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IC market to tug chip packaging, testing sales

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chip packaging? IC testing? semiconductor industry? sales?

According to a report from China Post, Taiwan's IC testing and packaging companies are expecting to feel the effects of the slow season. The predicted Q1 sales are seen to decline from 5-10 percent QoQ, the firms stated.

In terms of product categories, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) stated that sales for testing and packaging of chips for handsets, consumer electronics and PCs will dip in Q1 and will extend to Q2, but will begin picking up when Q3 arrives.

Lin Wen-po, chair of Siliconware Precision Industries Ltd (SPIL), noted that the 1Q12 will be the bottom for the semiconductor industry. For the whole year, though, the IC industry is still expected to grow, with SPIL set to place a stronger focus on testing and packaging of mid- to high-end semiconductors, he indicated.

According to market speculation, Lin's optimism was driven by the fact SPIL has successfully snagged orders from a major international firm, the first time that the IC testing and packaging giant has obtained business from this multinational conglomerate.

Another firm, ChipMOS, has forecasted its sales for the January-March period will either stay the same as 4Q11 or drop five percent. Sales from testing and packaging of driver ICs for large-size panels will rise, on strong demands for large-screen LCD TVs. Business from small-size panel driver ICs may stay the same as Q4, on persisting popularity for tablets and smartphones.

Overall, the firm predicts Q1 sales from driver ICs are expected to stay flat from 4Q11, while those from DRAM chips may drop slightly QoQ. Logic IC testing and packaging are expected to pick up steam in Q2 at the earliest, the company added.

Powertech Technology Inc., which focuses primarily on DRAM testing and packaging, may see Q1 sales drop 10-15 percent from 4Q11, adding that 1Q12 would be the worst first quarter the firm has ever had, Tsai Tu-kung, the chair of the company believed.

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