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IC substrate suppliers are moving to allocate part of their substrate-like PCBs (SLP) capacity to support production of ABF substrates that see robust demand, according to industry sources.
They said slow market penetration of SLP products has resulted in low capacity utilization at IC substrate makers, forcing some of them to stop SLP production and shift the vacated capacity to support production of ABF substrates increasingly needed to process high-performance computing (HPC) chips.
Japan's IC substrate maker Ibiden reportedly has gradually reduced SLP production since 2018, when its SLP product line significantly dragged down the firm's profitability, the sources said. Ibiden has increased its ABF substrate production ratio since the start of 2019, enabling its PCB and IC substrate business to return to profitability in the second quarter of the year.
Taiwan-based Kinsus Inteconnect Technology also has decided to temporarily withdraw from the SLP market and rev up its production deployment in ABF substrates, seeking to better cash in on brisk demand.