Amotech’s multi layer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) business is being negatively impacted by US sanctions against Huawei.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also delayed its MLCC production schedule.
The company initially expected sales from MLCC to be reflected in the first half of 2020 but this will now be pushed back to the fourth quarter or the first quarter of 2021 due to these issues.
Amotech initially aimed to supply MLCC for telecom components to Chinese companies, including Huawei, at the start of 2020.
These projects were halted from the spread of COVID-19 in China at the time as 5G network deployment plans there were delayed.
Amotech resumed its attempt to supply in May, supplying samples of its MLCC to potential clients in China. The samples are still being tested by customers. However, some of the supplies may be put on hold due to US sanctions against Huawei.
The South Korean component maker is aiming to supply MLCC for repeaters and small cells in 5G networks. Chinese companies are avoid US MLCC companies, which gives Amotech higher chance for potential supply deals.
Amotech is aiming to offer precious metal electrode (PME) MLCC. PME MLCC uses silver or palladium. Silver is optimal for high spectrum and very reliable.
Base metal electrode (BME) uses mostly nickel. Telecom substrates use both PME and BME MLCC. More BME are shipped than PME, but the later is a niche market that Amotech can expand in.
Murata of Japan produces both BME and PME MLCCs while Samsung Electro-Mechanics makes only BME MLCC.
Amotech posted an operating loss of 1.7 billion won and sales of 102.1 billion won in the first half of 2020. It has turned to the red and saw sales drop 20% year over year.
The company relies on electromagnetic compatibility and antenna for over 95% of its sales. Amotech said last year it was hoping MLCC can grow into its new growth engine in 2020 and 2021.