CASPA eLetter: No. 201, December 15, 2020

Market Update

Dear Members,

As the time marches toward the end of 2020, much good news such as promising COVID-19 vaccines brought us a positive recovery outlook in 2021.

According to SIA/WSTS, semiconductor sales increased 12% in September to mark a second consecutive month of double-digit development. Year-to-date semiconductor receipts as of September jumped 5.5%, approximated to the same period in 2019. The total semiconductor equipment market in 2020 is on track to beat the previous high of $64.5 billion set in 2018.

Semiconductor advancement was not stopped at all in this challenging year. We expect the semiconductor equipment sector to reach record sales by the end of this year. On the technology side, the mass production of 5nm process technology drives new high-end smartphone sales. Meanwhile, Moore’s law is not slowing down at all! IMEC’s technology forum shows 1 nm High NA EUV lithography is on the roadmap. 1 nm is about five silicon atom’s radius!

Due to work/study-from-home and high healthcare’s need to fulfill shelter-in-place order, semiconductor products are exceptionally high demand, such as laptops, webcams, and video game consoles.

The HPC sector also breaks its computation record. For GPU, new generation graphic cards such as Nvidia’s new RTX3090 graphic card push FP32 computation over 35.58TFLOPs and make 8K game capable. For CPU, AMD’s 64-Core Ryzen Threadripper (Pro 3995WX) got the highest performance recorded in the single package CPU benchmark to date.

For laptop computers, Apple’s announcement of the M1 ARM-based chip, the new MacBook Air/Pro products can have improved and efficient new functions and the highest battery life ever compared to their X86 predecessor. Profoundly, the switching from X86 to ARM-based architecture declared a new ARM-PC era that the industry is challenging for years.

On the other hand, competition is fierce. AMD and Apple’s confidence are the direct result of TSMC’s most advanced technology behind the scene. As in the 2nd quarter of 2020, TSMC recorded a market share of 53.9 percent in the global semiconductor foundry market, while Samsung occupied 17.4 percent of the market.

In summary, we concluded an optimistic outlook for semiconductor industries for years to come.


Danny Hua

Executive Advisor, Board of Advisors, CASPA

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