Source: DigiTimes news
Tight supply of notebook-use MLCCs has eased a little as Intel’s CPU shortages have caused disruption to notebook shipments since the second half of 2018 while undermining demand for MLCCs from notebook makers as a result, according to industry sources.
Intel’s CPU supply shortfalls are not likely to ease until the first half of 2019 at the earliest, and notebooks’ shipment momentum is not expected to pick up in the short term, thus causing MLCC demand from ODMs to fall, the sources said.
The sources also indicated that notebook ODMs have gradually adopted 0402 and 0201 MLCCs, instead of larger-size 0805 and 0603 ones that are in tighter supply with their price differences narrowing compared to smaller ones.
It is expected that notebook MLCC supply shortfalls will improve further after Nvidia releases new GPU platform for notebooks in the first quarter of 2019. The chipmaker is reportedly to launch at CES 2019 its GeForce RTX 20 series graphics cards for notebooks adopting smaller MLCCs.
Besides delivering direct shipments to ODMs, MLCC makers also rely on distribution agents to digest part of their supplies. Distributors who had aggressively built up their large-size MLCC inventories amid tight supply in the second quarter of 2018 are now forced to dump them due to lower market demand, supply capacity expansions by Japan and Korea makers, and ODMs changing notebook designs to carry smaller MLCCs. As a result their profit margins are on the fall, industry sources said.