USI steps up deployment in automotive, industrial, and AR fields

Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), a subsidiary of Taiwan’s ASE Technology Holding, has stepped up its deployment in the automotive, industrial, and AR device fields.

This year, USI began mass production of automotive-use insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) and silicon carbide (SiC) power modules.

USI has been expanding its layout in recent years, acquiring French company Asteelflash, Europe’s second-largest EMS, in 2020. This year, it will participate in Electronica 2022 held in Munich, Germany. USI’s newly established NK2 factory in Nantou, Taiwan is also expected to start operations in fourth-quarter 2022 and will focus on industrial handheld devices, multifunctional notebook docking stations, and wireless network communications products. The factory is expected to create 500 jobs at the Nangang Industrial Park.

USI is an important member of Apple’s system-in-package (SiP) supply chain, according to sources. Outside of its main customers, USI’s SiP module business is expected to see more than 50% growth with the possibility of exceeding US$400 million in revenue. Good initial response to the iPhone 14 Pro series and Apple Watch Ultra is expected to keep second-half SiP orders and utilization rates in line with traditional peak season levels, the sources said.

ASE and USI continue to invest in emerging technologies, such as gallium nitride (GaN) and Wi-Fi 6/7, despite slowing global consumer electronics demand. USI is also focusing on the automotive, industrial control, and power semiconductor fields.

USI noted that automotive power systems are an important development direction for its automotive electronics. In 2022, USI’s automotive power system related business is expected to account for 20% of its total automotive business and up to 50% in 2024-2025. USI’s main customers include Tier-1 automakers and automotive Tier-1 suppliers. USI’s goal is for its automotive electronics business to reach US$1 billion in 2024. The sources pointed out that USI is already engaged in the automotive power module market.

ASE and USI also have plans to engage in the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) sectors. USI already shipped a small number of Wi-Fi/BT wireless communications and SiP modules for AR applications this year. Because AR devices require high-speed, low latency, big data transmission, and a large number of sensors, SiP is expected to be an important technology in this area.

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