Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

TSMC’s CapEx; 5nm ships; wafer outlook.


TSMC posted mixed results for the quarter, although there was a capital spending surprise. “It maintained its 2020 capex at $15B-$16B despite smartphone softness, primarily to support a strong 5nm ramp, led by demand from 5G and HPC customers,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst at KeyBanc, in a research note. “Despite lowering its industry outlook, TSMC still expects to grow its own revenue mid- to high-teens this year, well above the industry level.”

TSMC’s 7nm+ process, the first node that used EUV lithography, has entered its second year of production, according to KeyBanc. “6nm, which adds one EUV layer over 7nm+, has entered production and is on track for volume production before the end of 2020,” Twigg said. “5nm technology, which uses EUV lithography more extensively, is already in volume production with good yields, and TSMC continues to expect a smooth and fast ramp in 2H20, driven by demand for mobile and HPC applications.”

As expected, TSMC will extend the finFET to 3nm. “TSMC noted its 3nm development is on track, with risk production scheduled in 2021 and volume production targeted for 2H22. The 3nm node is expected to be a full node transition from 5nm. TSMC noted that 3nm will remain a finFET-based design,” Twigg added.


BOE and Qualcomm have announced plans to establish a collaboration to develop display products featuring Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic ultrasonic fingerprint sensors.

Fab tools
ASML posted mixed results for the quarter. “The demand outlook is currently unchanged and we have not encountered any push-outs or cancellations this year,” said ASML President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink. “However, in light of the current risks and uncertainties related to COVID-19, we decided to refrain from giving guidance for Q2 and for the full year 2020. There is significant uncertainty about how the current COVID-19 crisis will impact the global GDP development, end markets, our manufacturing capability and supply chain.”

ASML maintained its EUV tool shipment outlook for 35 units in 2020, according to Cowen. “Given the long lead time nature of this product (1+ year), we expect this to be an ok target,” said Krish Sankar, an analyst at Cowen, in a research note. “The DUV outlook is expected be down Y/Y, partly due to EUV adoption. We model DUV units down 12% Y/Y to 178 in 2020 (within DUV, we model immersion units down 20% Y/Y).”

Veeco has announced the appointment of Susan Wilkerson to the position of senior vice president of global sales and service. Wilkerson most recently served as vice president and general manager of strategic accounts at Lam Research.

Market research
Global silicon wafer market sales could dip amid the COVID-19 outbreak, according to SEMI. SEMI also outlined two wafer market scenarios for the second half of 2020.

Global unit shipments of flat-panel displays (FPD) are expected to plunge by 11.1% in 2020 as the coronavirus crisis cripples demand for televisions and smartphones, according to Omdia. Despite a projected double-digit decline in smartphone shipments, the global market for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) smartphone displays is expected to rise by 9% in 2020, according to Omdia.

The balance of power has shifted in the lithium market, according to Roskill. The research firm also projects that the mined production of lithium could be lost this year.

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