TrendForce


2022-07-25

E-sports LCD Monitor Shipment Volume Forecast at Approximately 23.2 million units in 2022, Market Size to Contract in 2023

Shipments of e-sports LCD monitors is expected to come in at 23.2 million units in 2022, with an annual growth rate of only 2%. Although branded and panel manufacturers are still actively promoting e-sports monitors, the Russian-Ukrainian war began to affect overall European consumer market demand starting in February 2022. After 2Q22, Europe was clearly hit hard by inflation and demand for consumer electronics products shrank sharply, steadily eroding e-sports LCD monitors sales. If sales in peak season 4Q22 are disappointing, gaming LCDs may not be able to maintain their growth momentum and will face the first year in which shipments declined.

Strictly control costs and inventory to maintain profitability and competitiveness

At present, there is no shortage of materials for e-sports LCD monitors and panel prices are falling month by month. Transit time was shortened by 2 to 3 weeks in 2Q22. In addition to sluggish consumer demand in Europe, product sales have slowed. Demand in 2H22 will also feel the heat of interest rate hikes in the United States. Therefore, branded manufacturers must clear their high-priced inventories in the shortest possible time and reduce the inventory levels of panels and whole devices as soon as possible to curb ballooning losses precipitated by cratering prices.

M-type development of e-sports products to increase product penetration

Looking forward to shipments of e-sports LCD monitors in 2023, e-sports merchandise is expected to remain a key product in continuous development at major branded manufacturers. However, overall market size will stagnate in 2023. Considering the limited market, manufacturers must raise the value of their products. E-sports products need M-type development if they wish to grow despite trends.

Firstly, is parity of low-end gaming products, such as narrowing the price gap between gaming products and standard products or reducing specifications and cost to replace prior 60Hz products with 100Hz products. Development of high-end e-sports products with higher resolution and higher refresh rates or new technologies such as QD-OLED, OLED, and Mini-LED should continue in order to improve and optimize said products and enhance the consumer experience. Hopefully, consumers will prioritize e-sports products when purchasing LCD monitors and its market share will continue to expand.

(Image credit: Unsplash)

2022-07-25

Automotive MCU Market Hot in 2022, Market Size Estimated to Grow by 25.7% Annually

Although the overall economy is unstable, the use of automotive MCUs is still increasing gradually due to electric and smart vehicle trends. In order to meet market demand, IDMs have strengthened their investment in production resources. There will also be volume and price growth in 2022. Overall market size is estimated to reach US$8.58 billion, with an annual growth rate of 25.7%.

Automotive MCU market dominated by major international IDMs, 32-bit penetration rate will reach 80.1% in 2022

NXP, Renesas, and Infineon account for approximately 70% of global automotive MCU market share. In 2022, NXP will focus on the development of its S32 series and presented a S32M test chip featuring TSMC’s 5nm process, symbolizing a major milestone in the development of automotive chips. Renesas is focusing on its RH850 series, supplemented by the Low Power RL78 to stabilize development. Infineon’s automotive MCU development is focused on its AURIX series which features a self-developed TriCore core and is designed to perform mid-to-high-level automotive system control.

In general, major international IDMs have a complete line of automotive MCUs. With the increasing number of automotive functions, requirements for MCU computing power have advanced. Considering the optimization of major manufacturers’ product portfolios, the penetration rate of 32-Bit MCUs will also increase year by year and is forecast to grow to 80.1% in 2022.

Nuvoton ranks among top ten MCUs producers worldwide, Taiwanese manufacturers’ operations suffer headwinds after tide of shortages recedes

Taiwanese MCU manufacturers are represented by Nuvoton, Holtek, and Sonix. There are other manufacturers such as Generalplus, Nyquest, Hycon, and Megawin but their revenue scale is small and proportion of MCU is low. Overall, only Nuvoton is an IDM with a MCU market share ranked among the top ten in the world and readily available automotive MCU products.

Taiwanese manufacturers mainly focus on mid-to-low-end consumer electronics applications with low barriers to entry. Most of them are fabless manufacturers, meaning the barriers to entry for capital are also low. Therefore, it is difficult to compare their product portfolios with major international manufacturers. After the shortage of semiconductors subsided, operation in 1H22 inevitably encountered headwinds and demand for consumer electronics in 2H22 will continue to be weak, signaling the arrival of a cold winter for the consumer MCU market.

(Image credit: Pixabay)

2022-07-21

Labor Costs, Geopolitics, Pandemic, Chinese Mobile Phone Brands Accelerate Deployment of Overseas Production

Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo all have their own production lines. In recent years, these brands have accelerated their overseas deployment due to rising labor costs in China, growing geopolitical risk factors, and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only will Xiaomi produce mobile phones in Vietnam, but the company will also continue to expand production lines in India and Indonesia in the coming years. OPPO has also set up factories in countries including India, Indonesia, and Turkey to meet the needs of neighboring markets. Vivo has successively set up factories in India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, and initiated its production lines in Turkey and Pakistan in 2021. Since current trends have the Chinese market declining more than the global market, OPPO and Vivo’s proportion of overseas production capacity is expected to increase gradually. As for Xiaomi, which has always been active in overseas markets, the company will continue to expand its production capacity in India and Vietnam.

Xiaomi’s achievements in expanding overseas markets are most outstanding, OPPO following suit, Vivo rushing to catch up

From the perspective of Chinese brands, Xiaomi has been deeply involved in overseas markets for many years. Its overseas revenue was only RMB9.1 billion in 2016, but by 2018, overseas revenue had exceeded RMB70 billion. Xiaomi currently has a market share varying between 10 and 25% in Europe, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. On the other hand, OPPO has been tackling overseas markets aggressively since 2018, and currently has a market share between 10-15% in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. As for Vivo’s late start, its market share in India, Pakistan, and the Philippines is approximately 10-15%.

If the overall market is divided into the Chinese market and the non-Chinese market, shipments from Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo to the non-Chinese market are estimated to account for 74%, 66%, and 46% of total shipments, respectively, in 2021. Since China’s smartphone shipments may decrease by 16% in 2022, and recovery is limited in the short term, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo are expected to focus more on overseas markets in the future and the proportion of non-Chinese market shipments is expected to increase further.

(Image credit: Pexels)

2022-07-20

Global Quantum Computing Market Estimated to Reach US$580 Million in 2022, China in Leading Position

According to TrendForce, the global quantum computing market was valued at US$470 million in 2021, an increase of 16.7% compared to 2020. This market is mainly led by China and the United States, driving global quantum computing and its technological progress, especially in upper-layer software. In terms of algorithmic speed, small-scale problems have been put to the test through experimentation. The market is expected to reach US$580 million in 2022, with an annual growth rate of approximately 18.8%, and current growth rate expanding every year until 2027.

According to TrendForce, as stated in the Chinese government’s plan for software and information technology services, its quantum technology policy will be further implemented from a national level to departments including national defense, industry, and technology and more targeted policies will be released through tiered departmental levels such as for AI, quantum information technology, biotechnology, semiconductors, and autonomous systems. To this end, the Chinese government is establishing relevant laboratories in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hefei to promote the rapid development of quantum technology and quantum computing cloud platforms.

When China launched its “Five-Year Plan” in 2006 to promote economic and industrial development, it also focused on the development of quantum science and technological breakthroughs, as well as the deeply integrated development and application of quantum computing in emerging technologies such as AI, edge computing, big data, IoT, and cloud such as advanced space quantum communication technology and quantum computing combined with AI/ML, IoT, and cloud, providing assistance to the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ quantum satellites, the University of Science and Technology of China’s quantum computer, and other quantum processors to achieve breakthroughs in technology and functional characteristics. Therefore, the cumulative investment in China’s quantum field is estimated to reach US$15 billion in 2022.

Main applications of China’s quantum computing market

Considering the immense size, extremely harsh operating environment, and high price of quantum computers, quantum computing applications are rapidly developing towards cloud platforms. Therefore, research on quantum computers primarily focus on four types of applications: simulation, optimization, cryptography, and machine learning. “Simulation” is most used in processes that occur in nature such as weather forecasting, mid- and long-term climate deductions, and polar climate change. It is also widely used in fluid mechanics, drug discovery, battery design, and high-frequency trading, derivatives, and options pricing in the financial industry.

“Optimization” is the use of quantum algorithms to determine the best solution among a set of feasible options and is mostly used for risk management in traffic arteries, logistics, self-driving navigation systems, and financial investment portfolios. “Machine learning” is used to identify patterns in data and statistics, enhance the training of machine learning algorithms, accelerate AI development, and introduced to self-driving cars and financial systems to prevent fraud and money laundering.

As enumerated above, the scope of quantum computing applications is gradually expanding, covering fields including supply chain, finance, transportation, logistics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automobiles, aviation, energy, and meteorology. Sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and new materials use quantum operations to analogize molecular properties, directly analyze and obtain large molecular properties through a computerized digital format, shorten the time for theoretical verification, and thereby accelerating drug research and development and the development of new materials.

In the automotive field, in order to accelerate the promotion of electrification strategies, major carmakers have applied quantum computing to chemical analogies and are committed to developing batteries with better performance. In the aerospace field, quantum computing is used to solve some of the most difficult challenges facing the aviation industry, from basic materials, product research and development, machine learning optimization, to complex system optimization, and are even changing the way aircraft are made and fly.

(Image credit: Pixabay)

2022-07-20

LCD TV Panel Pricing Falls to New Lows, Panel Factories Must Reduce Production

According to TrendForce, based on the quarterly supply-demand ratio, the difference in supply and demand in 1Q22 rose by 4.9% to 8.9% compared with 4Q22, much higher than supply and demand equilibrium at 5%. However, since panel makers still had room to build up inventories and IT panel pricing was still at a profitable level when at equilibrium, there remained an upside to panel makers’ overall operating interest, so there was no operation adjustment at the time.

Whether TV panel demand or IT panel demand, the magnitude of corrections began to intensify in 2Q22. Since the production capacity of panel manufacturers continues trending towards growth, the supply-demand ratio is expected to widen to 11.8% and the severity of the imbalance is set to return to 2008 financial crisis levels. As TVs account for nearly 70-80% of LCD production capacity, LCD TV panel quotations have again dropped, falling to record lows. For example, 32-inch HD quotations have fallen to US$28 and 43-inch FHDs have fallen to US$55.

In light of this situation, panel manufacturers have begun looking for solutions. Other than reducing the cost of upstream materials, the most effective way to buoy pricing is to control output, so news of production cuts began to appear in 2Q22. According to research from TRI, in 2Q22, the LCD glass output area of panel makers’ large generational fabs fell by 3.3% compared with their original planning. At the same time, due to Samsung’s announcement of progressively strict procurement control, TV panel shipments are expected to be downgraded by 1.2% compared with original planning. Therefore, the supply-demand ratio will not change much as panel makers reduce production in an insignificant manner.

No peak in peak season, production reduction in 3Q22 set in stone, stocking momentum expected to pick up in 4Q22

Moving into July 2022, in the past, Q3 was traditionally the time for panel stocking. Originally, panel manufacturers expected the seasonal effect to stabilize or even produce a slight rebound in TV panel prices but the market did not react as positively as panel manufacturers believed. The world’s largest TV brand Samsung once again revised its TV panel purchases downward in 3Q22 from its original plan of 14 million units to 8-8.5 million units. Rumors that purchase volume was even less than 8 million units cannot be ruled out, again pressuring TV panel quotations which were already under pressure to keep from selling at a loss. This news can be considered the straw that broke the market’s back.

If production is not reduced, the supply-demand ratio in 3Q22 will remain on par with the ratio before production cuts in 2Q22 (11.8%). It is conceivable that if inventory from 2Q22 added, panel makers will not only face the risk of an inventory explosion, but also if the price drops again, it cannot be ruled out that all panel sizes will ship at a loss in 3Q22 because pricing has gradually approached Bom Cost. Therefore, some panel makers have begun to plan a large-scale reduction in capacity utilization in 3Q22.

HKC, CSOT, AUO, and Sharp, who count Samsung as their primary customer, are among the panel factories that will see a significant reduction in capacity utilization in 3Q22. Huike, CSOT, and AUO have all planned to greatly reduce production by 32%, 20%, and 25%, respectively, compared with their original plans for their factory campuses. Considering the high cost of its Japanese factory, Sharp needs to maintain a high utilization rate. The company only adjusted Guangzhou Gen10.5, with overall utilization rate expected at only 70-75%.

As the LCD industry bellwether, BOE is facing external resistance. Currently, there are no plans to significantly reduce the capacity utilization rate of its entire production line, with utilization adjustment only planned for the Fuqing (B10) Gen8.5, Chengdu (B19) Gen8.6+, and Hefei (B9) Gen10.5 factory campuses. Overall impact is expected to be 10-15%. CHOT plans to reduce its capacity utilization rate by 10-15% in 3Q22 compared with their original plans due to accumulating more than a month of inventory of their main product, 50-inch TV panels.

If panel makers really control production as suggested by rumors, the supply-demand ratio will have a chance to move to 6.4% in 3Q22. Although a point close to equilibrium cannot be achieved immediately, effective output control will prevent the market from deteriorating further and facilitate advantageous price movement to mitigate or even stabilize the downtrend.

If panel makers continue to control capacity utilization in 4Q22, the price of LCD TV panels is expected to fall into a sweet spot, international brands are expected to perform purchase volume adjustments in Q2 and early spring in 2023, and Chinese brands will also stock up ahead of schedule in 4Q22. Market conditions are expected to have a chance to improve in 4Q22, with a good start for 2023. Otherwise, market conditions will deteriorate again in 4Q22, which will not only cast a shadow on the beginning of 2023, but may also force some panel makes to shut down certain factory campuses due to unbearable losses.

(Image credit: Pixabay)

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