Elan bullish on collaboration with Intel

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jul 04, 2013 - Page 13

Elan Microelectronics Corp (義隆電子) yesterday said it had partnered with Intel Corp in two projects in a continued effort to make the company’s touchscreen controller chips work with the US chip giant’s processors for better touch solutions.

The Taiwanese company said it expected the collaboration on two projects to help boost its sales this quarter, a statement said.

The first project involves Elan’s first single-chip smart-touchscreen IC that is compatible with Intel’s Haswell platform and Windows 8 notebooks, the company said.

Another project involves a customer reference board for a 21.5-inch all-in-one PC, which has also received Windows 8 certification, the company said.

In the computer industry, a reference board is intended to provide a mechanism for easy customer evaluation of processors, while facilitating hardware and software development.

“We have already received orders for the IC [in the first project] from a leading US notebook company,” said Dennis Liu (劉代銘), a spokesman for Hsinchu-based Elan, without identifying the customer. “Both projects are expected to significantly contribute to Elan’s third-quarter revenue.”

Elan also reported record-high consolidated revenue for last month and last quarter, both of which were in line with analysts’ estimates.

Elan, whose touchscreen ICs are being integrated into Windows 8 notebooks and Ultrabooks released by the world’s top 10 brands, said sales last month reached NT$736.88 million (US$24.32 million).

That was an increase of 1.14 percent from May’s NT$728.61 million and 12.21 percent from NT$656.67 million in June last year, Elan said in a statement issued after the stock market closed.

In the April-to-June quarter, revenue totaled NT$2.16 billion, up 15.76 percent from NT$1.87 billion the previous quarter.

SinoPac Securities Investment Service Co (永豐投顧) analyst Martina Huang (黃瑞君) forecast that the company would report NT$750 million in sales last month and NT$2.17 billion for last quarter.

Last month’s sales breakdown showed that 62 percent of the revenue came from touch controller-related products — 31 percent from touchscreen ICs and 31 percent from touchpad modules — that are used in smartphones, tablets running the Android and Windows 8 operating systems, and Windows 8-powered notebooks and Ultrabooks.

With more notebooks and Ultrabooks receiving Windows 8 certification, Elan said its shipments of touch-screen driver ICs had reached more than 7 million units as of Sunday.

“Shipments are expected to further accelerate over the next few quarters as more models will start mass production,” Liu said, adding that includes orders from the US, Japan, Taiwanese tablet brands and whitebox clients in China.

In the first half of the year, Elan’s consolidated revenue grew 17.63 percent to NT$4.03 billion compared with NT$3.42 billion the previous year.

For this quarter, SinoPac forecast the company’s revenue would grow 10.4 percent sequentially to NT$2.4 billion and net profit would increase 15.8 percent to NT$528 million, or earnings per share of NT$1.23, with gross margin at 47.4 percent.