US media: Chinese semiconductors that have invested heavily should pay attention to equipment issues

According to US media, China has established a new National semiconductor Fund worth 204.15 billion yuan (about 28.9 billion US dollars). China is seeking to nurture a homegrown chip industry and narrow the technology gap with the United States. According to a report on the website of the Wall Street Journal on October 25, according to corporate registration information, the government-backed fund was established on the 22nd and is larger than a similar fund launched in 2014, which raised about 139 billion yuan. Yuan Renminbi.


The new fund is the latest sign of China’s determination to reduce its reliance on U.S. technology.

In semiconductors, China still faces a long road to global dominance.

The 2014 fund poured billions of dollars into dozens of projects, the report said. One of them is Changjiang Storage Technology Co., Ltd. The company said in September that it had begun mass production of an advanced memory chip called 64-layer 3D NAND flash.

While the company is catching up quickly, it lags industry leaders already making more advanced chips, such as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, the report said.

Overall, analysts believe that China still lags industry-leading rivals such as Intel and Samsung in key areas of semiconductor technology.

Besides chips, another major bottleneck in China’s self-sufficiency efforts is chip-making equipment, an area in which China does not dominate. Leading companies include Applied Materials and Lam Group in the US, ASML Holdings in the Netherlands and Tokyo Electron in Japan.

The report pointed out that Chinese customs data showed that China imported $312.1 billion worth of semiconductor products in 2018, exceeding the $240.3 billion in crude oil imports.

The mainland steps up its sprint to the semiconductor industry

From the perspective of domestic official policies, in early October, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that it will actively deploy the research and development of new materials and new-generation product technologies to promote the development of industrial semiconductor materials, chips, devices and IGBT module industries. At the same time, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will also launch the second phase of the National Integrated Circuit Fund to further promote the integration and reorganization of semiconductor resources at home and abroad; the second phase of the large fund is different from the first phase, which focuses on the design and manufacturing of integrated circuits, and will focus on the deployment of semiconductor equipment, materials, and applications. , the plan is carried out by supporting industry leaders, developing parks to gather funds, and subsidizing China’s industrial chain, all of which declare that China will continue to support the development of the semiconductor industry with policies.

From the perspective of the development of Chinese semiconductor companies, the effective R&D investment of technological dividends is an effective means to establish an independent core technology system, that is, continuous and efficient R&D investment is the real internal driving force for the growth of technology companies. In addition to investing in the expansion of advanced packaging technology production capacity in packaging and testing, especially Bumping, WLCSP, etc., Chinese semiconductor companies will make advance arrangements for the upcoming 5G communication and Internet of Things development business opportunities, and the wafer foundry will strive to carry out 14nm by the end of 2019. FinFET mass production plan, and 12nm process development has entered the customer introduction stage.

In terms of memory manufacturing, Chinese companies have also shown initial results. In addition to Changjiang Storage, which mass-produced 64-layer NAND Flash in September and plans to mass-produce DRAM in 2021, Hefei Changxin Storage is mass-producing 19nm DDR4 at the end of 2019. and LP DDR4 DRAM; in addition, in terms of integrated circuit design, in addition to mainland enterprises continuing to actively seek breakthroughs in CPU, GPU, FPGA, analog IC, EDA, etc., AI chips also seem to be the next battlefield for the US and China to compete for 5G hegemony.

The first artificial intelligence reasoning chip “Hanguang 800” unveiled by Pingtou Ge in September, regardless of whether its real performance can match that of international players, but the Chinese players have no intention of building a comprehensive end-to-cloud chip ecosystem. metaphor.

China’s semiconductor independent and controllable hardware cornerstone, local breakthroughs are accelerating, but it still does not deny that the process of wafer foundry and memory manufacturing is still behind the world’s leading echelon, and the patents and technologies of key core chips are not easy to break through A high threshold set up by major international manufacturers.

Fortunately, China has a huge number of landing applications, and the demand for semiconductor products in the downstream Internet of Things, automotive electronics, 5G terminals and other fields will directly promote the technological and industrial upgrading of Chinese semiconductor companies. A breakthrough will be the general trend in the medium and long term.

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Author: Yoyokuo