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EMEA PC Market Maintains Growth in 2021Q3, Despite Lower Consumer Spending and Continued Supply Issues, Says IDC

The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) traditional PC market, (desktops, notebooks, and workstations) grew 12.7% YoY in 2021Q3, for a total of 24.4 million units, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). A strong commercial performance throughout the region is the main driver of this growth, offsetting a slowdown in consumer, which could not keep up with the unfavorable growth rates seen in 2020Q3.

The Western European PC market enjoyed solid growth (15.8% YoY). Desktops continued their upward trend and increased 21.8% YoY—outgrowing notebooks (+13.1%) for the first time in six quarters. Desktop growth can be attributed to strength on the commercial side, as employers look to equip and refresh their increasingly populated offices. Notebooks also saw solid commercial shipments but were stifled by component shortages, primarily in IC boards and panels.

DRAM Prices Projected to Enter Period of Downswing in 2022 as Demand Lags Behind Supply, Says TrendForce

DRAM contract prices are likely to exit a bullish period that lasted three quarters and be on the downswing in 4Q21 at a QoQ decline of 3-8%, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. This decline can be attributed to not only the declining procurement activities of DRAM buyers going forward, but also the drop in DRAM spot prices ahead of contract prices. While the buying and selling sides attempt to gain the advantage in future transactions, the DRAM market's movement in 2022 will primarily be determined by suppliers' capacity expansion strategies in conjunction with potential growths in demand. The capacity expansion plans of the three largest DRAM suppliers (Samsung, SK hynix, and Micron) for 2022 are expected to remain conservative, resulting in a 17.9% growth in total DRAM bit supply next year. On the demand side, inventory levels at the moment are relatively high. Hence, DRAM bit demand is expected to grow by 16.3% next year and lag behind bit supply growth. TrendForce therefore forecasts a shift in the DRAM market next year from shortage to surplus.

Intel CEO Cites Brexit as Reason for Chip Fab Plans in UK Not an Option

In an interview with the BBC, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said that the company is no longer considering the UK as a site for a chip fab, due to Brexit, something the company had apparently done prior to Brexit. Now the company is looking for a location in another EU country for a US$95 billion investment for a new semiconductor plant, as well as upgrades to its current plants in Ireland.

Although Intel had not made any firm decisions on a site location prior to Brexit, Gelsinger is quoted as saying "I have no idea whether we would have had a superior site from the UK, but we now have about 70 proposals for sites across Europe from maybe 10 different countries." He continues "We're hopeful that we'll get to agreement on a site, as well as support from the EU... before the end of this year."

NVIDIA's Now $54 Billion Arm Acquisition Hits Major Snag with the European Commission, Offers Concessions

It looks like NVIDIA's acquisition of Arm Holdings Plc from Japan's SoftBank, has hit its biggest regulatory hurdle, with the European Commission, the apex executive body of the European Union, deliberating on whether the deal requires a thorough investigation lasting 4 months. Reuters reports that NVIDIA offered the Commission certain "concessions," which may affect the way Arm operates under NVIDIA. The Commission did not disclose these concessions, but mentioned that it will take until October 27 to decide whether or not they merit further investigation.

NVIDIA's Arm acquisition has split the Arm licensee industry along the median. The likes of Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung, have voiced serious concerns over the deal. They fear that as a high-performance SoC designer itself, NVIDIA will withhold the most advanced bits of the Arm IP to itself, giving it a competitive edge over licensees. Not all companies see it this way, with Broadcom, MediaTek, and Marvell openly endorsing the deal. It's interesting to note here, that Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm, make faster smartphone SoCs than MediaTek, Broadcom, and Marvell (and their subsidiaries) do.

Annual Notebook Shipment for 2021 Projected to Reach 240 Million Units, Though Demand in 4Q21 Remains Contingent on Market Trends, Says TrendForce

As growing vaccination rates worldwide starting in July lead to a gradual easing of lockdowns, the overall demand for notebook computers has also experienced a corresponding slowdown, with Chromebook demand dropping by as much as 50%, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, factors such as a wave of replacement demand for commercial notebooks in Europe and North America due to the return to physical workplaces, as well as brands' aggressive efforts to rush out their 4Q21 shipments ahead of time due to global port congestions, became the primary drivers of notebook demand in 3Q21. Hence, annual notebook shipment for 2021 will likely reach 240 million units, a 16.4% YoY increase.

TrendForce further indicates that 4Q21 will welcome both the gradual release of new models equipped with Intel's next-gen CPUs and a wave of replacement demand for notebooks featuring Windows 11. Even so, overall notebook shipment in 4Q21 will depend on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the demand for commercial notebooks. As vaccinations become even more widespread in 2022, pandemic-related spending is expected to decline as a result. TrendForce therefore expects global notebook shipment to decline by 7-8% YoY next year and reach approximately 220 million units, although this still represents a growth of 60 million units over the shipment volume for 2019, prior to the emergence of the pandemic.

European Processor Initiative EPAC 1.0 RISC-V Test Chip Samples Delivered

The European Processor Initiative (EPI) https://www.european-processor-initiative.eu/, a project with 28 partners from 10 European countries, with the goal of making EU achieve independence in HPC chip technologies and HPC infrastructure, is proud to announce that EPAC 1.0 RISC-V Test Chip samples were delivered to EPI and initial tests of their operation were successful.

One key segment of EPI activities is to develop and demonstrate fully European-grown processor IPs based on the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture, providing power-efficient and high-throughput accelerator cores named EPAC (European Processor Accelerators).

DRAM Prices Projected to Decline by 3-8% QoQ in 4Q21 Due to Rising Level of Client Inventory, Says TrendForce

Following the peak period of production in 3Q21, the supply of DRAM will likely begin to outpace demand in 4Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations (the surplus of DRAM supply is henceforth referred to as "sufficiency ratio", expressed as a percentage). In addition, while DRAM suppliers are generally carrying a healthy level of inventory, most of their clients in the end-product markets are carrying a higher level of DRAM inventory than what is considered healthy, meaning these clients will be less willing to procure additional DRAM going forward. TrendForce therefore forecasts a downward trajectory for DRAM ASP in 4Q21. More specifically, DRAM products that are currently in oversupply may experience price drops of more than 5% QoQ, and the overall DRAM ASP will likely decline by about 3-8% QoQ in 4Q21.

Although WFH and distance learning applications previously generated high demand for notebook computers, increasingly widespread vaccinations in Europe and North America have now weakened this demand, particularly for Chromebooks. As a result, global production of notebooks is expected to decline in 4Q21, in turn propelling the sufficiency ratio of PC DRAM to 1.38%, which indicates that PC DRAM will no longer be in short supply in 4Q21. However, PC DRAM accounts for a relatively low share of DRAM manufacturers' DRAM supply bits, since these suppliers have allocated more production capacities to server DRAM, which is in relatively high demand. Hence, there will unlikely be a severe surplus of PC DRAM in 4Q21. It should also be pointed out that, on average, the current spot prices of PC DRAM modules are far lower than their contract prices for 3Q21. TrendForce therefore expects an imminent 5-10% QoQ decline in PC DRAM contract prices for 4Q21, with potential for declines that are even greater than 10% for certain transactions, as PC OEMs anticipate further price drops in PC DRAM prices in the future.

EMEA Gaming PC Market Set to Stay Strong in 2021, Despite Component Shortage, Says IDC

The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) market for gaming PCs posted another quarter of solid growth in 2021Q2, growing 10.8% YoY and recording 2.5 million units shipped, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Approaching the end of 2021, growth is expected to continue, albeit at a lower rate than in recent quarters. 2021Q3 is predicted to grow at 6.1% YoY, while 2021Q4 has an anticipated rise of 4.8% YoY. While the momentum is stabilizing, long-term growth is still expected. In 2025, the PC gaming market is forecast to rise to 11.4 million units, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5%.

In Western Europe, 2021H1 saw demand in the market driven by consumers working from home, despite the loosening of lockdowns. With upcoming game releases in 2021H2 expected to increase graphical requirements, more gamers will be looking to refresh their PCs to game at the highest level. Therefore, acceleration of new/returning gamers is expected to continue in 2021. However, with component supply and logistics problems continuing, gaming PC production will be impacted too.

Worldwide Enterprise WLAN Market Continued Strong Growth in Second Quarter 2021, According to IDC

Growth rates remained strong in the enterprise segment of the wireless local area networking (WLAN) market in the second quarter of 2021 (2Q21) as the market increased 22.4% on a year-over-year basis to $1.7 billion, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker. In the consumer segment of the WLAN market, revenues declined 5.7% in the quarter to $2.3 billion, giving the combined enterprise and consumer WLAN markets year-over-year growth of 4.6% in 2Q21.

The growth in the enterprise-class segment of the market builds on a strong first quarter of 2021 when revenues increased 24.6% year over year. For the first half of 2021, the market increased 23.5% compared to first two quarters of 2020. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, 2Q21 revenues increased 10.8%, indicating that demand in the enterprise WLAN is strong.

HYTE Unveils the new SFF Revolt 3 PC Case as its Premier Product

[Editor's note: We have published the review of HYTE Revolt 3 Case here.]

HYTE, the new PC components and lifestyle brand of iBUYPOWER, a leading manufacturer of high-performance custom gaming PCs, today released its premier product, the Revolt 3 Mini-ITX PC case. Previously announced during CES 2021 as the Revolt 3 MK3, the Revolt 3 was designed with careful consideration for DIY PC enthusiasts, gamers, and creators alike.

"iBUYPOWER is excited to introduce its new sub-brand, HYTE, to our community with its very first product, the Revolt 3" said Darren Su, Executive Vice President of iBUYPOWER. "With over 20 years of experience as a systems integrator we felt like we had a unique perspective to bring to the table when developing PC Components. We approached the Revolt 3 with the goal of designing a case with the freedom and flexibility that would allow the use of a wide range of components without imposing performance restrictions based on the size of the case."

Contract Prices of PC DRAM Expected to Decline by 0-5% in 4Q21 as Spot Prices of DRAM Modules Continue to Weaken, Says TrendForce

Now that most negotiations over contract prices of PC DRAM for 3Q21 have concluded, DRAM suppliers' low inventories and the arrival of the peak season for DRAM procurement have resulted in a 3-8% QoQ increase in PC DRAM contract prices for 3Q21, although this is a relatively muted growth compared to the 25% increase experienced in 2Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, demand for PC DRAM in the spot market began to show signs of bearish movement in early July ahead of time, as DRAM suppliers continued to lower prices in order to adjust their DRAM inventories. Regarding the contract market, PC OEMs currently carry relatively high levels of DRAM inventory because they substantially stocked up on PC DRAM beforehand in anticipation of an upcoming shortage. Not only has PC OEMs' high DRAM inventory put downward pressure on possible price hikes for PC DRAM, but the gradual lifting of COVID-related restrictions in Europe and the US will also likely lower the overall demand for notebook computers, thereby pulling down the overall demand for PC DRAM. TrendForce therefore forecasts a 0-5% QoQ decline in PC DRAM contract prices for 4Q21.

Samsung Electronics Announces Second Quarter 2021 Results

Samsung Electronics today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021. Total consolidated revenue was KRW 63.67 trillion, a 20% increase from the previous year and a record for the second quarter. Operating profit increased 34% from the previous quarter to KRW 12.57 trillion as market conditions improved in the memory market, operations normalized at the Austin foundry fab, and as effective global supply chain management (SCM) helped maintain solid profitability for the finished product businesses.

The Semiconductor business saw a significant improvement in earnings as memory shipments exceeded previous guidance and price increases were higher than expected, while the Company strengthened its cost competitiveness. For the Display Panel Business, a one-off gain and an increase in overall prices boosted profits.

Annual Notebook Shipment Likely to Break Records in 2021 at 236 Million Units, with Chromebook Demand Slowing Down in 2H21, Says TrendForce

While the stay-at-home economy generated high demand for notebook computers from distance learning and WFH applications last year, global notebook shipment for 2020 underwent a nearly 26% YoY increase, which represented a significant departure from the cyclical 3% YoY increase/decrease that had historically taken place each year, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. The uptrend in notebook demand is expected to persist in 2021, during which notebook shipment will likely reach 236 million units, a 15% YoY increase. In particular, thanks to the surging demand for education notebooks, Chromebooks will become the primary growth driver in the notebook market. Regarding the shipment performance of various brands, Samsung and Apple will register the highest growths, with the former having Chromebooks account for nearly 50% of its total notebook shipment this year and the latter continuing to release MacBooks equipped with the M1 chip.

NVIDIA Announces DOOM Eternal GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Limited Edition Demon Slayer Bundle

As most of the DOOM Eternal fans are informed, on June 29th, the latest installment in the DOOM series of games, DOOM Eternal, will be receiving a huge upgrade coming to all PC gamers. For the first time, PC players will get to experience NVIDIA's best pieces of technology, coming in a form of raytracing and NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). To celebrate that, the folks over at Bethesda Softworks and id Software have partnered with NVIDIA to launch a limited edition DOOM Eternal bundle. Called the "DOOM Eternal GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Limited Edition Demon Slayer Bundle", it will be a very scarce bundle made only in 300 copies.

Containing NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, the bundle is all about performance. However, what makes it special and different from buying a regular card is that it includes some additional products. For starters, the bundle includes Titanium Slayer Collectible mini-figure with matching aesthetics of the GPU, making it a real collectible item. Next up is a Titanium DOOM Eternal-GeForce RTX t-shirt, and an exclusive "DOOM Eternal: The Ancient Gods" oversized 15.75-inch x 35.44-inch mouse pad. Additionally, a $100 Bethesda Store credit and DOOM Eternal Deluxe Edition game code is included as well. Together, it forms a bundle that is limited to 300 pieces and costs 1450 USD. To join the raffle to purchase this bundle, you can enter here for North America, and here for Europe. Unfortunately, people from other regions can not enter. The raffle starts today, June 23, 2021, 5:00 AM (MST), and ends on July 7, 2021, 11:59 PM (MST). Winners will be announced on July 8th.

EU Changes VAT Rules for Imported Products; Everything to be Taxed Independent of Value

European Union residents are now looking at paying even more tax - in even more products - than before. Following changes to the EU tax policy, all products imported from outside that special political, economic and frontier union will be subject to the appropriate tax according to its nature. Until now, imports of value (or should we say declared value) lower than €22 were free from the bureaucratic and economic burden of taxation; however, that situation is about to change come July 1st.

Following abuses to that €22 declared value exemption, all imported products from July 1st 2021 will be subject to customs processing and taxation. The decision follows years of abuse, with customers and businesses declaring false, lower values for products so as to try and skirt any additional taxation. Of course, this creates a lopsided, uphill battle for EU-based manufacturers and distributors, who have to collect the appropriate tax upon all sales - whilst businesses outside the EU enjoyed more competitive pricing due to the absence of tax for the final customer. That is what this change aims to fight against. A shame for users and businesses that did follow the rules, who now face more higher pricing for small acquisitions at the expense of those who employed these tax evasion practices.

Bosch Unveils One Billion Euro Chip Manufacturing Facility in Germany

Robert Bosch GmbH, commonly known as just Bosch, has today unveiled the results of the company's biggest investment ever. On Monday, the company has unveiled its one billion Euro manufacturing facility, which roughly translates to 1.2 billion US Dollars. The manufacturing plant is located in Dresden, Germany, and it aims to supply the leading self-driving automobile companies with chips that are in great demand. As the main goal for the plant is to manufacture chips for the automotive industry, this new 7,200 m² Dresden facility is supposed to provide car makers with Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for power management and tasks such as triggering the automatic braking system of cars.

The one billion Euro facility was funded partly by the funds coming from the European Union investment scheme, which donated as much as 200 million Euros ($243 million). The goal of the plan is to start with the manufacturing of chips for power tools as early as July and start production of automotive chips in September. All of the chips will be manufactured on 300 mm wafers, which offers a major improvement in quantity compared to 200 and 150 mm wafers currently used by Bosch. The opening of this facility will surely help with the global chip shortages, which have even hit the automotive sector.

Global TV Shipment for 1Q21 Undergoes 11.5% Growth YoY, Says TrendForce

While demand for TVs underwent a slowdown in China and Europe due to the onset of the cyclical downturn, quarterly TV sales in North America reached a historical high in 1Q21 thanks to the proliferation of the stay-at-home economy and government-issued economic stimulus plans, such as the March 2021 handout of US$1,400 stimulus checks to most US citizens, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Bullish TV sales in North America propelled global TV shipment for 1Q21 to 49.96 million units, a 24.2% QoQ decrease but an 11.5% YoY increase.

TrendForce further indicates that Hisense has been particularly aggressive in expanding in the overseas markets via consumer-friendly prices. Not only did Hisense successfully enter the top five list of the largest TV brands in North America in 1Q21, but the company's market share also surpassed 10% and reached 11.1%, with a 4.19 million unit quarterly TV shipment, which represents an 8.8% increase YoY.

LED Market Revenue for 2021 Projected to Reach US$16.53 Billion Mainly Due to Automotive/Mini LED Applications, Says TrendForce

Owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, not only did LED revenue experience a downward trajectory, but this decline also reached a magnitude rarely seen in recent years, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, as vaccinations begin taking place in 1H21, the LED market's long-stifled demand is expected to rebound from rock bottom. Hence, global LED market revenue will likely undergo a corresponding recovery this year as well, with a forecasted US$16.53 billion, an 8.1% increase YoY, in 2021. Most of this increase can be attributed to four major categories, including automotive LED, Mini/Micro LED, video wall LED, and UV/IR LED.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Pricing Reaches 3x MSRP in Europe

NVIDIA's latest series of RTX 30 series graphics cards continue to remain elusive more than eight months after their release thanks to a combination of global chip shortages, logistics delays, and mining demand. The pricing for the latest generation graphics cards from various European retailers has been compiled and analyzed by 3DCentre and it paints a gloomy picture for gamers. The RTX 3080 now retails for 2999€ or 317% higher than the MSRP of 719€, other RTX 30 series cards saw price increases between 107% - 204%. This trend isn't exclusive to team Green with AMD's RX 6000 series also seeing significant price increases with the average price for an RX 6800 reaching 159% of MSRP at ~1600€, while other cards in the lineup see increases between 70% - 100%. The complete price history for all the cards tracked can be found at the source below. We don't see these prices falling significantly anytime soon unless there is a large drop in mining demand or a significant production increase.

SPC Gear Announces Streaming Microphone SM950 ONYX White

SPC Gear, the gaming label of the European manufacturer SilentiumPC, announces a fresh, bright colour variant of the popular SM950 streaming microphone kit. The new edition is inspired by the rare mineral white onyx, known for its exceptional durability and unique appearance. SPC Gear designed the Onyx White variants with this qualities in mind while offering directional (cardioid) characteristics, ensuring good dampening of unwanted ambient noise. High-quality components on the other hand, allow for a warm, radio-like sound. Being a Plug&Play microphone, the SM950 does not require installing any additional software and is ready to be used straight out of the box. The physical mute button is conveniently located on top of the microphone and provides visual cues when mutes. With the SM950 series, SPC Gear offers a prefect kit for every streamer, YouTuber and musician, seeking an affordable full-fledged recording setup for streaming of games on Twitch or YouTube or recording of podcasts and voiceovers.

2020 Global Semiconductor Equipment Sales Surge 19% to Industry Record $71.2 Billion, SEMI Reports

Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment surged 19% from $59.8 billion in 2019 to a new all-time high of $71.2 billion in 2020, SEMI, the industry association representing the global electronics product design and manufacturing supply chain, reported today. The data is now available in the Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Statistics (WWSEMS) Report.

For the first time, China claimed the largest market for new semiconductor equipment with sales growth of 39% to $18.72 billion. Sales in Taiwan, the second-largest equipment market, remained flat in 2020 with sales of $17.15 billion after showing strong growth in 2019. Korea registered 61% growth to $16.08 billion to maintain the third position. Annual spending also increased 21% in Japan and 16% in Europe as both regions are recovering from the contraction in 2019. Receipts in North America decreased 20% in 2020 following three years of consecutive growth.

Global Semiconductor Sales Up 14.7% Year-to-Year in February, Says SIA

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced global semiconductor industry sales were $39.6 billion for the month of February 2021, an increase of 14.7% over the February 2020 total of $34.5 billion, but 1.0% less than the January 2021 total of $40.0 billion. Monthly sales are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average. SIA represents 98% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms.

"Global semiconductor sales during the first two months of the year have outpaced sales from early in 2020, when the pandemic began to spread in parts of the world," said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. "Sales into the China market saw the largest year-to-year growth, largely because sales there were down substantially early last year."

Container Ship Meets with an Accident, Clogging the Suez Canal

A super-heavy merchant ship has met with an accident, causing it to turn sideways, and effectively clogging the Suez Canal. The 400 m (1,312 ft) long ship turned sideways, causing it to run aground, into the canal's embankments. Why is this important? Notwithstanding the fact that the incident has caused the biggest backlog of ships at the Suez Canal, a vital trade-route linking Asia and Europe; the Panama-registered ship is operated by Taiwan's largest shipping company, Evergreen. The company, which also owns EVA Air, Taiwan's second largest airline, is believed to handle a bulk of the nation's electronics exports. This particular vessel, bearing the call-sign "Ever Given," was bound for the Dutch port of Rotterdam from China. A mariner aboard its trailing vessel, the Maersk Denver, captured this image of the beached ship. The disruption has caused several days worth shipping backlog, and could affect both ends of the supply-chain.

AMD to Supply Only a Few Thousand Radeon RX 6700 XT GPUs for Europe at Launch

The global supply chain of graphics cards is currently not very well equipped to handle the massive demand that exists for the latest generation of GPUs. Just like we have seen with the launch of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere, and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series Big Navi SKUs, the latest generation graphics cards are experiencing massive demand. And manufacturers of these GPUs are not very well equipped to handle it all, so there is a huge scarce for GPUs in the global market. With AMD's recent announcement of the Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card, things are not looking any better, and the availability of this GPU could be very tight at launch.

According to information obtained by Igor's Lab, AMD could supply only a few thousand Radeon RX 6700 XT GPUs for Europe as a whole. To be precise, Igor's Lab notes that "If you condense the information of various board partners and distributors to a trend, then there are, depending on the manufacturer and model, only a few pieces (for Germany) to a few thousand for the EU as a whole." This could be a very bad indication of AMD's supply of these new GPUs globally, not just for Europe. The company is currently relying on the overbooked TSMC, which can only produce a limited amount of chips at the time, and we don't know how much capacity AMD allocated for the new chip.

Antec Presents New Dark Cube ITX Chassis with Optional Glass or Mesh Front Panel

Antec Inc., a leading provider of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself market, is presenting a new ITX case which offers PC enthusiasts the best watercooling options in a small format case. The Dark Cube will soon reach store shelves and online retail outlets in Europe with a competitive MSRP of 209 Euros.

The Dark Cube is a masterpiece of the revolutionary ITX case from Antec. This untraditional case provides powerful support for the latest gaming gear. Despite the small size, the Dark Cube still supports motherboards up to M-ATX. The Dark Cube supports high-end hardware and provides dual front panel options: Users can choose either the tempered glass panel or mesh front panel - whether the emphasis is on maximum airflow performance or on showcasing the gaming components.
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