Semiconductor Industry: Chip Opportunities and Challenges Coexist

The “Twelfth Five-Year Development Plan for the Integrated Circuit Industry” clarifies the development ideas and goals of the integrated circuit industry. The Chinese semiconductor industry will stand at a new historical starting point. At the just-concluded “2012 China Semiconductor Market Annual Conference” and the IC Industry Innovation Conference, the participating experts and company representatives delivered brilliant views on the development opportunities of the Chinese semiconductor industry and how the chips are linked with the whole machine.

At present, the contradictions and problems that restrict the development of the industry are still prominent. Zhou Zixue, chief economist of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology pointed out that the market share of IC products in China is relatively low, the company's ability for continuous innovation is not strong, the linkage mechanism between the chip and the whole machine has not yet formed, and the development of specialized equipment, instruments and materials lags behind. Not solved well. China's IC industry is still alive, innovation, processing technology continues to develop along the Moore's Law, the market operating pattern is accelerating changes, the challenges posed by high concentration of funds, technology, and talent are very serious.

Future Chip Opportunities and Challenges Coexist Wei Shaojun, Chairman of the IC Design Branch of the China Semiconductor Industry Association, said: “One is that process technology is evolving to a size of 22 nanometers or less, and it will trigger a series of product changes and application changes. It is the biggest market challenge. How can a chip company understand the application? How can we find the whole direction of the chip from the changes in the market? In the long run, this is our weakness. The second is integrated circuit integration. After a simple calculation to 22nm, There are more than 600 million transistors on a chip, so this kind of product is unlikely to be proprietary, it must have some commonality, so we must attach great importance to the development of high-end chips.At present, our country in the microprocessor, memory The strength is still very weak. How to build a high-end equipment is the key to rapid development."

Li Wei, vice president of CCID Consulting Co., Ltd. also pointed out that in terms of opportunities, recently Apple released the so-called new iPad, from iPhone3, iPhone4, iPhone4S, iPad1, iPad2, now with New iPad, the speed of product upgrading The faster, but the improvement is getting smaller and smaller. This kind of small, fast-moving innovation is both an opportunity and an adjustment for IC companies. Can the company's time-to-market cycle and product update speed keep up with the speed of product updates by the entire machine manufacturer? In terms of challenges, capital expenditures of Intel, Samsung, and TSMC's top three manufacturers accounted for 50% of the capital expenditures of the global IC industry. The concentration of the entire industry continues to increase, and the industry Matthew effect is prominent. This poses challenges for IC companies. Very big.

Relevant government departments are also aware of these challenges and begin to strengthen deployment. Ding Wenwu, Director of the Electronic Information Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, mentioned that we support IC industry development through major special projects, integrated circuit equipment and manufacturing processes, and a new generation of communications technologies. We hope that this year in the strategic emerging industries can start high-tech integrated circuit development and innovation. At present, two projects have been arranged: the first one is platform testing, and one billion yuan has been allocated; the second is the cloud computing base. Through these special projects to support the IC industry's innovation.

Nowadays, there have been many fundamental changes in the industrial environment. Seeking linkage with the whole machine is also the focus of the IC industry. Vice President Mu Hao of Datang Microelectronics Technology Co., Ltd. mentioned that IC products need to be integrated with the entire machine. This is to help IC products solve positioning problems. From a certain perspective, pattern positioning is very important.

When starting a product, it is necessary to consider what the application area of ​​the integrated circuit is and whether the application scale is sufficient. When the product is in the development stage, it is necessary to consider what the next application product market is. Datang Microelectronics' SIM cards and ID cards are relatively successful, mainly because they solve the problems associated with the application of the entire machine market. In expanding the social security and financial IC market, we will also continue the past ideas and find the development market positioning accurately. This will result in a better overall application effect.

"Semiconductor manufacturers must integrate with the entire plant. The whole plant must also be combined with the market. Nowadays, many semiconductor products are not completely semiconductor manufacturers want to do, but the whole machine manufacturers want to do, such as Apple's products." Freescale Yin Gang, head of business expansion in Karl China, mentioned that "it also requires IC design to be in the direction of "system design." It not only needs the knowledge of chip design and production, but also knows how to meet the needs of customers in system design. To keep up with the pace of application innovation, once the slow integration with the application, customers may choose to leave, which is critical."

In addition, providing comprehensive solutions is also the focus of future application market demand. CEO of China Resources Microelectronics Co., Ltd. Deng Maosong pointed out that in view of the current development trend of the industry, IC manufacturers need to provide a more comprehensive integration program. The most typical example is that when TSMC and Samsung competed for orders from Apple processors, TSMC lost the entire program and lacked processor-based IP.

At present, China's IC industry has emerged in the fields of design, manufacturing, packaging and testing, and has emerged a number of powerful companies. But the biggest problem is that we see only the Pearls of Montreal without necklaces. "Necklace is an integrated circuit industry that is recognized by the country, can be supported, can support national security, support economic development, and support the development of seven strategic emerging industries," said Xu Xiaotian, executive vice president of China Semiconductor Industry Association. How to string "necklace" to really play its role? This has become a common proposition for the integrated circuit industry.

Yin Gang, head of business expansion at Freescale China, said that it is better to be led by a complete machine company in China. After the whole machine company has developed to a certain extent, its foundation has made it a leader in the industry. The product needs to be sure, otherwise it will cause great problems due to mistakes, such as Motorola in recent years.

However, it is clear that the actual support of the necklace requires policy support. Yin Gang pointed out that Japan has developed electric vehicles earlier than any other country, and government-owned companies, R&D institutions, and universities have solved some of the technologies needed for electric vehicles from the entire industrial chain. This way, Japanese automakers have reduced a lot of investment, and they can also enjoy these technologies. Therefore, in the electric vehicle industry, Japanese companies are currently the most powerful, and this is actually the biggest driving force from the government. “China is now focusing on the development of new energy and energy conservation and environmental protection industries. How do we integrate? I think we should integrate the research and development capabilities of universities and research institutes and combine this industry so that we can really string together the “necklace”,” he added.

Obviously, the government will play an important guiding role in it. Zhou Zixue mentioned lastly that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will make solid progress in the following aspects: First, it is necessary to implement industrial policies such as the Fourth National Document of the People's Republic of China and improve the public service system; Second, the implementation of major national science and technology projects and strategic emerging Industrial innovation. Improve the use of fiscal funds and expand investment and financing channels. Third, promote the integration of resources and foster large enterprises with international competitiveness. Fourth, continue to expand opening up and improve the quality of foreign capital utilization. Fifth, strengthen personnel training and actively introduce overseas high levels. The sixth level is the implementation of intellectual property strategy and the enhancement of intellectual property protection.

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