Showing posts tagged 'samsung'
23 February 2022
The global electronic component shortage – what happened?
Arguably the biggest ongoing crisis in the tech industry is the global semiconductor shortage. You can’t go far online without seeing news about it, and many people have seen it firsthand when trying to buy a brand-new car, or a recently released games console.
When did it start?
The obvious factor contributing to the shortage is COVID-19. The virus infected millions and sent the world into lockdown, which then led to the housebound masses logging in and going online.
At the start of lockdown in March 2020, 60% of 18-24-year-olds were increasing their use of home delivery instead of leaving the house. Amazon’s revenue also rose at a quicker pace than in previous years, with the company making $88.91 billion in Q2 2022.
Alongside the increase in online shopping came an increase in other digital activities like PC and console gaming. In the last quarter of 2020 desktop, notebook and workstation sales rose to a record 90.3 million units. Tech company Sony saw 25% of its revenue come from game and network services, and around 18% from electronics products and solutions.
In another case of bad timing, both Microsoft and Sony were about to release their next generation of game consoles, and Nintendo Switch sales were booming. All of this meant demand for components was skyrocketing.
This then led to delays in car manufacturing. Why? Because all the available chips were being bought up by computer and electronics manufacturers, so there were none left for the automotive industry. A car part may need between 500 and 1,500 chips, and are used for many parts including the dashboard display and to control the airbag.
There were other elements that contributed to the shortage before this: The US and China had been imposing increasingly high tariffs on each other for the past two years, and natural disasters and fires took out several factories in Japan, Taiwan and China.
When will it end?
The comeback from the semiconductor shortage will not be quick. Some factories that were shut down by natural disasters are still repairing the damage and trying to reopen production. But as the demand is staying high, there will need to be new facilities created to cater for the increase in demand.
The time, expertise and money needed to start a new factory will be too much for smaller firms to manage, so then the hole in the market needs to be filled by larger corporations like Intel and Samsung. Both companies currently have plans to open new fabs in America, but it will be a while before they can start production.
Intel’s ambitious plan to construct the one of the largest chip factories ever in Ohio would alleviate demand, but is not due to start production until 2025. Similarly, Samsung’s Texas fab will not be operational until 2024.
Despite smaller factories opening, the substantial backlog will not be solved by these alone. There will need to be a combination of an increase in production, time efficiency and, with the pandemic in mind, automation to decrease person-to-person contact. There will also need to be a stock of chips manufactured to avoid shortages in future.
The speed at which technology is currently being developed also puts manufacturers in a tight spot. Not only are more electronic devices being produced all the time, but the technology of the components within them is also advancing quickly.
While it is difficult to forecast entirely, experts say the shortage could last a few more years. Hopefully with the opening of the larger plants estimated for approximately the same time, the chip shortage might be mitigated by 2025.
We can help
The market is currently just as competitive in the case of other electronic components, but Cyclops can help. With our extensive stock of day-to-day and obsolete components we can supply you when others cannot.
For all your component needs, contact Cyclops Electronics today at email@example.com. Or submit a rapid enquiry through our website.
10 February 2022
Latest electronic component factory openings
We’ve all heard about the shortages in standard components like semiconductors and chips. Cars, phones and computers, items we use every day, are no longer being produced at the speedy rate we’ve come to expect. The cause of this shortage is, in part, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To combat this shortage many electronic component manufacturers have announced the opening or development of new factories. This is especially noticeable in Europe and America, where production has often been outsourced to Asia in the past.
So who are the latest companies expanding operations, and how much are they spending? Check out our quick run-down of factories and when they should open:
Location: Ohio, USA
Completion date: 2025
Cost: $20 billion (£14.7 billion)
The latest, and possibly greatest, announcement on our list comes from Intel. The corporation revealed in January that they would be committing to building two chip manufacturing plants in New Albany, Ohio. The move is said to be due to supply chain issues with Intel’s manufacturers in Asia, and should boost the American industry with the creation of at least 3,000 jobs. Construction should begin this year.
Company: Samsung Electronics
Location: Texas, USA
Completion date: 2024
Cost: $17billion (£12.5billion)
The household name announced late last year that they would begin work on a new semiconductor-manufacturing plant in Taylor, Texas. The Korean company stated the project was Samsung’s largest single investment in America, and is due to be operational by the middle of 2024.
Location: Villach, Austria
Completion date: 2021
Cost: €1.6 billion (£1.3 billion)
After being in construction since 2018, Infineon’s Austrian plant became operational in September last year. The chip factory for power electronics, also called energy-saving chips, on 300-millimeter tin wafers began shipping three months ahead of schedule in 2021, and its main customer base will be in the automotive industry.
Location: Gdańsk, Poland
Completion date: 2022
Cost: $200 million (£148 million)
The Swedish battery manufacturer is expanding its operations with a new factory in Poland. While initial operations are supposed to begin this year producing 5 GWh of batteries, it hopes to further develop to produce 12 GWh in future. Northvolt has also just begun operations at its new battery factory in Skellefteå in Sweden.
Location: Hà Tĩnh, Vietnam
Completion date: 2022
Cost: $174 million (£128 million)
The Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer is due to start production at its new factory later this year, where it will produce lithium batteries for its electric cars and buses. The factory will be designed to produce 10,000 battery packs per year initially, but in a second phase the manufacturer said it will upgrade to 1 million battery packs annually. VinFast, a member of Vingroup, is also planning on expanding operations to America and Germany.
Company: EMD Electronics
Location: Arizona, USA
Product: Gas and chemical delivery systems
Completion date: 2022
Cost: $28 million (£20.7 million)
The member of the multinational Merck Group is expanding operations with the construction of a new factory in Phoenix, Arizona, to manufacture equipment for its Delivery Systems & Services business. The factory is due to be operational by the end of the year, and will produce GASGUARD and CHEMGUARD systems for the company.
A bright future
These electronic component factory openings signal a great increase in business, and will aide in the easing of the component crisis. But it will take a while for these fabs to be operational.
Can’t wait? Cyclops is there for all your electronic component needs. We have 30 years of expertise, and can help you where other suppliers cannot. Whether it’s day-to-day or obsolete electronic components, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the rapid enquiry form on our website.
24 November 2021
Global chip shortage to impact electronic retailers holiday season
The holiday season usually marks the start of an electronics sales boon for retailers. Consumers buy more electronics in the lead up to Christmas than at any other time of the year. This year, however, things are different.
This holiday season, the global chip shortage is set to impact electronic retailers, with shortages of popular products like games consoles, graphics cards, smartphones, laptops and tablets likely to persist through to 2022.
Due to problems buying stock, most retailers are bracing themselves for low Christmas electronics goods sales. The global chip shortage means fewer electronics goods are being made, so there is a long lead time from suppliers - some retailers are waiting several months for new stock, only for it to sell out within days.
Consumers should start holiday shopping now
Chips are in critically short supply this year, which has reduced manufacturing output at many of the world’s biggest factories.
Companies like Samsung, Apple, Intel and AMD are experiencing problems getting the chips they need. Today, some chips have delays of over a year, and inventory supplies for chips are running low, putting pressure on supply chains.
All of this means there is a shortage of in-demand electronics goods, from games consoles to smartwatches. The message is simple - consumers should start holiday shopping now to ensure they can get hold of the electronics they want.
It is also crucial that consumers don’t take stock levels for granted. What’s in stock today might be out of stock tomorrow, and many retailers have lead times of several months for new stock. So, if you need it, you should buy it while you can.
Is the chip shortage being blown out of proportion?
We are so used to next-day Amazon delivery and seeing shiny electronics on store shelves that chip shortages appear to be a fantasy.
However, the chip shortage is real - manufacturers are struggling to create enough chips, and suppliers can’t get hold of the inventory they need.
Another fox in the henhouse is chip price increases. Companies are bidding through the roof for components, and prices are rising rapidly. Manufacturers don’t absorb these price rises - they are passed down the supply chain, and eventually, they find their way to the consumer (creating consumer inflation).
Chip prices are increasing for several reasons. The obvious reason is supply and demand economics - the less available something is, the higher the price.
Another significant reason is prices for rare earth metals have exploded over the last 12 months, moving nearly 50% higher on average since March.
Summing up the chip shortage
There is a severe chip shortage happening right now that threatens the availability of electronics goods this holiday season. Prices for chips are also skyrocketing, increasing the price of devices like smartphones and smart devices.
All of this is to say, if you plan on buying some chip-reliant electronics this holiday season, you should start shopping now or face being disappointed.
20 October 2021
Memory suppliers to benefit from strong demand and supplier shortages
While the downsides to electronic components shortages are well known, business is booming for smaller memory suppliers.
Sales of Samsung DRAM grew 26% in Q2 2021 without meaningful production capacity growth, and as supply-demand imbalances grow, memory suppliers like Samsung, Micron and others are turning to smaller suppliers to fill gaps.
As chip shortages continue, demand grows. Order books get filled off the page, creating longer lead times (up to 40-weeks) and extending standing orders. This is bad news for the end-product manufacturer but great news for suppliers, who see sales rise and bids increase to fuel record turnover and, in some cases, net profits.
The sector as a whole is booming, but no better example of taking the bull by the horns exists than Alliance Memory.
Alliance Memory is a US-based 30-year old DRAM manufacturer, billed as a legacy SRAM supplier and a leading domestic supplier of DRAM and flash memory. The company’s run rate in 2021 is double what it was in 2020.
In an interview with EPS News, Alliance Memory CEO David Bagby explains why: “we went out to customers struggling to get Samsung. Now we have maybe the best representation of DRAM and SRAM product of anybody out there.”
Memory upturn forecast to continue
IC Insights, the foremost authority on memory and chip demand, has predicted a new record high for memory demand in 2022.
Stronger DRAM pricing is expected to lift total memory revenue 23% in 2021 to $155.2 billion. The memory upturn is forecast to continue into 2022 to $180.4 billion, surpassing the all-time high of $163.3 billion set in 2018.
Demand for memory, including DRAM, SRAM and flash, is being driven by economic recovery and the transition to a digital economy. Unlike other technological cycles, the current cycle of digitalisation has weight behind it, fuelled by innovations in data centres, 5G and space networks, AI, robotics and IoT.
Sequentially, the average price of DRAM rose 8% in the first quarter of 2021. Another increase of 18-23% in Q2 sent memory suppliers into a spin. Demand is outstripping supply, creating a perfect storm for continued price increases.
Price increases expected to continue until late 2022
The price of memory is more sensitive to other electronic components because supply is controlled by a few big players. Smaller memory suppliers fill in gaps in supply, but the big guns like Samsung and Micron rule the roost.
When demand outstrips supply at the big guns, prices explode. We’ve seen it several times before, such as the memory price increase of 2018. Prices fell again in 2019, recovered a little in 2020, then soared again this year.
Memory is a commodity and companies are willing to pay big to get a hold of it. Bidding wars are not uncommon and 40-week lead times are normal today.
However, while the memory upturn is predicted to continue into 2022, Gartner says memory prices will dive at the end of the year, predicting that an “oversupply” of memory chips will develop as demand eases and supply increases.
23 June 2021
Semiconductor production capacity expected to hit records highs in 2021
As you probably know, we are in the middle of a global semiconductor shortage. Auto manufacturers are cutting jobs, brands are delaying the release of new products, and people are struggling to buy things like games consoles.
It’s a grim situation predicted to last a few years, but behind the scenes, semiconductor companies are preparing to come out of the chip shortage swinging.
In fact, it’s predicted that semiconductor production capacity will reach a record high in 2021 so long as additional production lines are completed. This is reliant on production lines coming online following investments made at the beginning of 2018.
According to industry forecasts, next year, another 10 production lines for 300mm silicon wafers will be added worldwide. These will contribute millions of semiconductors each year, helping to release some pressure on demand.
IC Insights also provides the following forecasts for chips: “By 2024, the average annual growth rate of semiconductor production capacity will be 5.9%. Compared with the average annual increase rate (5.1%) of semiconductor production capacity in the past 5 years (2014 ~ 2019), the growth rate slightly increased.”
Record demand for chips
The semiconductor market is experiencing record demand across all sectors. Chip manufacturers are struggling to keep up, but they are investing in new production lines to meet predicted demand several years from now.
The latest report from IC Insights' McClean Report says that the semiconductor market will shake off the Covid-19 pandemic with 13% growth in 2021.
Semiconductor unit shipments are expected to hit 1,135.3 billion in 2021, fuelled by chips that target connected devices, VR and AR, network and cloud computing systems, contactless payment systems, automotive electronics including autonomous systems and consumer electronics including smartphones.
As technology advances and the world becomes more digital and more connected, chip demand will increase ten-fold over the next few years.
Semiconductor manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand now but there are signs of life as the IC Insights’ report demonstrates.
The world’s biggest chip companies, including TSMC, UMC, SMIC, Samsung, Micron and SK Hynix are going to play a leading role in how technologies roll out long into the future. There should be no doubt these companies will power our future.
What next for semiconductors?
The prices of semiconductors are expected to increase by 20% in 2021 due to a shortage in production capacity and higher silicon prices.
However, the future may not be silicon at all. Graphene chips are 100 times smaller than silicon chips and thousands of times faster. This technology is in its infancy but it’s showing great promise. We expect big things in the next decade.
We also expect the semiconductor shortage to persist until 2022. Shortages should lift beyond this as production capacity increases from new production lines. Chip makers will need to manage supply and demand better in the future. The current shortage is bad news for everyone. Thankfully, it won’t last forever. Of this we’re certain.
26 May 2021
Who are the biggest players in the semiconductor industry?
Over the next decade, demand for semiconductors is going to go supersonic thanks to secular and cyclical tailwinds.
Semiconductors are the building blocks of the information age; every device that will be ‘connected’ needs a semiconductor. The companies that manufacture semiconductors are the unsung heroes of the future. But who are they?
In this article, we will briefly cover the biggest players in the semiconductor industry.
Foundries concentrate on manufacturing and testing physical products for fabless companies. Some companies, like Intel, are both fabless and foundry, meaning they design and make their chips. Foundries often serve as a non-competitive manufacturing partner for fabless companies. The following list contains the biggest foundries:
TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer by a significant margin. They are expected to capture 56% of the semiconductor market in 2021 (up from 54% in 2020).
UMC (United Microelectronics Corporation) is a Taiwanese company. They are the second largest semiconductor foundry in the world behind TSMC. UMC specialise in mature nodes, such as 40nm nodes and other speciality logic.
SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation) is a Chinese company. They are the third largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world. They specialise in process nodes from 0.35 micron to 14 nanometres.
Samsung Electronics is a South Korean company. They are the world’s largest manufacturer of DRAM and the world’s fourth largest semiconductor manufacturer. They are expected to occupy 18% of the semiconductor market in 2021.
Micron is an American company. They are the second largest manufacturer of DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) behind Samsung. DRAM is semiconductor memory used in consumer electronics, computing equipment and IoT devices.
SK Hynix is a South Korean company. They are the world’s third largest manufacturer of DRAM and a leading manufacturer of NAND flash memory. In 2019, they developed HBM2E, the world’s fastest high bandwidth memory.
NXP Semiconductors is a Dutch-American company. They manufacture ARM-based processors, microprocessors and logic across 8, 16 and 32-bit platforms. Their products are used in automotive, consumer, and industrial markets.
Powerchip Technology Corporation is a Taiwanese company. They manufacture DRAM and memory chips, semiconductors and integrated circuits. They use a 300mm wafer production technology which can produce advanced and mature chips.
ON Semiconductor is an American company. They design and fabricate chips and microprocessors for automotive, aerospace, industrial, cloud and Internet of Things devices. They have over 45 years’ of experience in the foundry business.
“Fabless” means outsourced fabrication. Fabless companies concentrate on the research and development of chips and semiconductors. They then outsource the manufacturing of the product to a foundry. This relationship is non-competitive, and the foundry is normally a silent partner. The following list contains the biggest fabless companies:
MediaTek is a Taiwanese company. By market share, they are the world’s leading vendor of smartphone chipsets. They are also a leading vendor of chipsets for other consumer electronics including tablets and connected TVs.
Qualcomm is an American company. They are the world’s biggest fabless company. Their product catalogue includes processors, modems, RF systems, 5G, 4G and legacy connectivity solutions. They are best-known for Snapdragon Series processors.
Broadcom is an American company. Depending on which figures you read, they are either the first or second largest fabless company in the world. Broadcom's products serve the data centre, networking, software, broadband, wireless, and storage and industrial markets.
NVIDIA is an American company. They are the market leader for high-end graphics processing units (GPUs). In 2020, NVIDIA GeForce GPUs accounted for 82% of GPU market share. This is significantly more than AMD Radeon graphics cards, which accounted for 18%.
AMD is an American company. They design high-performance GPUs and processors for computers, where they command the second biggest market share behind Intel. Their GPUs compete against NVIDIA’s but are not considered as powerful.
Himax is a Taiwanese company. They are a leading vendor of automotive chips and semiconductors for connected devices. Their semiconductors are used in TVs, monitors, laptops, virtual reality headsets, cameras and much more.
Realtek is a Taiwanese company. They are a fabless semiconductor company focused on developing IC products (integrated circuits). They are best-known for SoCs (System-on-Chips) network (Ethernet) and wireless (Wi-Fi) interface controllers.
Integrated device manufacturers
Some companies have foundry and fabless arms. These companies often design and fabricate their own products or design and fabricate chips for others. These integrated device manufacturers (IDMs for short) blur the line between foundry and fabless with an in-house production process that utilises little if any outsourcing. IDMs include:
Intel is an American company. They design and manufacture their own chips which they package into CPUs. Intel’s market share in the CPU market has declined in recent years, but they remain one of the top semiconductor manufacturers.
Analog Devices is an American company. They have a 150mm wafer fab and a 200mm wafer fab. They have fabless production facilities and have made numerous fabless acquisitions over the years, such as OneTree Microdevices in 2017.
Texas Instruments is an American company. They have 14 manufacturing sites including silicon foundries. They specialise in the production and manufacture of wafers, digital signal processors, integrated circuits and embedded processors.
You may have noticed that the US and Taiwan dominate the semiconductor industry on the foundry and fabless side. Among the biggest semiconductor companies, the largest proportion are based in the United States. However, Taiwan is the foundry king, with the two biggest players based there (TSMC and UMC).
Semiconductors are used in all electronics that require computing power, including smartphones, PCs, and data centres and cars. A surge in demand for chip-based products will fuel the need for more semiconductors in the future. It will be up to the big players on this list to meet that demand and power our future.
06 May 2021
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14 August 2015
Intel and Samsung - Who's winning?
Are Intel’s days at the top coming to an end?
Distance has dropped between Samsung and Intel in the official semiconductor figure results from IC Insights– in the 2nd quarter
Samsung have risen 10% between Q1 and Q2 2015 to a rather impressive $10.3 billion. Intel are only up 3% to $11.9 billion so the race is on to see if Intel can keep holding onto that top spot.
Samsung have managed to move to DRAM and NAND Flash which are more readily used in smartphones. The rapid and increasing growth of the smartphone market, particularly in emerging markets, means Samsung made a very smart decision in choosing to focus on memory chips. Intel, on the other hand, has remained focused on PC/laptops which is why their own growth is quite limited this quarter.
Although Intel and Samsung have had rises in the last quarter, the rest of the top 5 have declined. Particularly significant is
Qualcomm’s decline of 13% and is looking at posting a semiconductor sales decline of 20% in the 2015 calendar year. They are still at number 5 on the Q214 rankings but it isn’t looking great for this American company.
As well as the 10% rise this quarter, Samsung have also posted a record high in their quarterly chip sales of 11.29 trillion won. The rest of the top 20 aren’t really a surprise – and it did take over $2.2 billion in sales just to get into the top 20!
26 May 2015
Top 20 Semiconductor Rankings
The rankings for the top 20 semiconductor sales for Q1 2015 have been released. Intel and Samsung continue to dominate, taking 1st and 2nd place respectively but there are very few surprises in the rankings. What is interesting however is that the top 4 all have completely different business models:
Intel – a pureplay IDM
Samsung – Vertically integrated IC supplier
TSMS – a pureplay Foundry
Qualcomm – A fabless company
Each have made a huge amount of money in the first quarter, especially TSMC with their sales from 1Q14 to 1Q15 increasing a huge 44%! Intel's sales have remained flat but they are still on top and ahead of Samsung by a fair amount.
The majority of the companies are US based with 7 of them hailing from North America. Of the rest 4 are in Japan, 3 in Taiwan, 3 in Europe, 2 in South Korea and 1 in Singapore. So there is a fairly broad mixture of locations showing that not one country is dominating completely.
With all the mergers and acquisitions in the pipeline such as NXP & Freescale and Microchip & Micrel, and no doubt there will be many other M&As occurring which we have no clue about yet, this ranking is likely to change considerably in the future.
Enter Electronic Component part number below.