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GaAs IC firms to see strong PA demand for 5G handsets,Wi-Fi 6E devices in 2H21

GaAs IC foundries Win Semiconductors and Advanced Wireless Semiconductor Company (AWSC), and GaAs epi-wafer supplier Visual Photonics Epitaxy Company (VPEC) are all poised to log significant revenue gains in the second half of 2021, buoyed by demand for the upcoming iPhones and Wi-Fi 6E related applications, according to industry sources.

Apple is set to incorporate Wi-Fi 6E technology into its new iPhones for this year, and the technology is expected to become a standard feature of both iOS and Android smartphones in 2022, the sources said.

Many chipmakers including Qualcomm, Broadcom and MediaTeK are commercializing production of Wi-Fi 6E core chips, which have to be paired with RF front-end modules including power amplifiers (PA) rolled out by vendors including Qorvo and Skyworks, the sources noted. This will provide brisk business opportunities for Taiwan's 6-inch GaAs foundries Win Semi and AWSC and epi-wafer maker VPEC as they are crucial partners for processing 5G PAs and Wi-Fi 6/6E PAs for iPhones, Android smartphones, and other consumer electronics devices, added the sources.

As new iPhones will continue to adopt 3D face ID sensors for general models and ToF LiDAR scanners for Pro series, the three GaAS players will also see their third-quarter revenues further bolstered by VCSEL chips demand for the sensing solutions, the sources said.

Win Semi's June revenues rose 2.72% on year to NT$2.057 billion (US$73.36 million), and first-half 2021 sales edged up 0.67% on year to NT$12.143 billion.

AWSC saw its June revenues rise 4.5% sequentially and 39.41% on year to a six-year high of NT$396 million, with January-June sales jumping 33.95% on year to NT$2.216 billion.

VPEC's June revenues of NT$319 million represent sequential and on-year growths of 10.4% and 56.7%, respectively. Its revenues for the first six months of the year advanced 43.6% on year reaching NT$1.785 billion.