Taiwan-based Ralec, a division of Chilisin, stops taking new resistor orders according to DigiTimes. At the same time Leatec Fine Ceramics, a dedicated maker of aluminum and ceramic substrates needed for manufacturing chip resistors, is mulling raising its quotes in the wake of a recent 15% price hike enforced by its Chinese peer Chaozhou Three-Circle Group, according to industry sources.
Taiwan-based resistor maker Ralec, a subsidiary of Chilisin Electronics, has stopped its distributors in the Greater China region from accepting new thick-film chip resistor orders because of overwhelming demand.
Leatec now maintains a monthly production capacity of 15-17 million units at its plant in Kunshan, China, compared to around 80 million units by Three-Circle. Both firms now join Japan’s Maruwa and ECT as the world’s main suppliers of aluminum and ceramic substrates required for chip resistors production, the sources said.
Leatec already raised its quotes by 8-10% after the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, but current quotes are still 10% lower than peak levels in 2018, when chip resistors and other passive components saw worst supply shortages at its clients including Yageo, Walsin Technology, Ta-Yi Technology, Ralec and Uniroyal Electronics, the sources continued.
Leatec said its capacity utilization has ramped up to 100% in first-quarter 2021 from 90% in second-quarter 2020, and will not rule out raising quotes after the Lunar New Year holiday at the earliest if strong demand persists.
Leatec plans to expand its capacity by 20-25% in 2022 to gain more from the upcoming demand for 5G, AI, and EV applications.
The company already kicked off in fourth-quarter 2020 small-volume production of ZTA (zirconia toughened alumina) substrates, which feature high heat and shock resistance and can serve as insulating materials for auto-use IGBT modules. It expects to ramp up shipments of ZTA substrates as a new growth driver for its 2021 revenues.