Bloomberg: Apple M2 iPad Pro to report this fall

Apple’s spring press conference announced that the M1 Ultra chip is the last of the M1 series, which means that the next Apple’s new chip series should be the long-rumored “M2”. “Bloomberg” well-known Apple news reporter Mark Gurman’s latest column pointed out that Apple plans to launch the iPad Pro equipped with the M2 chip between September and November.

Mark Gurman further predicted that Apple will redesign the next-generation iPad Pro, including the iPad Pro to provide MagSafe magnetic suction wireless charging function.

Apple’s last iPad Pro redesign was in 2018, when Apple changed the iPad Pro’s bezel and charging port; this year, Apple is expected to repeat the iPad Pro’s appearance and features. The last iPad Pro was launched in May 2021 and is equipped with the latest M1 chip. If Apple launches the new iPad Pro from September to November, it means that Apple has at least one year and four months to redesign.

There is not much information on the M2 chip on the market at present, and whether it will launch a product has not been confirmed by Apple; Mark Gurman believes that the CPU processing speed of the M2 will be slightly faster than that of the M1, and use the same 8-core architecture.

Mark Gurman also predicts that the M2 chip will be used in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and 24-inch iMac later this year, in addition to iPad Pro products.

Ukraine’s “neon” cut affects half of the world’s supply, and China’s quotation soars 4 times

Affected by Russia’s increased attack, Ukraine’s two major suppliers of neon gas have been forced to suspend operations.

Reuters exclusively reported on the 11th that after calculating the data of the company and the market research agency Techcet, it was found that about 45~54% of the global semiconductor-grade neon gas comes from Ingas and Cryoin, two Ukrainian manufacturers. Neon is a key material in the lasers needed to make chips. According to Techcet estimates, global wafer production activities will consume approximately 540 metric tons of neon gas in 2021.

Ingas commercial chief Nikolay Avdzhy told Reuters by email that before Russia invaded Ukraine, the company produced 15,000 to 20,000 cubic meters of neon per month for customers in Taiwan, South Korea, China, the United States and Germany, about 75 percent of which was used in the chip industry . The company is based in Mariupol, which is currently under siege by Russian troops.

Cryoin business development chief Larissa Bondarenko said that the company’s neon gas production is 10,000 to 15,000 cubic meters per month, and operations were suspended on February 24 because of Russian aggression. Unless there is a ceasefire, the 13,000-cubic-meter neon gas supply order will not be fulfilled as scheduled, she said. While Cryoin can last for at least three months with the plant closed, it is difficult to restart operations quickly if the equipment is damaged. She is also unsure whether the company will be able to obtain additional raw materials.

Bondarenko revealed that the price of neon gas, which was already under pressure due to the epidemic, has soared by 500% compared with December 2021. The Chinese media quoted China’s raw material market information industry and commerce as reporting that the price of neon gas in China has risen sharply from 400 yuan/m3 in October last year to 1,600 yuan/m3 at the end of February.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the 13th that insiders familiar with the details revealed that TSMC had ensured an alternative supply source for neon gas when the Russian military was gathering on the Ukrainian border, and there is currently no supply problem.

Chip makers’ factories and industrial gas supply chains should have enough neon for six months, said Mark Thirsk, managing partner at Linx Consulting Inc. However, the price of neon gas may rise after that. When Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the spot price of neon gas soared from 25 cents per liter to $5 per liter.

South Korea grabs EUV in response to semiconductor expansion, ASML estimates that the amount will more than double by 2025

South Korean technology media “ETnews” reported that ASML, a major exposure equipment manufacturer, has raised its sales target for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) exposure machines in South Korea to 14.75 billion euros in 2025, which is the sales amount in 2021. It can be seen that EUV is regarded as an important key to enhance competitiveness thanks to the increased investment of Samsung and SK Hynix in South Korea.

ASML’s 2021 revenue is 18.6 billion euros , South Korea’s revenue is 6.223 billion euros , and Taiwan’s revenue is 7.223 billion euros , respectively. 50% and 55% growth from 2020.

In the face of the next semiconductor expansion period, ASML pointed out that it expects South Korea’s revenue figures to more than double in 2025 compared to 2021. Taking into account the annual double-digit percentage growth rate, it is likely to reach 20 trillion won . As of 2021, ASML has sold 42 EUV exposure equipment, with TSMC and Samsung purchasing the most EUV.

In response to the demand for semiconductor expansion, Samsung and SK Hynix are expected to invest 57 trillion won in 2022. Samsung expects to introduce more than ten sets of EUV exposure equipment to strengthen the advanced wafer foundry process, while SK Hynix expects to sign an EUV exposure machine import agreement worth about 3.5 billion euros by 2025. High-level memory process production.

Intel’s future layout of TSMC’s assistance is still the key, foreign capital supports TSMC’s target price of 800 yuan

The latest investment report of European foreign investment believes that the future development blueprint planned by Intel, a major processor manufacturer, at the investor conference a few days ago, in addition to actively developing its business and returning to the semiconductor leadership position, through outsourcing orders to produce some products, the wafer foundry leader TSMC It will also play a key role, giving TSMC an “better than expected” investment rating, with a target price of NT$800 per share.

Intel said it will use technology development and investment in manufacturing and foundry to achieve revenue growth, restore industry leadership, and balance the global over-reliance on Asian semiconductors. Intel is expected to achieve low-single-digit percentage revenue growth in 2022, rising to 10%-12% revenue growth in 2025-2026. In addition to Intel itself, TSMC, which has a partnership, can also benefit.

Intel outsourced the production of GPUs and AI accelerators using TSMC N7 / N6 / N5 processes, and also used TSMC N3 processes to produce code-named Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake series, as well as series desktop and notebook processors after 2023~2024. With the help of outsourcing orders from Intel, even if TSMC does not assist in the production of server processors, outsourcing orders from Intel can grow from $2.9 billion in 2021 to $7.7 billion in 2024 and $6.6 billion in 2025.

In terms of foundry, after the acquisition of Israel’s High Tower Semiconductor, revenue will grow from $2.3 billion to $9.2 billion by 2026. Although compared with TSMC’s $130 billion by then, Intel’s foundry service revenue is still insignificant. However, the multiple benefits of capital expenditure and the results of strengthening the research and development of new processes are still of substantial significance to Intel.

Intel’s cooperation, coupled with the growth of orders placed by other major customers AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, MediaTek and Apple, the report maintains TSMC’s 2022 and 2023 EPS per share, NTD 30.6 and 33.2 yuan forecast, based on 24 times 2023 EPS per share Earnings ratio calculation, giving TSMC a target price of 800 yuan per share.

NAND Flash spot price rebounds, module makers raise prices of consumer products

The spot price of storage flash memory (NAND Flash) stopped falling and rebounded. As suppliers raised their quotations across the board, memory module manufacturers also followed suit and raised the prices of NAND Flash consumer products.

Memory module manufacturers said that raw materials were contaminated in the NAND Flash production line jointly established by KIOXIA (KIOXIA) and WD (WD), which quickly reversed the oversupply of the NAND Flash market.

As soon as the incident occurred, the memory module factory suspended quotations to clarify the impact of the incident. As NAND Flash suppliers such as Witton announced price increases one after another, module manufacturers also followed up to increase the prices of some products.

The industry pointed out that the quotation of NAND Flash has increased by about 5%, and the price of consumer products has been quickly reflected, and the price increase has been followed up simultaneously, and the price of industrial control related products has not been adjusted yet.

Taking Xilinx tonic pills, AMD’s market value surpasses Intel’s for the first time in history

AMD completed the largest merger in the history of semiconductors, spending $49 billion to include the programmable logic element (FPGA) manufacturer Xilinx, making AMD’s market value more than its rival Intel (Intel) in one fell swoop, for the first time since AMD was founded.

Tom’s Hardware reported on the 16th that as of the close of the US stock market on the 15th, AMD’s market value was $197.75 billion, surpassing Intel’s $197.24 billion. After AMD eats Xilinx, 250 million shares of Xilinx will be converted into 428 million new AMD shares, plus the 1.2 billion shares originally issued by AMD, the total number of shares will reach 1.628 billion shares, and the market value will reach nearly 200 billion US dollars. $51 million higher than Intel.

I still remember that AMD was still struggling on the verge of bankruptcy 6 years ago, but with the release of the revolutionary Zen architecture CPU, AMD has made great efforts to make a comeback, and now the CPU market share has created a new high in history, earning enough silver bullets to start the largest acquisition in the semiconductor industry.

It should be noted that Intel is still larger than AMD, with Intel’s overall x86 market share reaching 75%, and its annual revenue and profit are higher than AMD’s.

From AMD’s market value, investors are more optimistic about the company’s growth prospects than Intel. Investors have reason to be bullish on AMD. After AMD acquired Xilinx, its product portfolio has become more diversified, and it can cut into new high-profit markets, such as self-driving cars, aerospace, 5G/telecommunications, Internet of Things (IoT), etc.

Xilinx has a strong physique, and its revenue in the third quarter of last year broke a record high. Intel’s corresponding competitive division “Programmable Solutions Group” (PSG), the market share has been continuously eroded by Xilinx. Intel’s latest earnings conference said that in 2021, the PSG division will be hit by supply chain bottlenecks, and additional revenue will be reduced by $500 million.

Toshiba splits into 2 companies after major shareholder rebound

Toshiba, which has announced an overhaul after a corporate governance scandal, originally planned to split its business into three companies with businesses in infrastructure, hardware equipment, and semiconductor memory.

According to Toshiba officials, Toshiba/ Infrastructure Service Co. includes Toshiba’s energy systems and solutions, infrastructure systems and solutions, digital solutions and battery businesses, as well as its stake in CAYIN (Kioxia) Co. The Device Co. business includes Toshiba’s electronic components and storage solutions, including power semiconductors, optical semiconductors, analog integrated circuits, high-capacity hard drives for data centers, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and more.

Toshiba has designated Toshiba TEC Corporation, its publicly traded electronic equipment business, as a non-core asset, and has not yet specified whether it will be sold. If the spin-off plan is implemented smoothly, it is expected to return 300 billion yen in stock dividends to shareholders over the next two years.

CAYIN, the world’s 2nd largest NAND flash memory manufacturer, continues to be partially owned by Toshiba and is seeking to convert CAYIN’s shares to cash as soon as possible to bring more value to shareholders. In fact, CAYIN has been seeking an IPO and has been reported in the past to be in merger talks with storage major WD (Western Digital).

Justin Tang, head of Asian research at financial services firm United First Partners, told Bloomberg that the new plan is more logical given the overlap between semiconductors and equipment, and that the proposal offers more synergy than before.