Fingerprint sensor maker Egis Technology Inc (神盾) expects wafer capacity constraints to alleviate next year as a majority of its optical sensors would move to 12-inch fabs, a company executive said yesterday.
Egis said that it has faced a shortage of 8-inch wafers since last quarter, causing a decline in the company’s revenue in the past few months.
Supply constraints have worsened, becoming “a headache” for the company this quarter, Egis chief financial officer George Chang (張家麒) told a news conference via videoconference.
Egis has been working with its wafer suppliers over the past two years to shift production from 8-inch to 12-inch fabs as wafer supply was expected to tighten due to limited capacity and rising demand, Chang said.
“If everything goes smoothly, most of our mainstream optical products will be produced at 12-inch fabs, using 65-nanometer technology at the beginning of next year,” Chang said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and Samsung Electronics Co are its major wafer suppliers, Egis said, adding that it is seeking alternatives.
Revenue fell 10.1 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year to NT$5.57 billion (US$193.28 million), compared with NT$6.2 billion last year, a company statement earlier this month showed.
At the time, Egis said that wafer supply tightness would likely remain a production bottleneck in the near term.
Egis expects a rebound in demand, as Samsung, its biggest customer, is to launch new smartphones at the end of this year or early next year, boosting shipments, Chang said.
Huawei Technologies Co’s (華為) sale of its budget smartphone sub-brand Honor Terminal Co (榮耀) to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co (深圳市智信新信息技術) might be a “turning point” for Egis’ business, the company said.
“The US-China trade issue has had a negative impact on Egis, particularly the US sanctions on Huawei,” Chang said.
Huawei was the second-biggest revenue contributor to Egis before the export restrictions took effect on Sept. 15, Chang said.
Egis’ products were used in some high-end Huawei and Honor phones, he said.
Egis’ net profit plunged about 23 percent to NT$223.69 million last quarter, compared with NT$289.57 million in the same period last year.
Earnings per share dropped to NT$3.2 from NT$4.2.
Gross margin fell to 43 percent last quarter from 44 percent a year earlier.
In the first three quarters, net profit contracted about 4.77 percent year-over-year to NT$628.16 million from NT$659.61 million, or a fall in earnings per share to NT$9.08 from NT$9.65.
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