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Tight TXCO IC supply likely to ease in 3Q21

Tight global supply of TXCO (temperature-compensated crystal oscillator) controller ICs seen after a fire damaged in October 2020 a plant operated by Japan's leading vendor AKM is expected to ease in the third quarter of 2021 as other suppliers are ramping up their shipments, according to industry sources.

The sources said TCXO ICs for automotive applications have been hit hardest by the fire as those for other applications including handsets, notebooks, tablets, Wi-Fi modules and small cells can be more easily supplied by other vendors.

Prices for TCXO CIs with general specs have risen by 10-20% amid tight supply and those for specialty specs and rush orders have seen even higher hikes, the source said, adding that whether prices will drop to normal levels after tight supply eases in the third quarter will hinge on demand.

Overall supply of crystal quartz components will fall short of demand for 5G handset, IoT, infrastructure and automotive applications, and makers are moving to expand their capacity. But their expansions are being affected by extension of delivery lead times for equipment needed and by shortages of related ICs and high-end packaging materials, the sources said.