUs, GPUs, FPGs, and customized AI chips.

While AI creates business opportunities for semiconductors, AI chips still face many challenges. MIC pointed out that currently AI computing is still dominated by existing processors or embedded AI units, and it is difficult for independent AI computing chips to develop a large-scale market. With the gradual focus and expansion of AI applications, the demand for special-purpose AI computing such as audio-visual and voice will expand to the GPU-like market.

02. Bloomberg: US chip imports up 13% in Q1

May. 12, 2023, According to Bloomberg, U.S. chip imports rose 13% to $15.4 billion in the first quarter of this year.

The report pointed out that mainland China's chip exports to the United States decreased by 10.8% year-on-year to $710 million. As trade tensions and sanctions between China and the United States escalate, mainland China's chip exports to the United States have shrunk further, while India's exports have increased by nearly 38 times.

The report shows that Asia is still the main source of US chip imports, but the supply chain has changed since last year. Malaysia, home to many chip-testing and packaging facilities, saw its direct exports to the U.S. drop by almost a third in value, while Thailand's almost doubled. As trade tensions and sanctions between China and the United States escalated, China's chip exports to the United States shrank further, while India's exports rose nearly 38 times to $497.1 million.

03. NIO and NXP Collaborate on 4D Imaging Radar Deployment

May. 8, 2023, NXP Semiconductors N.V. recently announced NIO Inc., a leading brand in the global premium smart electric vehicle market, will leverage NXP’s leading automotive radar technology, including its ground-breaking imaging radar solution. NXP’s latest 4D imaging radar solution is a powerful technology that allows benefits far beyond traditional radar. It will enable a significant improvement in front radar performance in today’s vehicles. The cars will be able to detect and classify objects such as other vehicles and vulnerable road users in high-way and complex urban scenarios and at distances of up to 300m, bringing more safety to the roads and driving comfort for end users.

04. Samsung to build chip factory in Yokohama, Japan

May. 15, 2023, According to Nikkei Asia, Samsung Electronics plans to build a new facility in Yokohama, which is expected to spur cooperation between the Japanese and South Korean chip industries.

The report pointed out that Yokohama is currently the location of Samsung's R&D center in Japan, and the investment in the new facility is 30 billion yen, which will be used for chip back-end manufacturing.

According to earlier reports, Samsung Electronics is considering setting up a chip testing plant in Japan to strengthen its advanced packaging business and establish a closer relationship with Japanese semiconductor equipment manufacturers and raw material manufacturers.

05. Qualcomm announces acquisition of auto chip maker Autotalks

May. 9, 2023, Qualcomm said on May 8 that it will acquire Autotalks Ltd, an Israeli auto chip manufacturer focused on the production of dedicated chips for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technology for manned and autonomous vehicles.

Qualcomm stated that it has been investing in V2X research, development and deployment since 2017, and believes that as the automotive market matures, an independent V2X safety architecture will be required to enhance the safety of road users and intelligent transportation systems.

Qualcomm said it will incorporate Autotalks' solutions into its Snapdragon Digital Chassis product portfolio.

After the acquisition of Autotalks, Qualcomm is expected to strengthen its product line in the field of automotive chips and further expand its revenue sources.

06. Infineon expands its headcount in South Korea to cope with upcoming demand

May. 11, 2023, According to semiconductor industry insiders, Infineon Technologies AG plans to expand its workforce in Korea.

By 2030, Infineon Technologies Korea will employ 1.5 times as many employees in South Korea as it does now, and hire more mid-career experienced employees, the insider said.

Infineon expanded its operations in Korea because it sees huge growth potential in the country's renewable energy market, the source added.

Infineon's main business, power semiconductors, converts, distributes and controls electrical energy in power management systems for electronic devices. They are vital for renewable energy, converting energy produced by renewable power plants into usable electricity.

07. Global semiconductor equipment revenue is expected to drop by 13% year-on-year in 2023

May. 10, 2023, According to a report recently released by Yole, the total market value of the wafer manufacturing equipment industry is expected to be $87 billion in 2023, and will stabilize in the future and reach $107 billion in 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.3%.

According to the report, the market has entered a period of equipment capacity digestion after setting records for semiconductor fab equipment revenue for three consecutive years. A slight decline in fab equipment revenue in Q4 2022, down 1% sequentially, led to a weak Q1 2023, down 26% sequentially, marking a decline in Q1 2023.

According to Dr. Taguhi Yeghoyan, an analyst at Yole Intelligence, the expected revenue of the wafer equipment factory in the first quarter of 2023 is 20 billion US dollars, which is similar to the revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020. Despite long equipment lead times and high factory utilization, the decline was largely due to delays or even cancellations of orders by memory chip makers. Manufacturers of DRAM and NAND memory such as Samsung, Micron, SK Hynix, and Kioxia are cutting capital expenditures, canceling or delaying orders.

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