Tech Hardware and Semiconductor

Weekly Top Ten Tech Hardware and Semiconductor – Jun 9, 2024

This weekly newsletter pulls together summaries of the top ten most-read Insights across Tech Hardware and Semiconductor on Smartkarma.

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1. Lasertec. Colossal Fraud Or Multi-Award Winning Mask Inspection Supplier?

By William Keating, Ingenuity

  • Activist short seller Scorpion alleges Lasertec is a “colossal fraud” and “ticking time bomb”
  • Most of their allegations relate to problems with Lasertec’s EUV mask inspection tools
  • Lasertec achieved Intel’s distinguished supplier ward for the past six years and last December landed an award from TSMC for  “Distinguished EUV Mask Inspection and Metrology Collaboration”. What gives?

2. TSMC (2330.TT; TSM.US): ASML’s High-NA EUV Machine Will Not Be Required Until 2027 at TSMC.

By Patrick Liao

  • Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) – ADR (TSM US) is planning to launch its 2nm in 2025.   
  • TSMC is expected to acquire one High-NA EUV machine this year for R&D purposes, but it will not be used for commercial production.
  • TSMC is expected to increase the cost of its Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) package by around 15% in 2H24.

3. The Internet as You Know It Is Dying

By Douglas O’Laughlin, Fabricated Knowledge

  • If you pay attention, the Internet has been a bit different lately. Many of the attributes and ways we once interacted with the internet is changing.

  • I probably noticed it the most when one of my favorite websites, showed me this image the other day.

  • Reddit’s free API is closing. But so is X (formerly Twitter), and other properties all around the internet are slowly adding limits and closing their doors.

4. Vanguard (5347.TT): Setup 12″ Fab in Singapore With 60% Stake, with NXP Investing Remaining 40%.

By Patrick Liao

  • Vanguard announce the establishment of a 12” Fab in Singapore with 60% stake, with Nxp Semiconductors Nv (NXPI US) will invest remaining 40%.  
  • The nodes produced will span from 40nm to 130nm, encompassing mixed-signal, PMIC, and analog ICs to support automotive, industrial, consumer, and mobile applications.  
  • Vanguard will uphold a healthy cash balance, along with large debt and a follow-up cash offering.

5. Marvell Earnings

By Douglas O’Laughlin, Fabricated Knowledge

  • Marvell had a pretty solid result and guided to sequentially better revenue.

  • The market didn’t like this, but I thought, looking through the result, I liked this result quite a bit. Shares did not.

  • Marvell Technology reports Q1 EPS $0.24 ex-items vs FactSet $0.24.

6. Intel’s Latest SCIP With Apollo. Yikes!

By William Keating, Ingenuity

  • Apollo-Managed funds and affiliates will lead an investment of $11 billion to acquire from Intel a 49% equity interest in a joint venture entity related to Intel’s Fab 34
  • This deal follows a similar mid-2022 deal with Brookfield to co-invest in two new leading edge fabs in Arizona at a cost of up to $30 billion
  • Why make the deal with Fab 34 in Ireland instead of the Ohio fab under construction?

7. Silicon Box Or Silicon Black Box?

By William Keating, Ingenuity

  • Silicon Box January series B funding round in January 2024 pushed the advanced packaging startup into Unicorn status with a >$1 billion valuation
  • In addition to their Singapore based 70,000 sq metre facility, they announced a second, $3.6 billion investment in Italy in March 2024
  • Despite their unicorn status and being in business for nigh on three years, we still have no specifics on the precise nature of the advanced packaging technology they are offering

8. Rohm (6963 JP): Negative Scenario Discounted

By Scott Foster, LightStream Research

  • Japanese semiconductor equipment stocks have started to drop back, but device maker Rohm is already down 25% year-to-date and down 43% from its 52-week high. 
  • Rohm’s operating profit fell 53% last fiscal year and management is guiding for a 68% decline in in FY Mar-25. Investment in power devices remains strong despite weak sales.
  • 1H guidance is for an 80% year-on-year decline in operating profit on a 6% decline in sales. Buy into this weakness. Recovery should start in 2H.