IC suppliers are sustaining efforts to raise local self- sufficiency and match rising demand.
China’s IC makers are ramping up R&D and production, leveraging growth achieved in past years even amid the economic crisis to drive the industry further. They target to develop a series with IPR and meet 28 percent of domestic demand by 2015. At present, companies can provide only 20 percent of the homebase requirement, which is the largest in the world and therefore a sizable market. Boosting the current 9 percent share of global output value, which is a 5 percent jump from 2005, is also an objective. Overall, the undertaking aims to reduce dependence on foreign technology and component providers, and build up the country’s international status in the category.
In terms of R&D, suppliers are aiming at mass production of 12in wafers with 45 and 32nm process technology, past the current highest at 65nm. At the same time, they hope to develop the 22nm counterpart and raise local packaging and testing capability to global mainstream level by 2015.
Complementing the bid is the push for the manufacture of key equipment toward the 12in and 32/28nm stage, and the wide availability of main materials such as 12in silicon single crystal, silicon wafer and epitaxial wafer.
So far, the sector has made breakthroughs in mobile phone, IC card, digital TV and multimedia chips, and communication ASICs, thanks to government support. The last continues as the sector will remain at state strategy level until 2015 as part of the 12th Five-Year Program. This is because the maker pool consists mostly of small and midsize operations with limited funds and technology.
The projected investment for the semiconductor industry is estimated to surpass $40 billion. By yield, China churned out 64 billion ICs valued at $21.8 billion, representing an annual growth rate of 16 percent the past five years. Contributing to this development is the emergence of homegrown players, forming the core group of the sector. They are SMIC, Hua Hong NEC, Hisilicon, Spreadtrum, Changjiang Electronics and Nantong Fujitsu.
China’s IC market reached $111 billion in 2010. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology expects this to swell past $180 billion by 2015. It is to take advantage of this captive and growing market that joint industry and government efforts focus on elevating local self-sufficiency rate. The country imported $157 billion of IC products last year, an increase of 31 percent over 2009, based on China customs data.
Note: All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.