Wafer shipments still down, but chipmakers are looking up

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Despite yet different dip successful wafer shipments, awesome spot shops are predicting a resurgence successful nan second half of 2023.

According to SEMI's latest report, wafer shipments slid 10.1 percent successful Q2 to 3.3 cardinal quadrate inches. That's down from nan 3.7 cardinal rolled retired this clip past year.

The communicative remains mostly unchanged from nan past fewer quarters, arsenic Anna-Riikka Vuorikari-Antikainen, chair of SEMI Silicon Manufacturing Group, noted successful nan release. "The semiconductor manufacture continues to activity done excess inventory successful various marketplace segments, necessitating that fabs run beneath afloat capacity. As a result, silicon wafer shipments are lagging their 2022 peak."

As we've antecedently reported, wafer shipments enjoyed beardown sequential maturation complete nan past fewer years, spurred connected by nan post-COVID semiconductor shortage. But aft reaching a precocious of 3.74 cardinal quadrate inches shipped successful Q3 2022, SEMI reports shipments began to decline. Memory vendors for illustration Samsung, SK hynix, and Micron – galore of which had been informing of precocious inventories for respective quarters – were among nan first and hardest hit.

While still down double digits twelvemonth complete year, nan manufacture relation reports shipments inched upward 2 percent compared to Q1, offering nan first tentative signs of betterment and a modicum of credibility to chipmakers' claims of a rebound successful nan 2nd half of 2023.

"Second-quarter wafer shipments held dependable 4th connected 4th pinch 300mm showing quarterly maturation among each wafer sizes," Vuorikari-Antikainen explained.

We'll request to spot a fewer much quarters of sequential maturation earlier we tin opportunity there's a definitive trend, but that's not stopped foundry operators and spot shops from playing disconnected dismal net pinch optimistic forecasts.

Among these voices is SK hynix CFO Kim Woo-Hyun, who claimed nan representation conception was yet connected nan mend. Its savior? Demand for memory-packed AI systems, naturally.

"From nan 2nd quarter, nan marketplace saw beardown request for high-density, high-performance representation and AI servers," Woo-Hyun said, according to an net telephone transcript for nan company's 2nd 4th results. "AI servers usage astatine slightest 8x much representation compared to accepted servers for faster computational processing and adopt high-performance representation products specified arsenic HBM."

But while SK's execs stay positive, nan chipmaker still posted a nett nonaccomplishment of 2.98 trillion won ($2.34 billion) during Q2 while revenues declined 47 percent twelvemonth complete twelvemonth to 7.3 trillion won ($5.73 billion).

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  • TSMC thinks it's sewage precisely what Taiwan needs – different multibillion-dollar spot plant

TSMC is besides eyeing a near-term recovery. Despite a 13.7 percent dip successful year-over-year revenues, VP and CFO Wendell Huang past week predicted an upturn successful nan semiconductor giant's revenues during nan 3rd quarter.

While SK hynix is counting connected AI take to assistance its fortunes, TSMC is betting connected take of its 3nm process tech, which entered production precocious past year, and which is expected to underpin Apple's next-gen iDevices and M-series silicon.

TSMC is assured capable that it's pushing up pinch awesome capex investments successful fab capacity. This week, it revealed it's building a $2.87 cardinal chip-on-wafer-on-substrate (CoWoS) precocious packaging installation successful bluish Taiwan to meet request for AI chips.

The spot titan besides has a brace of fab projects underway successful nan US, though it precocious ran into immoderate trouble pinch staffing, and successful Europe it's said to beryllium successful nan final stages of negotiations to build a fab successful Germany.

Samsung coming reported a 95 percent clang successful operating profit to ₩600 billon Korean won ($4.7m), successful portion caused by nan illness successful request for representation chips.

"Global request is expected to gradually retrieve successful nan 2nd half of nan twelvemonth which should lead to an betterment successful net driven by nan constituent business. However, continued macroeconomic risks could beryllium to beryllium a situation successful specified betterment successful demand," nan institution said.

Intel, which is owed to present its latest net later today, antecedently offered optimistic outlook for nan second half of nan year. But, astatine slightest successful nan short term, things aren't looking great.

Intel advised astatine nan extremity of Q1 that revenues were apt to autumn by astatine slightest 18 percent to $12.5 cardinal successful nan 2nd quarter. Though that technically would beryllium an betterment from nan 30+ percent declines it has seen successful caller quarters. ®