Thursday, November 7, 2019
Taiwan's backend specialists ASE Technology, Powertech Technology (PTI), King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) and Sigurd Microelectronics are all moving to ready additional capacities to meet ever-rising testing demand for 5G-related chips from chipmakers in China, the US and Taiwan, according to industry sources.
Testing demand for high-end 5G mobile SoCs, RF chips, and diverse 5G base station chipsets including AAU (active antenna unit) has been mounting significantly from Huawei/HiSilicon, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Apple and MediaTek along with the arrival of 5G commercialization. This is expected to help boost capacity utilization rates at the backend partners in 2020, the sources said.
To meet the demand, ASE Technology Holding has boosted its investment in high-tier IC testing tech upgrade and capacity expansion to over 40% of its annual capex of US$1.3-1.4 billion for 2019, up from 35% in 2018.
PTI has plans to boost its capex by US$200 million to near US$500 million in 2020 to expand both packaging and testing capacities for analog ICs and memory chips.
KYEC's testing subsidiary in China, King Long Technology (Suzhou), has decided to inject at least 50% of its newly obtained syndicated loan of CNY552 million (US$78.93 million) into purchasing more testing equipment in 2020 to provide additional capacity support for HiSilicon's 5G base station chips, the sources said.
Sigurd's subsidiary in Suzhou, China is also installing new testers for processing high-end mobile SoCs and SLT (system level test) equipment for testing 5G RF front-end modules, networking modules and PA (power amplifier) modules for HiSilicon, MediaTek and US clients, with the new equipment set to start official run in the second quarter of 2020.
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