GEORGE TOWN: Globetronics Technology Bhd is poised to introduce a new generation of light and gesture sensors for mass production this year, says group chief executive officer Heng Charng Yee.
She said the exercise was part of the group’s yearly revamp of new products targeted at its Europe-based customers.
“Manufacturers of new smartphones and wearable Internet-of-things devices will be using these state-of-the-art sensors,” Heng told StarBiz.
According to Allied Market Research, the global smart sensor market, which is valued at US$37.12bil (RM166.1bil) in 2019, will reach US$91.37bil (RM408.9bil) by 2027, registering a 14.3% compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2027.
Heng said: “Together with our extensive efforts to engage new customers and secure new businesses, we expect to see continued expansion of our portfolio into new applications for automotive, networking verticals, augmented virtual reality, wearable devices and light-emitting diodes.
“With borders reopening globally, we believe the introduction of new products will play an important role in driving our future growth.”
Globetronics will also provide miniaturised optical assembly services such as micro-system in the package, chip scale package and microelectromechanical system (Mems) by late this year.
“We are discussing with potential original equipment and design manufacturing customers to build two prototype products using miniaturised optical and Mems technologies.
“In 2023, the focus is to develop structured business and capital investment plans to support the ongoing Advanced Packaging capabilities,” she added.
According to Heng, the global electronics demand will slow down.
“This is as companies that had invested heavily over the past two years catering to the intense demand phase will have a cool down effect as the supply side has pushed the supply-demand equation back to equilibrium,” she said.
Heng noted that the coordinated efforts of interest rates hike by central banks globally together with the tightening in the labour market is expected to cause a reduction in demand and consumption of goods, leading to more cautious forecasts and spending by corporates.
Therefore, Globetronics’ customers would also be adopting more insourcing strategies as companies strived to be self-sufficient and loading will remain low.
“We see limited upside for 2023 in this scenario.
“The challenges ahead include a full-year taxation impact of expired pioneer status in the sensors segment, rising minimum wages, and high utility costs.,” she said.
For 2023, Heng expects the group’s profitability to drop significantly due to a softer revenue based on customers’ forecasts.
“Therefore, we aim to bring in new revenue streams through diversification with smaller customers.
“We will simultaneously work with our existing customers to expand their product portfolio with us, and also accelerate some of the new product introduction processes, which would typically take nine to 12 months by shortening the transition time to generate revenue,” she said.
According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asia’s semiconductor market is in a prolonged downturn, driven by slowing demand for consumer electronics, which spiked during the pandemic.
The lockdowns in China had also hit the market and stalled semiconductor production, according to the bank’s report.
ADB also highlighted the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics had projected that semiconductor sales would decline by 4.1% in 2023, led by the memory segment.“However, the decline in the semiconductor market is expected to bottom out by mid-2023 and 2024 on the back of a consistent pattern as seen in the recent cycles that suggested the bottoming-out would happen between 22 months and 25 months after the previous peak,” the report said.
According to ADB, the slump in electronics exports hit primarily the high-end semiconductors segment, affecting Asia’s key technology exporters, namely South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
“Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have seen less of a decline in their electronics exports due to a mini rebound which synchronised with China’s border-reopening,” according to the report.