MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute), a government think tank and IT research institute in Taiwan, has foreseen a moderate impact of COVID-19 on the production of the global semiconductor industry. However, if COVID-19 lingers longer than expected, the industry will eventually be affected by the decrease in consumer market demand, says MIC. Due to strict logistics and government policies such as city lockdowns, MIC reckons COVID-19 is mostly likely to have its toll on some leading US and European semiconductor companies that operate under the IDM (Integrated Device Manufacturing) model and produce processors, sensing components, microelectromechanical components, radio frequency components, automotive electronics, and power semiconductor devices. On top of that, most of IDMs have their IC packaging and testing production bases in Southeast Asia. Therefore, if Southeast Asian governments take further restrictions for workers to return work in response to the continued spread of COVID-19 outbreak, the production of local packaging and testing factories will likely be affected, creating another shockwave to IDMs.
When it comes to overall semiconductor production, MIC indicates the impact will be relatively mild. Remote working does not affect much on the Chinese and Taiwanese fabless IC industry; the semiconductor manufacturing, which is mostly outsourced to TSMC, UMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries, may encounter the prolonged verification period and some delayed rollouts; the global foundry production and IC packaging and testing may face the reduced orders due to weakened demand in the consumer market. Nevertheless, memory IC prices are likely to decline due to demand slowdown, starting this April.