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Taiwan's Passive Component Makers Conservative About Supply and Demand for Q4

After all the reports of component shortages over the past few months, it now seems that the power related problems in China are having an effect on demand of passive components, such as MLCCs (Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor), various types of resistors and inductors among others. As such, manufacturers of said components in Taiwan are cautious about demand for the rest of this quarter, with even big players like Yageo - they're the third largest manufacturer in the world of passive components - being conservative, if somewhat positive about shipments this quarter, according to Digitimes.

As many of the Taiwanese makers of passive components have factories in China, the power cuts in several provinces are adversely affecting these companies. In the case of Yageo, they claim to be able to maintain their production at its largest facility in China, due to it not being located in one of the so far not affected provinces. Some of its competitors aren't as lucky and have already seen losses in production and aren't expecting things to improve. Besides the power outages, there are still issues with the logistics and shipping, which is further causing problems.

The Surge in Gaming PC and Monitors Expected to Remain Strong Through 2025, According to IDC

According to the latest forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Gaming Tracker, worldwide shipments of gaming PCs and monitors continue to grow at rates faster than their parent markets. For gaming PCs, which includes both desktop and notebook PCs, unit shipments are expected to grow from 41.3 million in 2020 and to 52.3 million in 2025. Similarly, the gaming monitor market is expected to jump from 14.2 million units shipped to 26.4 million during the same time frame. This equates to the two product categories having five-year compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 4.8% and 13.2% respectively.

The solid growth projection is based on strong recent trends. Despite high logistics costs as well as shortages of components affecting both PCs and displays, shipments in 2021 have remained brisk. The second quarter of 2021 (2Q21) ended with combined shipments of 15.6 million gaming monitors and PCs, an increase of 19.3% compared to the same quarter in 2020.

Rare Earth Metal Prices Are Skyrocketing, Electronics Prices Expected To Follow

If it wasn't bad enough that we're in the middle of a pandemic, which has resulted in major shipping issues globally and a semiconductor shortage, it now looks like electronics are likely to get even more expensive due to skyrocketing prices of many rare earth metals.
Nikkei is reporting that many often overlooked materials, such as neodymium and the lesser known praseodymium, have increased by almost 74 percent since the same time last year and that's only one of several key materials that have increased in price by 50 percent or more in a year.

It's no secret that lithium has increased in price and it now costs about 150 percent of what it was costing last year. However, many other, less obvious materials have also increased in price, with copper up over 37 percent and tin up almost 82 percent in a year. To TPU's readers this mainly means that you can expect higher costs for PCBs and all the components that are soldered onto them, as tin is used to solder just about every component in place.

DRAM Module Revenue Undergoes 5% YoY Growth for 2020, with Varying Performances Among Suppliers, Says TrendForce

Annual shipment of notebook computers and desktop PCs underwent a massive increase in 2020 thanks to the proliferation of the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In particular, notebook shipment increased by a staggering 26% YoY, thereby generating a corresponding demand for DRAM chips. Although the movement of DRAM prices remained stable in 2020, there was a palpable growth in actual DRAM bit demand. Hence, global DRAM module revenue increased by about 5% YoY to US$16.9 billion for 2020.

Looking back at the price trend of DRAM modules for 2020, TrendForce indicates that the market adopted a relative conservative outlook going forward in view of the ongoing pandemic. In turn, various end-products differed wildly in their respective market performances as well. For instance, while demand for notebooks remained strong, smartphone demand was relatively bearish. Server shipment, on the other hand, was at the same time consistent yet indicative of uncertainties, to some degree. In light of the varying performances in the end-markets, PC DRAM prices did not undergo drastic fluctuations throughout the year, and DRAM module suppliers posted earnings performances that were a direct result of their sales strategies, with certain suppliers, including Kimtigo and ADATA, able to raise their revenues by a massive margin.

GPU Market Pricing Back in Uptrend, Shattering Expectations of Price Normalization

According to the latest market pricing analysis conducted by 3DCenter, the falling GPU prices we reported two months ago are now in the midst of a reversal. The latest figures show an increase in average pricing for both AMD's RX 6000 series and NVIDIA's RTX 30-series graphics cards. The hike has been most felt on the NVIDIA camp, with average pricing increasing around 9%, while AMD graphics cards saw an increase of 6%. This places the latest pricing average for graphics cards from both companies at 59% above MSRP for NVIDIA, and 64% for AMD.

While the increase is still a far-cry from the ridiculous markups felt during the month of May (where NVIDIA graphics cards were being sold at an average 304% of their MSRP value and AMD's where going for around 202% of their MSRP), this trend reversal is a clear indicator of a continued inability to cater to the pent-up demand that's still being trickle-filled since the original release of these GPU families. And this happens despite numerous positive signals happening within the last few months, such as the crypto crackdown in China, which saw hundreds upon hundred of mining-bound graphics cards being resold towards the secondary market. Also of note for an eventual positive price action was the recent reduction in Ethereum profits for miners due to the implementation of Ethereum's EIP-1559 proposal - which has already seen 136,619 ETH being burned as a part of transactions run on the network - the equivalent of $433,768,155 at current ETH pricing. And with news that shipments of NVIDIA's RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti graphics cards will be halved throughout September, paired with a TSMC price hike for newly minted wafers, it seems that an upwards pressure on GPU pricing is inescapable.

NAND Flash Revenue for 2Q21 Rises by 10.8% QoQ Due to Strong Notebook Demand and Procurements for Data Centers, Says TrendForce

NAND Flash suppliers' Clients in the data center segment were gradually stepping up enterprise SSD procurement after finishing inventory adjustments, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Moreover, the adoption rate of 4/8 TB products in the enterprise SSD market increased substantially on account of the releases and adoption of the new server processor platforms from Intel and AMD. Although the recent wave of COVID-19 outbreaks that struck Southeast Asia weakened smartphone sales in 2Q21, the quarterly total NAND Flash bit shipments rose by nearly 9% QoQ, as PC OEMs still had plenty of component orders in 2Q21 due to the fairly robust notebook demand during the period. On the other hand, the shortage of controller ICs became more severe during the period, and the winter storm that battered Texas this February affected the operation of Samsung's foundry fab Line S2 in Austin. As demand for NAND Flash products rose, the overall ASP also rose by nearly 7% QoQ, and the quarterly total NAND Flash revenue rose by 10.8% QoQ to US$16.4 billion in 2Q21.

Worldwide Shipments of PCs and Tablets Will Maintain Growth Through 2021 But Future Opportunity Leans Towards Notebook PCs, According to IDC

According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, worldwide shipments of PCs are expected to grow 14.2% to 347 million units in 2021. This is down from IDC's May forecast of 18% growth with continued supply chain and logistical challenges cited as the main reasons. The Tablet market is also expected to grow in 2021 but at a much slower pace of 3.4%.

"We continue to believe the PC and tablet markets are supply constrained and that demand is still there," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "The lengthening of the supply shortages combined with on-going logistical issues are presenting the industry with some big challenges. However, we believe the vast majority of PC demand is non-perishable, especially from the business and education sectors."

NVIDIA Announces Financial Results for Second Quarter Fiscal 2022

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) today reported record revenue for the second quarter ended August 1, 2021, of $6.51 billion, up 68 percent from a year earlier and up 15 percent from the previous quarter, with record revenue from the company's Gaming, Data Center and Professional Visualization platforms. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $0.94, up 276 percent from a year ago and up 24 percent from the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.04, up 89 percent from a year ago and up 14 percent from the previous quarter.

"NVIDIA's pioneering work in accelerated computing continues to advance graphics, scientific computing and AI," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "Enabled by the NVIDIA platform, developers are creating the most impactful technologies of our time - from natural language understanding and recommender systems, to autonomous vehicles and logistic centers, to digital biology and climate science, to metaverse worlds that obey the laws of physics.

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.

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.

PC Demand Remained Strong in the Second Quarter Amid Early Signs That Market Conditions May Be Cooling, According to IDC

The surge in PC demand continued through the second quarter of 2021 (2Q21) despite global component shortages and logistics issues. Worldwide shipments of Traditional PCs, inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations, reached 83.6 million units in 2Q21, up 13.2% from the second quarter of 2020, according to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. Elevated demand for PCs combined with shortages that greatly impacted the supply of notebooks led to desktop growth outpacing that of notebooks during the quarter.

"The PC market's hot streak continued to drive heavy investments from the supply side including the entry of new vendors as well as additional spend from underdogs," said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC's Mobile and Consumer Device Trackers. "And while the top 5 continue to drive volume, the smaller vendors have helped drive growth by offering unique features or niche designs."

Ethereum to Transition to Proof of Stake in Coming Months, Reducing Energy Consumption by 99.95%

The deployment of PoS (Proof of Stake) in Ethereum - called The Merge - has been a target for the development teams for a while now - and yet it still hasn't see the light of day. However, we have been slowly clambering towards it, and the Ethereum team has issued a blog post that places that transition "in the coming months", which likely means a hard PoS fork closer to years' end. Of course, the timeline still gives miners some time make up for hardware investment costs, but perhaps some of them (the smallest ones at least) will start offloading their graphics cards soon so as to enjoy the higher, current second-hand pricing for the latest and greatest GPUs.

The implementation of PoS in Ethereum is expected to reduce power consumption by a ridiculous 95.95% - from a country-sized 44.49 TWh with the current PoW (Proof of Work) technology down to a comparably measly 2.62 megawatt estimate. The Merge should therefore aid Ethereum in not only becoming greener, but also increasing network security, reducing likelihood of 51% attacks, and allowing for further operational scaling of the network. The more skeptical of you will say that miners will just choose another profitable coin to mine, but we have to consider Ethereum's market cap and current valuation - there is currently no other coin that seems to be able to absorb the hashing power currently devoted to Ethereum without crashing its profitability for any and everyone involved. We might be looking at a relatively healthy second-hand graphics card market by the end of the year. Wouldn't that be nice?

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.

Fancy Your Hardware? TV Pricing Sees 30% Increase, Could Escalate Further

We've all been beating dead consumer horses for a while now in most product areas that require semiconductors to operate - and that applies to almost anything, really. Whether CPU shortages from the AMD camp, GPU shortages from both AMD and NVIDIA, increasing prices of storage due to a new cryptocurrency boom, scalpers left and right on the most recent PC and console hardware, shortages on semiconductors for car manufacturers and technological companies like Bosch... It's a wild ride in the semiconductor world right now. And if you were looking at upgrading your media-consumption living room with a fancy new TV, you will also have to cope with increased pricing now, and perhaps further price climbs and shortages in the future.


Market research company NPD has said as much in its most recent market analysis; they've concluded that Smart TV prices have already increased 30% comparatively to the first months of 2020. The price increases are expected to hit anything with a screen - whether smartphones, TVs, laptops, or any other product that has to take up a portion of the world's panel output. This is the market correcting itself when it comes to the supply/demand equation - increased demand post-COVID-19 and global supply chain issues have set up a series of network effects that have led manufacturers to increase product pricing according to demand, passing on additional supply costs on to the customer, and simultaneously attaching the highest possible profits on the existing (and insufficient) supply. It's highly unlikely that this semiconductor supply shortage will see a turnaround throughout 2021.

GIGABYTE Gives Public Apology for "Made in China" Mocking After Company Shares Plummet by $550 Million

On Monday, GIGABYTE, a Taiwanese PC manufacturer, has published a blog post that made fun of other component manufacturers for having their products made in China, the "low-cost, low-quality way". According to Bloomberg, who was the first to spot the blog post, which is now removed. According to the report, such a statement had a massive toll on the shares of the Taiwanese company. E-commerce operators in China, like JD.com Inc. and Suning.com Co., have removed GIGABYTE products from their offerings and searching GIGABYTE or "Jijia" (Chinese company name) returned zero results from these websites. This has single-handedly caused the shares of the company to plummet by 10%, wiping away around $550 million worth of market cap.

The original blog post has since been removed, and GIGABYTE has issued a public apology, which you can see here. The translation of the text says that "A few days ago, part of the text content published on our official website is seriously inconsistent with the fact. It is caused by poor internal management of the company. We sincerely apologize for the discomfort caused to you." The company has also noted that it is very proud of "Made in China" products. On a more personal note, it is interesting to see such a strict market response coming from a blog post, and even more interesting to witness this exclusion from the Chinese e-commerce companies.

Monitor Shipment for 2021 Expected to Reach 150 Million Units, Says TrendForce

Owing to high demand generated by the proliferation of WFH and distance education, monitor shipment for 2020 reached 140 million units, an 8.6% growth YoY, which represents the highest growth in about 10 years, according TrendForce's latest investigations. With demand persisting through 1H21, monitor shipment for 1Q21 underwent a staggering YoY increase of 34.1%, and this figure is projected to exceed 10% for 2Q21. Total monitor shipment for 2021 will likely reach 150 million units, a 7.3% growth YoY. Gaming monitors, which have been gaining attention in the monitor market, are expected to make up 17.3% of this total and reach 25.9 million units in shipment in 2021. In addition to being one of the most in-demand applications in the stay-at-home economy, this product category has long been a resource-intensive focus of monitor brands and panel suppliers alike.

Growth in Total Smartphone Production for 2021 Drops to 8.5% YoY Due to India's Second Wave of Coronavirus, Says TrendForce

TrendForce's investigations find that India has become the second largest market for smartphones since 2019. However, the recent worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has severely impaired India's domestic economy and subsequently dampened various smartphone brands' production volume and sales (sell-in) performances there. TrendForce is therefore revising the forecasted YoY growth in global smartphone production for 2021 from 9.4% down to 8.5%, with a yearly production volume of 1.36 billion units and potential for further decreases going forward.

TrendForce further indicates that the top five smartphone brands (Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo) have either set up assembly plants in India or sought assistance from EMS providers with operations in the country. Hence, the share of made-in-India smartphones has been on the rise over the years, even though the majority of the domestically manufactured devices are still for meeting the demand of the home market. Judging from the current state of Indian smartphone manufacturing, TrendForce expects the second wave to reduce the country's smartphone production volume for 2Q21 and 3Q21 by a total of 12 million units, in turn resulting in a 7.5% YoY decrease in smartphone production in India for the whole year.

DRAM Prices Projected to Rise by 18-23% QoQ in 2Q21 Owing to Peak Season Demand, Says TrendForce

TrendForce's investigations find that DRAM suppliers and major PC OEMs are currently participating in the critical period of negotiating with each other over contract prices for 2Q21. Although these negotiations have yet to be finalized, the ASP of mainstream DDR4 1G*8 2666 Mbps modules has already increased by nearly 25% QoQ as of now, according to data on ongoing transactions. This represents a higher price hike than TrendForce's prior forecast of "nearly 20%". On the other hand, prices are likewise rising across various DRAM product categories in 2Q21, including DDR3/4 specialty DRAM, mobile DRAM, graphics DRAM, and in particular server DRAM, which is highly related to PC DRAM and is therefore also undergoing a higher price hike than previously expected. TrendForce is therefore revising up its forecast of overall DRAM price hike for 2Q21 from 13-18% QoQ to 18-23% QoQ instead. However, the actual increase in prices of various DRAM product categories will depend on the production capacities allocated to the respective products by DRAM suppliers.

Netac Kickstarts Research and Development Process for 10 GHz DDR5 Memory

Netac, a Chinese company based in Shenzen claiming to be the inventor of USB flash drive, has reportedly started the research and development process of DDR5 memory modules that will outperform everything on the market. Netac is rumored to have started the development of DDR5 memory that will have a frequency of over 10,000 MHz. While the JEDEC specification notes that the DDR5 frequency range is between 4800-8400 MHz, manufacturers are always welcome to go over the official specifications. Being that Netac is a relatively new player in the PC memory space, we are wondering how the company plans to execute its plans.

A 10 GHz DDR5 memory would require a very high voltage to run, meaning high heat output. We know that DDR5 chips can run at 2.6 V, according to T-FORCE, who tested such a configuration earlier. The next potential problem would be a platform that could handle 10 GHz DDR5 memory, however, by the time we get this memory in our hands, platforms will mature enough to handle high-speed RAM. The first batch of new DDR5 memory that was sent to Netac was Micron's Z9ZSB modules, which are 2Gx8, CL40 memory modules. They are manufactured in the 1znm memory manufacturing node Micron uses. It is left to be seen what we end up with and if Netac delivers on its promise.

Realtek Also Experiences Chip Shortage, Could Reflect Badly on PC Market

The global chip shortage is currently getting worse each day, starting from the tight supply of graphics cards and processors for consumers, spanning to even your internet router. Every piece of electronics now seems to be getting more expensive, as the semiconductor processors found inside them are very hard to source. The cause of that is huge demand coming from consumers, who require the latest generation of processors manufactured in overbooked semiconductor facilities like the ones from TSMC, UMC, Intel, Samsung, SMIC, etc. If manufacturers can't supply enough chips to satisfy the demand for companies that incorporate these chips in products' needs, the issue appears.

This time, we have another big player in need of more wafer capacity. Realtek, the maker of various ICs for multimedia and peripherals, is reportedly experiencing a chip shortage as well. According to the report coming from DigiTimes, the Taiwanese Realtek is fighting to keep up with the demand. The report raises concerns from laptop manufacturers like Dell, HP, and others who use Realtek's chips for various purposes in devices, like audio and LAN chips. Reportedly used in 70% of global laptop designs, Realtek's audio and LAN solutions are very much in demand. If the company cannot supply enough of those chips, manufacturers would be unable to ship products. According to the report, the delivery time of Realtek's chips has been extended to 32 weeks, which could cause massive delays with product shipments and cause some harm to the supply chain. It remains to be seen how the market responds to the extended delivery time, so we will watch it with caution.

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."

NVIDIA Wins $1 Billion Lawsuit by a Class of Investors

Last year, we found out that a group of investors has accused NVIDIA that the company has misled its investors by reporting crypto revenue as gaming revenue numbers and making its gaming revenue seem much bigger than it is. The original lawsuit was filed in 2017 and it demanded that NVIDIA should pay one billion US Dollars to investors shall they be proven right. In 2017, cryptocurrency mining was at the same craze it is today, with people buying every possible card that exists and consumers having a hard time upgrading their PCs. Investors in NVIDIA corporation have believed that in 2017, the company has presented its cryptocurrency earning figures as a part of the gaming figures, thus giving misleading information about the company's success in the gaming market.

Today, we have information that NVIDIA has won this lawsuit. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam has dismissed the case and ruled that investors were unable to provide any significant evidence that the company has used such practices and misled investors. By taking this case off the company, NVIDIA will not be paying one billion USD to the accusing investors and the company continues operations as normal.

GPU Shipments Soar Once More in Q4: Jon Peddie Research

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Jon Peddie Research, the growth of PC-based Graphics Processor Units (GPU) shipments of all types worldwide reached 20.5 percent in Q4 2020 and 12.4 percent year over year. Overall, the installed base of GPUs will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.7 percent during 2020-2025 to reach a total of 419 million units at the end of the forecast period. Over the next five years, the penetration of discrete GPUs (dGPU) in the PC will grow to reach a level of 21 percent.

As part of its ongoing research on the PC graphics market, Jon Peddie Research (JPR) has released its Market Watch report for the fourth quarter of 2020. Before 2020, the PC market was showing signs of improvement and settling into a new normal. The pandemic has distorted all models and predictions, as has the gold-rush in Ethereum. JPR's Market Watch report confirms that trend for the fourth quarter of 2020, but with cautious guidance for next year.

TSMC Reportedly Auctioned off "Excess Capacity" at a 15-20% Price Premium

We've all been reading multiple stories covering the current overly high demand compared to manufacturing capability for semiconductors. Some of us have actually felt this lack in supply not only in our pockets (for those who purchased above-MSRP graphics cards, CPUs or consoles). And apparently, TSMC has just made quite a deal more money out of this "extraordinary demand" than it usually does, as it's being reported the company has auctioned off "excess capacity" to an unknown third-party for 15-20% higher prices than they usually practice.

Now before we start lynching TSMC here, that can mean many things. There is a backlog of orders still to be filled for most manufacturers, that much the reports doing the rounds claim; however, the nature of semiconductor manufacturing occurs throughout many different nodes and technologies. It's more than likely that this doesn't mean that TSMC saved some wafers that could have been used for AMD's RX, Zen, or custom APUs for next-gen consoles on the side and decided to give them to another buyer. This likely means that TSMC had one or more nodes or manufacturing technologies that hadn't been pre-booked yet, and that some players might've looked at that as a solution to their semiconductor woes. And TSMC, having more than one interested party, auctioned the excess capacity. The rumor places the most likely candidates for the purchase as car manufacturers, who have also been hard by the lack of semiconductors in the market, and that's one business where it may make sense to order manufacturing on nodes other than the most cutting-edge; cars just don't need the latest, most powerful and greatest chips to run their software. But all in all, the result is this: a good day for TSMC.

Shipped Pre-built PC Systems See 13% Rise in Sales in 2020 Compared to 2019

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed PC shipping growth numbers for 2020 - counting desktops, notebooks (including Chromebooks) and workstations (but excluding laptops and servers), and the results are clear. In a currently-pandemic world, and with the urge and necessity for teleworking efforts so as to reduce personal exposure to risk environments, we've seen an unprecedented demand for technological components. Whether in shortages for the latest "comfort" technologies such as dedicated graphics cards, latest-gen consoles, or even webcams, it's been clear that citizens of the world have been increasingly investing their money in technological devices. This need - either for work, for bridging social distances through the Internet, or for entertainment - has led the pre-built PC ecosystem shipments to increase as much as 13% in 2020 - and a global shipment number set at 302.6 million units.

This year-over-year (YoY) increase is bolstered, mainly, by rises in sales throughout Q4 of 2020, where global PC shipments achieved an outstanding 26% increase from Q4 2019 - in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, 91.6 million units were shipped. In that particular quarter, Lenovo led the top three vendors with a 25.2% share of the sales, followed by HP (20.9%) and Dell (17.2%). Apple appears in fourth place with a mere 8% market share, but shows the strongest growth among the top 5 sellers, at 49.2% YoY - and that's with Apple's comparatively small product portfolio when put against any of the other top three vendors.
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