Any electronic product must use two components, so-called "active components" and "passive components". "Active components", as the name suggests, are components that can actively perform operations independently, while "passive components" play a passive protective role. When an electronic product changes current or voltage, the role of "passive components" is to protect "active components" by means of low voltage, filtering noise, etc. To put it simply, "passive components" with low unit prices are always ready to protect the safety of "active components" with high unit prices.
Any electronic product must use two components, so-called "active components" and "passive components". "Active components", as the name suggests, are components that can actively perform operations independently, while "passive components" play a passive protective role.
The Definition of Passive Components
What are passive components? Passive components refer to "components that provide relevant passive functions to cooperate with the operation of electronic active components".
If there are passive components, there will be active components. Active components are like IC chips, memories and diodes that we often hear; the difference between passive components and active components is that passive components do not generate electricity, but consume, store and and/or electronic components that release electricity. Common passive components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors are the most widely used and indispensable important components in electronic products, collectively referred to as the "three passive components". Next, we will introduce the function of passive components.
The Function of Passive Components
Resistor: the main adjustment current and voltage size.
Inductor: It mainly filters the noise in the current, prevents electromagnetic wave interference, and stabilizes the current.
Capacitor: It mainly stores electrical energy, and performs functions such as coupling and coordination.
There are also cross-integration of resistors, capacitors, and inductors to form special functional components, called integrated components; such as filters (integrated resistors, capacitors, inductors plus transistors or amplifiers), the function is to filter signals, couplers (LED plus upper resistor or diode), whose function is to distribute the microwave power into several microwaves.
Among passive components, capacitors have the largest market size. Capacitors can be divided into ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), aluminum capacitors, and solid-state capacitors. Their function is to store electrical energy in circuits for coordination and coupling.
The Application of Passive Components
Benefiting from the strong demand for smartphones, electric vehicles and automotive electronics, the applications of passive components has expanded. In particular, with the complexity and diversification of product functions, the power consumption will also increase, so more passive components are required for voltage regulation, current regulation, noise filtering, etc., so as to maintain the normal operation of the terminal device.
Take a car as an example. In the past, a traditional car used about 1,000 to 2,000 passive components. When it enters an electric vehicle or autonomous driving, it is estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 passive components will be used, and the demand will grow at a double rate.
Passive Component Industry Chain and Development
The upstream of the dynamic component industry is the material supplier of resistors, capacitors, inductors, filters and oscillators, the midstream is the manufacturer of resistors, capacitors, inductors, filters and oscillators, and the downstream is the supply of various electronic products business.
The upstream of the passive component industry is the material supplier of resistors, capacitors, inductors, filters and oscillators. Taiwan's passive component industry-related manufacturers mainly focus on the production of passive components and rarely invest in the development of upstream materials. Currently, the materials required by Taiwan's passive component industry, such as interface ceramic powder, ceramic substrates, alumina substrates, quartz substrates, conductive adhesives, cathodes Foil, etc., more than 70% are provided by Japanese manufacturers.
Midstream is a manufacturer of resistors, capacitors, inductors, filters, and oscillators. Passive components are indispensable electronic components, widely used in PCs, mobile phones, tablet computers, servers, audio-visual equipment, automobiles and other products. Ceramic capacitors are favored because of their physical properties such as high voltage resistance, high heat, wide operating temperature range, and low loss rate when used at high frequencies, and can be chipped to reduce volume, low price, and high stability. It is very suitable for mass production.
In the first half of 2021, Taiwan's passive component industry will benefit from the increase in the penetration rate of 5G smartphones. In addition, the demand for electric vehicles (EV) and automotive electronics is gradually increasing. 5G and automotive applications have led to strong demand for passive components. The demand for capacitors (MLCC) has increased significantly, and passive components will continue to be in short supply in the first half of 2021. In the second half of 2021, affected by factors such as long-term and short-term materials and China's power cuts, the passive component group generally cooled down after entering the fourth quarter. Passive components are currently in the inventory adjustment period, and the overall passive component supply is stable. The MLCC inventory is expected to be digested in the first quarter of 2022. The second half of the year is coming to an end; in terms of resistor products, it is also facing problems such as lack of chips, rising shipping costs, and unsmooth shipments by manufacturers. It is expected that resistor shipments in the fourth quarter of 2021 will decline compared with the third quarter, but the current resistor inventory level is healthy. Prices held steady. As for the market demand part, the first half of 2022 is expected to continue to increase the demand for applications such as 5G, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, Wi-Fi 6, electric vehicles, servers and the Metaverse. Metaverse will further drive the demand for graphics card components and high-end passive components, driving industry growth in the first half of 2022. In addition, in the price part, due to the rising cost of manufacturers, it is expected that there is no room for the price to fall sharply in the first half of 2022. Aluminum capacitors are bullish, the price of high-end MLCCs is stable, and the growth of MLCCs in 2021 is relatively moderate. It is expected that the overall industry revenue in the first half of 2022 will remain optimistic.
Benefiting from the growth trend of automotive and 5G, the world's five largest passive component MLCC manufacturers from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are optimistic about the industry outlook. It is expected that with the development of 5G applications, and under the clear guidance of the trend of automobile electrification, the demand for MLCC will increase greatly, and the market will maintain a growth trend from 2021 to 2025. Although there will be chaos in the supply chain such as chip shortage in 2021, due to the popularization of 5G, the demand for servers, base station communication equipment and 5G smartphones, coupled with the recovery and electronic production of automobiles, and the deployment of electric vehicle charging piles, drive the demand for the demand for electronic parts is expanding.