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TSMC, Samsung, MediaTek to gain from market in '07

Posted: 24 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Jonathan Hopfner?

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and MediaTek in Taiwan and Samsung in South Korea will be among the main beneficiaries of the trends destined to shape the Asia-Pacific semiconductor industry next year, Citigroup Global Markets said in a report released Nov. 13.

The report, written by Andrew Lu, head of regional semiconductor research, said the widespread commercial deployment of television for handsets was likely to be a "key driver for semiconductor growth" in 2007, with TSMC, ASE Group and Mtekvision expected to gain from existing relationships with baseband, graphics and multimedia chip makers like Texas Instruments, Freescale, ATI and Philips.

In addition, the firm also expects GPS to further penetrate the portable computing, handset and enterprise markets in 2007 as companies turn to the technology for logistics and asset tracking. That will fuel more business for TSMC and Samsung, which provide foundry services for SiRF. But the report also predicts pricing pressure will drive some local GPS customers into the arms of Taiwan's Prolific and MediaTek, which lead the region in GPS circuit design.

TSMC and MediaTek will also be helped along by the ongoing transition to HDTV, with MediaTek's LCD digital-TV controller chip set expected to represent 10 percent of the company's sales next year.

The report also argues that by Q4 of next year, the price of NAND flash-based solid-state disk memory will drop to the point where it appeals to computer makers, and will begin replacing HDDs in PCs and laptops. Samsung and Toshiba, which lead the market in high-density NAND solid-state disk storage, are expected to gain the most from the shift, but it will also push up revenues for smaller companies like SPIL, which specializes in multichip packaging, and Kinsus, which builds flash card substrates.

Other companies to watch next year, according to Citigroup, include Chartered and UMC, which provide foundry, packaging and testing services to important players in the burgeoning WiMax and voice- and video-over-Internet Protocol markets.

- Jonathan Hopfner
EE Times

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