Samsung Electronics is planning to expand the production of CMOS image sensors (CIS) by 20% this year, TheElec has learned.
Last year, Samsung put in 100,000 wafers per month for the production of CIS. In 2021, the company plans to expand this to between 120,000 to 130,000 wafers per month.
The South Korean tech firm is considering converting one of its DRAM fabs __ 11 line and 13 line at Hwaseong __ to make CIS.
The move is expected to benefit the company’s suppliers such as Tesna, Nepes Ark, LB Semicon and Plus Chip.
These suppliers have already been expanding their production capacity in anticipation of Samsung’s own expanded CIS production.
Chip testing firm Tesna begin operation of its new Ansung factory in October last year to handle Samsung’s orders. Tesna spend 220 billion won in equipment and buildings to construct the new factory. Equipment installation is expected to wrap up in March.
The company is expected fourth quarter sales of 39.8 billion won, a rise of 32% from the previous quarter, thanks to new orders. It is expecting sales between 70 billion won to 80 billion won in 2021.
LB Semicon and Nepes Ark are also testing Samsung’s CIS. Nepes Ark is planning to spend 14 billion won up to June to build new facilities, which will go live around the end of the first quarter to handle the CIS orders. New orders from Samsung is expected to boost Nepes Ark’s 2020 sales to 70.5 billion won, a rise of 28.8% from 2019.
LB Semicon was chosen as a tier-2 vendor by Samsung for the first time last year. The company invested 58.1 billion won to finish testing facilities for CIS and system-on-a-chip (SoC) at Ansung by May this year. It will begin testing Samsung’s CIS in March.
It has relied on testing orders for display driver IC from Silicon Works and Magnachip so far but it will be able to secure new sales from Samsung’s orders.
DB Financial Investment expects LB Semicon to post 518 billion won in sales this year, a rise of 17% from 2020. CIS is expected to contribute 20 billion won in sales.
CIS design firm Plus Chip is also expected to post higher sales this year. The company was acquired by Alpha Holdings back in September 2019. Plus Chip recently hired 35 additional designers from the jump in orders.