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The pain of integrated circuits

The pain of integrated circuits

Release time: 2017-03-24 Due to the relatively mature development of the foreign semiconductor industry, advanced technology is monopolized by industry giants in the United States, Japan and other countries. Although some design companies have begun technical cooperation with Chinese companies, high-end manufacturing processes and equipment are still technologically blocking Chinese companies. "What is the status of China's integrated circuit industry in the international arena? It is still very backward." After the "Industry and Technology Investment Forum" of SEMICON China 2017, Wu Ping, the founding partner of Wu Yuefeng Capital, expressed his voice. Although the development of my country's integrated circuit industry has been greatly improved compared with the past, it still faces the problem of high dependence on foreign countries, and key core technologies are still monopolized by foreign companies. Take the large-size IC-level single-crystal silicon crystal growth and silicon wafer manufacturing with a diameter of 300 mm/200 mm as an example. Due to the complicated technical process, most companies such as Japan have a high degree of monopoly. In recent years, with the support and encouragement of the central and local governments, hundreds of billions of integrated circuit funds have also become substantive. So, can my country get rid of the pain of "core shortage"? The annual import value exceeds 200 billion U.S. dollars The integrated circuit industry is a strategic industry for my country's economic development, and it is also known as the "Pearl" of the national industry. It is a kind of miniature electronic device or component. It is manufactured into small or several semiconductor wafers or dielectric substrates by interconnecting the transistors, resistors, capacitors, inductors and other components and wiring required in the circuit through related processes. According to the reporter's understanding, integrated circuit technology includes chip manufacturing, design, processing equipment, technology, testing and other aspects. The core (semiconductor) materials of integrated circuits are located in the upstream of the semiconductor industry chain, and are mainly used to manufacture important basic materials for transistors, integrated circuits, power electronic devices, liquid crystal display panels, and optoelectronic devices. Not only that, it also supports military communications, television, electronic equipment, computers, cameras and other industries. Earlier, the relevant person in charge of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology once stated in public that, as a major global electronics manufacturing country, integrated circuits have always been one of China's most important imports. 90% of domestic chips rely on imports. In 2015, imports amounted to US$231.3 billion. Data shows that my country's integrated circuit output value is less than 7% of the world, and domestic chips used in computers, mobile phones and other accessories are all dependent on imports. At present, the import value of integrated circuits has exceeded US$200 billion for four consecutive years. According to customs statistics, in 2016, integrated circuits imported 342.55 billion pieces, a year-on-year increase of 9.1%, and the import value was US$227.07 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 1.2%. In the same period, China’s crude oil imports were only 607.8 billion, and China’s expenditure on semiconductor chip imports has been nearly twice that of crude oil. Zhou Youzhi, chairman of Shandong Xiaoya Group Co., Ltd., said in an interview with a reporter from China Sankei Shimbun that almost all the chips in the controllers used by some domestic companies are imported from abroad, and these imported chips are not High-precision products. The reporter learned during the interview that every electronic control board on every product of Xiaoya Group has one or even several chips from imported brands. Zhou Youzhi told reporters frankly that there is no alternative. Although these chips are not sophisticated products, they are produced by almost no domestic companies. Even if there are manufacturers, the cost is high and the quality is not stable. As a company, we don’t have time. And cost to be a "guinea pig". According to data from Bain & Co, China’s annual consumption of semiconductors is worth more than 100 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for nearly 1/3 of the total global shipments, but China’s semiconductor output value only accounts for 6% to 7 of the world’s total. %. Many imported chips are assembled in personal computers, smartphones, and other devices, and then exported overseas. However, there is still a huge gap between the number of semiconductors produced by Chinese chip manufacturers and the number of semiconductors consumed by China itself. Qiushi, a well-known household appliance industry observer, said in an interview with the "China Sankei Shimbun" that because my country's s
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2018 07-17
Breakthrough of the integrated circuit industry must be prepared to "fight a protracted war"

Breakthrough of the integrated circuit industry must be prepared to "fight a protracted war"

Recently, how to achieve a breakthrough in core technology and solve the "stuck neck" problem of my country's integrated circuit industry has aroused heated discussions among all parties. While the relevant departments have made it clear that they will accelerate the development of my country's integrated circuit industry, Alibaba, Gree Electric and other companies have recently announced to enter or increase their layout in the integrated circuit industry. To achieve a breakthrough in my country's integrated circuit industry, we must take a long-term view. The integrated circuit industry is a capital-intensive, technology-intensive, and talent-intensive industry. Therefore, if the domestic integrated circuit industry is to truly achieve a breakthrough, it must closely integrate the above three characteristics to find the correct development path, and at the same time do a good job of "fighting a protracted war." Preparation. The first is capital investment. Past practice has proved that due to the long R&D cycle and short product life cycle of the integrated circuit industry, financial returns are not satisfactory, and it is difficult to attract large-scale investment of market capital such as industrial capital and venture capital. Therefore, it is necessary to give full play to the guiding role of the integrated circuit development fund. At the same time, in the use of funds, we must adhere to the principle of concentrating our efforts to do major tasks, and avoid "sprinkling" low-level repetitive construction and the situation of rushing to the top. The second is technology research and development. Judging from the current situation, the technical shortcomings of domestic integrated circuits are mainly reflected in high-end chips, especially in terms of central processing units, memories, field programmable gate arrays, high-speed digital-to-analog converters, etc., which are highly dependent on imports. At the same time, there is a significant gap between my country's integrated circuit industry and the international advanced level in terms of manufacturing capacity. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the technical shortcomings and accelerate the promotion of core technology breakthroughs. The last is personnel training. Data show that my country's current IC talent gap is as high as 400,000, which has seriously hindered the development of the IC industry. The root cause of this problem is that, affected by factors such as employment and salary, the cultivation of computer talents in colleges and universities generally emphasizes application rather than foundation, which has caused the "top-heavy" structure of computer talents in our country. To change this situation, it is fundamentally necessary to straighten out the training mechanism and evaluation system for computer talents. In fact, it is not difficult to find the right path. The difficult thing is whether you can always follow the correct path and be prepared for a "protracted war." There is a popular saying in China that it is “better to buy a ship than to build a ship, and to rent a ship than to buy a ship”. When a technology independent research and development takes a long time, the fastest way is to spend money to buy ready-made. But facts have proved that the real core technology cannot be bought, which has a typical performance in the integrated circuit industry. In the past, the domestic integrated circuit industry was not determined to make independent research and development, but in the end it often deviated from the correct path. At the same time, we must be prepared to "fight a protracted war." Regardless of the R&D cycle of integrated circuits or the gap between my country's integrated circuit industry and the international level, such a catch-up may take more than 10 years or even longer. Therefore, it is necessary to make a long-term plan in light of the current situation, and make a long-term plan in terms of capital investment, technology research and development, and personnel training. We must not rush for quick success.
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2018 07-17
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