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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Hot chip markets; EUV demand; 28nm IP; Intel CapEx.

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Market research
What are the hot chip markets for 2020? IC Insights released its rankings of sales growth rates for each of the 33 IC product categories defined by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization. “After posting the two worst growth rates among all IC product categories in 2019, NAND flash and DRAM are forecast to be among the top three fastest-growing IC segments in 2020,” according to IC Insights. “It is worth noting that DRAM and NAND flash were the two largest IC markets in terms of sales volume in 2019 and are forecast to repeat as the two largest IC sales categories again in 2020.”

5G will help stimulate the markets for RF components, such as chipsets and complex RF front ends capable of supporting new sub-6 and mmWave 5G bands, according to Strategy Analytics.

Global revenues for semiconductor and packaging materials are expected to grow 5.7% year-over-year (YoY) in 2020 to $49.5 billion, of which 65% represents semiconductor fab materials, according to TECHCET.

Display industry fab utilization fell to 83% in Q4 2019 and will fall further to 81% in Q1 2020, according to DSCC.

PCs, tablets and mobile phones will total 2.16 billion units in 2020, an increase of 0.9% from 2019, according to Gartner. In 2019, global shipments of devices totaled 2.15 billion units.

Fab tools
ASML posted its results. “ASML posted good 4Q results, and offered a healthy outlook for 2020. 1Q revenue guidance was below our estimate (we had assumed all EUV tools that previously slipped out of 4Q would land in 1Q), but it was in line with consensus,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst at KeyBanc, in a report. “EUV demand has really taken off, with a healthy backlog and strong demand stretching into 2021. ASML continues to expect to ship about 35 EUV systems in 2020 (up from 26 in 2019). ASML currently has roughly 49 EUV units on order, filling out the 35 shipment slots for 2020 and beginning to fill out the anticipated 45-50 slots for 2021. The company remains focused on driving down cycle-time to increase production capacity.”

Lam Research was included on two key award rankings for being an admirable workplace: recognitions by both the Human Rights Campaign and Fortune Magazine.

Chipmakers
Taiwan’s eMemory, a provider of non-volatile memory, said its NeoFuse IP has been qualified on UMC’s 28nm high voltage (HV) platform for use in the fast-growing OLED market.

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Intel posted its results. “INTC posted very strong 4Q results and 1Q guidance, led by resurgent demand from cloud service providers. However, full-year 2020 guidance suggests a softer 2H both in terms of revenue and margin profile as datacenter cools, modems drop off, PCs likely slow, and competition grows. We’re raising our full-year 2020 estimates meaningfully; however, a softening 2H will likely dampen sentiment,” KeyBanc’s Twigg said. “Intel noted that its 10nm ramp is running ahead of schedule (though still years behind plan) and that it has nine 10nm product releases planned for 2020. This is good news, as Intel will need 10nm products to remain competitive. Still, its 10nm server product won’t ramp until later in 2020, and there hasn’t been any indication of an acceleration of 7nm (its lead product is slated for 4Q 2021).”

Intel raised its 2020 CapEx by 5% to $17 billion from ~$16 billion spent in 2019, according to said Krish Sankar, an analyst at Cowen, in a research note. “Intel announced its CY20 CapEx target of $17B, in line with our estimate but above the consensus view of ~$16B. Roughly 50% of the spending will be geared toward equipment purchases, skewed toward leading edge and litho tools,” Sankar said. “We estimate logic WFE (Wafer Fab Equipment) to be around $13.5B this year, +4% Y/Y, and overall industry WFE to grow 6% to $50.5B.”

Packaging
ASE has achieved a place on the CDP A List 2019 and is the only publicly listed company from Taiwan to make the list for the third time. This list involves efforts to combat climate change.

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