Thursday, December 07, 2017
With global shipments of electric cars seen to grow sharply in 2018, the supply of vital components, particularly high-voltage MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) chips, is increasingly falling short of demand, prompting leading makers of such chips, including STMicroelectronics, Infineon, Texas Instrument (TI) and NXP, to seek capacity support from IC foundry, packaging and testing houses across the Taiwan Strait, according to industry sources.
The sources said that the supply shortfall of high-voltage MOSFET chip solutions has lasted for more than one year and is expected to linger on, due mainly to the sharp rise in market demand for high-performance batteries needed to support production of electric cars.
The sources continued that despite international MOSFET chipmakers constantly expanding their production capacities, the supply shortfall gap has expanded to 30% in 2017 and all their capacities are already fully booked through the first half of 2018. This has prompted them to seek technical and capacity cooperation with foundry, packaging and testing players in Taiwan and China to meet market demand.
Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS), for instance, has reportedly had some of its production lines fully booked by MOSFET suppliers, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)'s six-inch wafer fab in Shanghai, China has also been targeted by MOSFET vendors. In addition, Taiwan IC packaging and testing houses such as GEM Services and Etrend Hightech have seen their capacities fully absorbed by major international suppliers of MOSFET chips.
Moreover, the supply shortfall is gradually extending to the low-voltage and medium-voltage MOSFET chip market segments. Taiwan's lower-voltage MOSFET chips design houses, including Sinopower Semiconductor, Advanced Power Electronics and Niko Semiconductor, have shared the view that current customer demand is the strongest ever seen in 20 years, and they are also making all-out efforts to secure foundry capacity for their MOSFET chip solutions, according to industry sources.
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