Samsung’s snow-days will knock 5% off smartphone production

Samsung’s snow-days will knock 5% off smartphone production

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Austin was hit by exceptional snow and freezing conditions in February and the local electricity supplier was forced to impose industrial blackouts. However, damage to infrastructure such as cracked water pipes has led to continued disruption and local wafer fabs belonging to Samsung, NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Technologies have all suffered loss of production.

TrendForce said that the capacity utilization rate for the Samsung S2 wafer fab, a supplier of RF ICs to Qualcomm, is not expected to climb above 90 percent until the end of March. As well as supplying Qualcomm with 5G RFICs, the fab supplies Samsung with OLED display driver ICs and with Samsung LSI logic circuits.

Global smartphone production for 2Q21 is therefore expected to drop by about 5 percent as a result. Global production of 5G smartphones will be hit even harder at 30 percent down.

In terms of wafer input, the Qualcomm 5G RFIC, Samsung OLED DDIC, and Samsung LSI logic IC account for 30, 20, and 15 percent of the Samsung fab’s monthly production capacity, respectively.

Several weeks of closure in the 1Q21 will likely lead to an impact in 2Q21 due to the time it takes for an IC to pass through manufacturing. Smartphone brands may seek to reassign their quarterly smartphone production towards 4G handsets to make up for the shortfall of 5G handsets, TrendForce said. TrendForce said the production volume of iPhones in 2Q21 will suffer only limited impact from OLED DDIC supply disruptions.

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