Output of Taiwan's IC industry estimated to grow almost 6% in 2018

2018/06/09 18:38:39 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) The production value of Taiwan's integrated circuit industry is forecast to grow almost 6 percent from a year earlier in 2018 on the back of a wider range of new technology applications at a time of a global economic recovery, according to the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC).

In a research report, the MIC, a market research division of the Taipei-based government-sponsored Institute for Information Industry, said that while sales in PCs remain slow and sales growth in smartphones are likely to be capped amid rising competition, the global semiconductor industry is expected to continue to benefit from strong demand for memory chips.

In 2018, the output of Taiwan's IC industry is expected to hit NT$2.4 trillion (US$80.49 billion), up 5.8 percent from a year earlier.

However, the growth of the local semiconductor industry is expected to be slower than a global increase of 6.9 percent, which will push up the global IC output to US$440.6 billion, the MIC said.

It said the IC design segment is expected to enjoy growth quarter-by-quarter this year, with its production value forecast to hit NT$570.1 billion, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier.

In the research note, Yeh Chen-hsiu (葉貞秀), a senior analyst with the MIC, said that although local IC designers are faced with escalating competition from China in the smartphone chip market, Taiwanese firms have entered select niche markets such as automotive electronics and industrial applications to offset the impact and boost output.

As for wafer foundry operators in Taiwan, the MIC said, the production value is forecast to hit NT$1.17 trillion in 2018, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier, on the back of rising demand for emerging applications such as automotive electronics, high-performance computing (HPC) devices, and high-end graphics processors.

While the local contract chipmakers currently benefit from mining devices used in cryptocurrency transactions, it remains to be seen whether such demand will continue into the second half of this year.

The MIC said Taiwan's dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip suppliers are expected to generate NT$117.7 billion in output in 2018, up 27.2 percent from a year earlier, as many DRAM makers here have entered the niche market, which commands higher prices.

The local IC packaging and testing industry is expected to get a boost from rising demand for HPC devices, artificial intelligence and big data applications, as well as cloud technology, with its output forecast to grow by 5.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$462.7 billion in 2018, the MIC said.

Major IC packaging and testing service providers such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc., Siliconware Precision Industries Co. and Powertech Technology Inc., have also been making efforts in developing high-end services in a bid to boost output.

(By Chung Jung-feng and Frances Huang)
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