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How Will the COVID-19 Outbreak in KYEC Facilities Affect the Taiwanese Semiconductor Industry?


2021-06-08 Semiconductors TrendForce

As infections among employees from semiconductor backend testing leader KYEC make news headlines, the company suspended operations for two days and undertook facility-wide disinfections starting on June 4, although at the moment KYEC’s facility has yet to resume operations at full capacity. In the vicinity of KYEC are packaging and testing operator Greatek and networking device manufacturer Accton, both of which have since been affected by the spread of the disease.

Not only have the confirmed cases in KYEC generated worries about possible disruptions to the semiconductor supply chain, but the semiconductor industry is also anxious about whether continued infections will spread to other semiconductor companies.

As a leading chip tester (as well as the 8th largest IC package and testing companies globally), if KYEC were to halt its operations altogether due to the continued spread of COVID-19 infections, the semiconductor supply chain would be considerably impaired as a result. Not only would upstream clients (including fabless companies, IDMs, and foundries) have their schedules disrupted, but lead times of downstream end-products will be prolonged as well, causing far-reaching impacts throughout the entire semiconductor industry.

According to KYEC’s publicly disclosed information, the distribution of its clientele is as follows: fabless companies (76%), IDMs (22%), and foundries (2%). In particular, of the 50 largest semiconductor companies globally, more than 30 currently make use of KYEC’s testing services.

According to TrendForce’s latest investigations, the packaging and testing industry has been impacted in the short run by KYEC’s two-day suspension and low-capacity operation resumptions successively. As such, MediaTek, Novatek, and STMicroelectronics, which are major clients of KYEC, are all notably experiencing impacts from the spread of the pandemic within KYEC’s ranks.

Although the above companies have already transferred some of their orders to ASE, Sigurd, and ChipMOS to make up for disruptions in KYEC’s operations, these orders are too numerous to be fulfilled completely at the present. Therefore, the tight capacity of chip testing services is expected to intensify going forward.

(Cover image source: Pixabay)