EPTE Newsletter: Circuit Board Shipments in Taiwan Up Slightly


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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global economy. Countries around the world are struggling with opening their economies while maintaining safety protocols. This conflict provides uncertainty for many individuals and companies. Let’s look at Taiwan.

Taiwan reported 498 new cases and seven deaths since the beginning of the year out of a population of 20 million people. Inbound and outbound international travel is restricted, but domestic travel continues. Taiwanese companies posted positive results compared to last year as manufacturing and exports increase.

Taiwanese printed circuit manufacturers shipped NT$56.85 billion worth of product during July. This is an increase of 9.5% compared with the previous month and 1.7% more than the same month last year. The growth rates are not record-breaking, but they are positive. Rigid board manufacturers performed better than flexible circuit manufacturers during the first half of the year. Flex circuit manufacturers started the year off slowly, but shipments increased due to a ramp-up in inventory for the Christmas season. Third-quarter results are predicted to show a small uptick, but forecasts remain positive for second-half growth. Apple sales are critical for manufacturers to remain in the green.

Many employees continue to work from home, and work-from-home products are on the rise. They include telecommunication systems, personal computers, and related equipment, such as desktop monitors and additional memory. Taiwan is the largest supplier of IT devices in the world, and Taiwanese PCB manufacturers received additional orders for multilayer boards during the first half of the year. Many are predicting the work from home model to continue for a while, so the demand for PCs and related devices will be strong.

A few of my business associates in Taiwan are very optimistic for a vaccine and a strong rebound in business. Total shipments from circuit board manufacturers grew 3.5% for the first seven months year over year, and forecasts show continued growth for Taiwanese manufacturers during the last five months of the year. 

Headlines

1. Kyushu University (Japan) 8/31

Co-developed a new polymer optical transducer with high speed up to 100 Gbit/sec with Nissan Chemical.

2. Toshiba Device & Storage (device supplier in Japan) 9/1

Released a series of small-size photo relays with the smallest SMT areas (SMT area: 2.0 x 1.45 mm; height: 1.3 mm).

3. Panasonic (electronics company in Japan) 9/1

Completed selling a semiconductor business to Nuvoton Technology, a subsidiary of Winbord Electronics in Taiwan.

4. Toyota Motors & Honda Motors (car suppliers in Japan) 9/3

Will start field testing fuel cell buses as the portable power supplier for the power outage areas caused by natural disasters. The capacity is 10 times larger compared with a typical EV.

5. Fuji Keizai (market research firm in Japan) 9/4

Released a new report about the global semiconductor material market. The total revenue in 2024 will be $40.5 billion in 2024, 23% growth from 2019.

6. Ushio (lighting device manufacturer in Japan) 9/5

Was successful in making the coronavirus non-active by 30-second irradiation of 222 nm ultraviolet light.

7. Mitsubishi Electric (electric and electronics company in Japan) 9/8

Developed a new semiconductor laser device “ML770B64” with metallic can package for 100 Gbit/sec telecommunication.

8. Renesus Electronics (semiconductor manufacturer in Japan) 9/8

Rolled out a new wireless charger IC “P9415-R” for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet PCs.

9. Asahi Kasei Electronics (device manufacturer in Japan) 9/10

Released a new voltage detection ICS “AP4405AEN Series.” Voltage controller, control logic, MOSFET, etc., were built in one chip that consumes small current down to 10nA.

10. Koki HD (power tool manufacturer in Japan) 9/9

Rolled out a new codeless band saw “CB 3612DA” with a lithium-ion battery that works six times faster compared with the old model.

11. Sumitomo Electric (cable manufacturer in Japan) 9/11

Developed a new manufacturing process of fluororesin-based flex circuits for 5G telecommunication devices. They have smaller loss than LPC resin-based circuits.

12. Nippon Koei (consulting firm for the construction industry in Japan) 8/5

Co-developed a fly-wheel-type energy storage device “Flystab” with STORNETIC, a German company (capacity: 3.6 kWh per unit).

13. Kaneka (material supplier in Japan) 8/12

Newly developed photovoltaic cell based on multi-crystal silicon was certified by Toyota as the roof power source of “e-Patette,” a new model of the auto-drive EV.

14. On-Semiconductor (semiconductor manufacturer in the U.S.) 8/11

Is considering selling its manufacturing plant in Niigata, Japan. The company is looking for a capable company to continue the supply for current customers.

15. JEITA (industry organization in Japan) 8/12

Unveiled the 2019 version of the roadmap for the printed circuit industry in Japan. Semiconductor packages will lead fine-line technology.

16. Kawasaki Heavy Industry (heavy equipment supplier in Japan) 8/17

Started field testing all plastic secondary battery based on the next-generation lithium-ion battery technology designed for unmanned submarines.

17. Molex Japan (connector supplier in Japan) 8/18

Unveiled a new high-retention force connector series HRF 7S and HRF 7L with 0.4-mm pitch for SlimStack boards.

18. Tohoku University (Japan) 8/19

Developed a new power-generation device that generates electric power using the temperature difference and works in dark circumstances at room temperature.

17. Tokyo University (Japan) 8/25

Co-developed a new high-performance organic semiconductor “C10-DNS-VW” for low-cost tag and sensor devices.

18. Littel Fuse (component supplier in the U.S.) 8/26

Rolled out new polymer positive temperature coefficient (PPTC) series “Poly Switch zeptoSMDC Series” in Japan for portable equipment.

19. SMK (connector supplier in Japan) 8/26

Released a new connector series “RB-1 Series” for the BtoB connections of 5G antenna boards (pitch: 0.35 mm; height: 0.6 mm; capable up to 12 GHz).

20. TSMC (semiconductor manufacturer in Taiwan) 8/27

Developed the N4 manufacturing process as the post N5 process. The company plans the production in 2021 and volume production in 2022.

21. JDL (display supplier in Japan) 8/26

Agreed to sell the company and manufacturing facilities to Apple and Sharp, a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision in Taiwan.

Dominique K. Numakura is the managing director of DKN Research LLC. Contact haverhill@dknreseach.com for further information and news.

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