The top four foundry manufacturers are TSMC, Samsung, UMC, and GlobalFoundries, all of which performed very well in the fourth quarter of 2020, with a quarterly growth rate of 1-5%; Except for the slight decline in revenue due to the sale of the Singapore Fab 3E, other manufacturers have increased.
As the timing enters the first quarter of 2021, the market demand is still strong, the production capacity of major manufacturers is fully loaded, and it is estimated that the revenue performance will continue to strengthen.
TSMC and Samsung’s advanced process orders are in high demand, and revenue in the first quarter of 2021 will reach a new high
According to TrendForce’s Top Industry Research Institute, TSMC’s 5nm process is expected to maintain nearly 20% of its revenue due to the stable production volume of Apple’s 5nm process and the current supply of Bitcoin mining chips to make up for Huawei’s gap. The demand for the process is strong, including orders from AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, MediaTek, etc., which continue to pour in. It is estimated that the revenue contributed by 7nm has grown slightly to more than 30%.
Due to the increasing demand for 5G and HPC applications, coupled with the recovery of demand for automotive applications that mostly use mature processes, orders have further increased. It is estimated that the revenue in the first quarter of 2021 will reach a new high of US$12.9 billion, an annual increase of about 25% .
Samsung will continue to increase capital expenditures in the semiconductor business in 2021 due to increased customer demand for 5G chips, CIS, driver ICs and HPC, and invest in related businesses such as memory and foundry.
In terms of process technology, in the first quarter of 2021, the production capacity of 7nm and below will maintain a high level, and the estimated capacity utilization rate will not be lower than 95%, while 5nm will focus on the production of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 and its own Exynos 1080 and Exynos 2100. It can bring revenue to Samsung. It is expected that the foundry revenue in the first quarter of 2021 will reach US$4.05 billion, an annual increase of 11%.
UMC and GlobalFoundries are fully loaded, and demand for automotive chips is pouring in
UMC’s capacity utilization rate has increased to 99% in the fourth quarter of 2020. The original driver IC, PMIC, RF, MCU, and IoT application requirements continue to be fully loaded. In addition, in response to the shortage of automotive chips in the market, it may re-optimize some production lines and streamline machines. Taiwan’s maintenance time and the waiting time between processes are reduced, and the gap is gradually solved to meet the demand for automotive chips. The capacity utilization rate in the first quarter of 2021 will reach 100%, and the revenue is expected to reach 1.6 billion US dollars, an annual increase of 14% .
GlobalFoundries plans to double its capital expenditure in 2021, reaching US$1.4 billion, for Fab 1 in Germany and Fab 8 in the United States (both 12-inch fabs). Due to the high demand for automotive chips, GlobalFoundries At present, the capacity utilization rate is maintained at a high level, and the production of automotive chips is being prioritized. In the first quarter of 2021, the revenue of the automotive product portfolio will increase by more than 60%, and it is expected to achieve the goal of doubling the annual automotive revenue growth. The receipt of ASIC and FPGA orders for military chips from the U.S. Department of Defense has prompted GlobalFoundries to supplement its efforts. It is estimated that the revenue in the first quarter of 2021 will be about 1.4 billion US dollars, an annual increase of 5%.
On the whole, the overall revenue performance of foundries in the first quarter of 2021 will continue to improve. In the face of high demand for end products, customers tend to increase their efforts to pull goods, so that the supply of foundry capacity will continue to exceed demand. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the reallocation of capacity supply by wafer foundries to accelerate the production of automotive chips, which may further affect the production schedule and delivery schedule of smart phone chips.