Taiwan IC design houses see demand for smartphones pick up
Cage Chao, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES
Taiwan-based IC design houses have seen orders from Android phone vendors start pulling in, and are more upbeat about their sales outlook for the fourth quarter of 2020.
Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have all stepped up their pace of orders prior to their new product roll-outs, according to sources at Taiwan-based fabless chipmakers. The ramp-up in orders may help mitigate the impact of the business lost from Huawei, the sources said.
Many Taiwan-based IC design houses enjoyed revenue increases in August with several of them such as MediaTek, Novatek Microelectronics and RichWave posting record-high sales for the month. With their order visibility for the fourth quarter stretched, the firms are expected to see their sales growth momentum continue, the sources indicated.
Meanwhile, Taiwan-based fabless chipmakers will be striving for capacity support from their foundry partners, which will see their capacities stay tight through the end of 2020, the sources suggested. The potential blacklisting of SMIC by the US government will add pressure to the already-tight foundry market.
In other news, various media outlets have reported that the Department of Commerce has told US companies to acquire licenses before allowing to export certain technology to SMIC and its subsidiaries. SMIC has responded saying “it manufactures semiconductors and provides services solely for civilian and commercial end-users and end-uses. The company has no relationship with the Chinese military and does not manufacture for any military end-users or end-uses.”