Chunghwa Precision Test Technology Co (CHPT, 中華精測), the nation’s biggest probe card supplier, yesterday said it had landed a major order to supply advanced probe cards for commercial satellite development, expanding its business scope to the aerospace industry amid rumors that SpaceX is involved.
Probe cards are interfaces between systems and chip wafers typically used to test for faulty circuits and other errors before the wafers are cut into chips.
CHPT in June inked a long-term contract with a customer, company president Scott Huang (黃水可) told reporters yesterday.
The Taoyuan-based company is to supply print circuit boards (PCB), which are used in wafer probe cards, to the client.
Huang declined to confirm whether the client is Elon Musk’s SpaceX, as the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday based on photographic evidence.
SpaceX, which designs and launches rockets and spacecraft, carried the National Space Organization’s Formosa-5 satellite into orbit from California last month.
A new factory worth NT$1.61 billion (US$53.6 million) is under construction for the manufacturing of the new-generation probe cards, the company said.
“We plan to start small-volume production in 2019 after passing customer’s qualification in 2018. The plant will then enter mass production in 2020,” Huang said.
CHPT is seeking to reduce operational risks by diversifying to the aerospace industry, Huang said, adding that it concentrates on supplying probe cards to semiconductor companies, he said.
The company has assembled a team of between 40 and 50 people to develop products for use in satellite development.
CHPT counts Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and Intel Corp as two of its major clients.
TSMC supplies A11 chips for Apple Inc’s latest iPhones series, as well as Huawei Technologies Co’s (華為) first chip with AI features, dubbed Kirin 970, for its latest flagship phone.
Huang yesterday gave an upbeat outlook for the company’s revenue in the second half.
“Revenue could hit a record high again in September or October,” Huang said. “The uptrend should be very similar with that of last year.”
The company’s revenue reached an all-time high of NT$18.37 billion last month.
This year, probe cards for 10-nanometer technology are the main driver of growth, Huang said.
Next year, probe cards for 7-nanometer technology should fuel growth and could grow to account for more than 10 percent of CHPT’s overall revenue, Huang said.
Shares in CHPT sank 1.48 percent to NT$1,330 in Taipei trading yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX, which lost 0.73 percent.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s