News You Can Use – 3.18.19 – 3.22.19

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As the leading independent distributor of electronic components, Smith tracks open-market activity and conditions as an early indicator of trends and supply chain disruptions. Industry news provides important and time-sensitive information when strategically procuring components, planning for NPIs, or making any critical decisions in the supply chain.

We’ve curated a selection of this week’s industry articles that we feel can help customers gain relevant, useful knowledge and prepare for any supply chain requirements.

TSMC seeing chip orders for Android devices ramp up

HiSilicon, MediaTek, and Qualcomm are ramping up the pace of their orders from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), specifically for Android devices. Chip orders are mainly to be used for Huawei’s smartphones, and it is expected that orders for Huawei devices will exceed those of Apple during the first three quarters of 2019. HiSilicon is set to become TSMC’s largest 7 nm customer in 2019. The company is looking to order around 8,000 wafers a month beginning in Q3 2019 and total orders of 50,000-55,000 in the second half of the year. MediaTek has increased TSMC orders for its new-generation Helio P90 series, and Qualcomm is demanding additional capacity support from the foundry for its Snapdragon 855 chips. Read More.[1]


Foxconn looks to move server production back to Taiwan for security

Taking advantage of the uncertainties around the U.S.-China trade war, Foxconn is considering developing a data-center hub in Taiwan as a buffer located between the two nations. Foxconn claims many of its clients are looking at Taiwan as a safe location for sensitive data. Foxconn could hire up to 3,000 software engineers to undertake this project, and it would join the migration of companies moving from mainland China to Taiwan. Lite-On and Quanta have already begun plans to shift production back to Taiwan at the request of customers, due to tariffs and information-security concerns. Read More.


Nvidia bags Amazon Web Services in its latest data-center chip push

NVIDIA recently announced that Amazon will now be using NVIDIA’s new T4 data-center chips, making Amazon the largest publicly announced customer to date. Amazon joins Google and Baidu as integrators of NVIDIA’s new GPU products, with Alibaba planning on announcing their partnership soon, as well, leaving Microsoft as the last notable holdout. Following a weaker outlook at the end of 2018 due to an overall slowdown in sales, NVIDIA has seen a more robust start to 2019 due to its added data-center partners, partnerships with Toyota for autonomous vehicles, and acquisition of Mellanox. Read More. 


Electronic Component Demand Weakens in Q1

Weakening demand for semiconductors and passive components has not yet bottomed out, according to research from Technology Partners Consulting. It’s a big shift after two years of widespread shortages and inventory allocations. The two largest distributors, Arrow and Avnet, reported record sales in 2018 but acknowledged that book-to-bill ratios were in decline at the end of the year.

“While we saw a little bit of a pause in bookings in Asia, the interesting fact that Asia is picking up again right now [means] we’re seeing things as stable,” said Michael Long, CEO of Arrow Electronics. Order cancellations are also on the rise, according to the survey. Forty-five percent of respondents saw more cancellations in February than in the prior month, a two-year high and up two percent from January. During Q2, prices are also expected to continue to decline. Read More.


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