中国无晶圆厂业者的未来:基带、工业和并购

上网时间: 2013年04月02日? 作者:Junko Yoshida? 我来评论 【字号: ? ?小】

关键字:中国无晶圆厂?

Yoshida in China: Desperate for baseband, industrial and M&A

Junko Yoshida

SHANGHAI – As many as 350 to 500 fabless chip companies have popped up in China in the last several years. As I cover China’s electronics industry, there’s this one nagging question: Where do they all go from here?

Everyone I met here last week--from SMIC’s CEO to RDA Microelectronics CEO--agrees on one thing: Among those fabless, a lot of “weeding out” is happening as we speak.

That’s inevitable.

After all, no matter how huge China’s smartphone market might be, the local market can’t possibly sustain so many vendors all offering similarly designed multicore application processors.

So, what’s next?

Over a cup of coffee in a hotel near the Shanghai New International Expo Center, Jian-Yue Pan, a Synopsys vice president responsible for the Asia-Pacific region, made a few predictions. [Let’s trust that Pan, an EDA-industry bigwig who lives and breathes the local Chinese market, ought to know a few things.]

First, says Pan (no relation to Peter), expect more new players to emerge in “the modem chip areas” in China. “And they’re growing fast.”

But I thought almost all Chinese fabless companies--except Spreadtrum and RDA--are doing only apps processors for the smartphone market. I told Pan, “I’ve always wondered about what they’d have to do next.”

Pan deadpanned, “Exactly. They’re thinking the same thing.”

They desperately need modems for integration into their apps processors. Pan, refraining from naming names, said he’s aware of at least a couple of new players.

Industrial chips

Second, in the next two to three years, Chinese fabless companies are poised to break into markets for “industrial ICs,” Pan noted. Again, Pan is seeing the emergence of “several players”--focused in these fields and ready to emerge.

The difference in industrial applications is that unlike smartphone or tablet chips serving consumers, this is a truly diverse market. The total available market for each specific application won’t be so big. It’s a segment that demands Chinese fablesses to show more patience and experience. “And you need a bigger portfolio to support industrial applications,” Pan added.

Industrial chips include anything from automotive applications and smart grids to medical and embedded systems for industrial markets.

Freescale, Texas Instruments and NXP--who wisely steered clear of the mobile market--are penetrating the Chinese market, armed with an industrial/embedded agenda. It’s time for all of those multinationals to be on alert.

We may be seeing the first sign of maturity among China fabless firms. Or, this could be just another FUD that Chinese have all decided to go after.

Vincent Tai, RDA’s chief, observed, “Although I haven’t studied the industrial market very much, I imagine it to be fragmented with lots of small segments. It must be pretty tough to scale their business up.”

More M&A among China fabless

A third emerging trend, said Synopsys’ Pan, will be more M&A among China fablesses.

Pan noted that IPOs in both Shanghai and Shenzhen markets have been suspended over the last year or so. VCs who seeded those startups, sooner or later, “need to find an exit,” Pan explained. This gives extra impetus for mergers or acquisitions. Consolidations among Chinese fablesses will pick up.

Meanwhile, Western companies are more likely to snatch up “a team” [of engineers] in China, instead of going through M&A, Pan added. Such smaller deals often remain invisible, because the companies find no reason to disclose them.

In contrast, will any China fabless be interested in buying baseband technologies from Ericsson (i.e. after ST-Ericsson dissolved) or Renesas Mobile? Pan thinks that’s unlikely. Those multinationals were initially interested in getting bought in their entirety. In order to attract China fabless, they need a good technology licensing program, Pan added.

Pan summed up the state of the Chinese electronics industry today as follows.

China’s electronics industry--including everyone from fabless to foundries--finds itself trapped in a perpetual quandary.

On one hand many Chinese fabless companies are so close to the market [design houses, system OEMs/ODMs] that they’re under constant pressure to respond to their customers immediately. “The push from the market keeps them very aggressive,” and makes them yearn for advanced process nodes all the more, he explained.

On the other hand, many Chinese electronics firms lack experience. They lack IPs. Asked what roles companies like Synopsys play here, Pan said, “We try to fill in the gap.” Cadence’s recent announcement on Tensilica acquisition aside, getting ready for “complete solutions” is one of the key trends Synopsys pioneered. “Last year alone, we pulled off nine acquisitions including Magma Design Automation, SpringSoft and Eve.”

Chinese fabless in designing next chips, for example, would want all the connectivity IPs around ARM. “When you look at Synopsys resources vs. revenue ratio, you’ll find that ratio is higher” in China, he added. It’s because EDA companies need to provide more help.


[ 投票数:? ] 收藏 ??? 打印版 ??? 推荐给同仁 ??? 发送查询 ??? ?订阅杂志

评论
免费订阅资讯速递
信息速递-请选择您感兴趣的技术领域:
  • 安防监控
  • 便携设备
  • 消费电子
  • 通信与网络
  • 分销与服务
  • 制造与测试
  • 工业与医疗
  • 汽车电子
  • 计算机与OA
  • 电源管理
  • 无源器件与模组
  • 新能源
  • 供应链管理
论坛速递
相关信息
  • 什么是中国无晶圆厂?
  • 国际电子商情提供相关中国无晶圆厂技术文章及相关中国无晶圆厂新闻趋势,及更新最新相关中国无晶圆厂电子产品技术

?新浪微博推荐
Global Sources


编辑推荐
?大家正在说


打开微信“扫一扫”,打开网页后点击屏幕右上角分享按钮

1.扫描左侧二维码
2.点击右上角的分享按钮
3.选择分享给朋友
电子元器件数据手册下载
数据手册搜索

Datasheets China.com

《汽车电子特刊》

汽车电子系统在现代的汽车中占有的比重越来越高,对产品设计的工程师来说,产品的设计和验证面临着很多的挑战。本期《汽车电子特刊》将会向您呈现ADI技术对于汽车电子行业的应用等,还有IIC汽车电子论坛的精彩回顾哦!

扫一扫,关注最新资讯

esmc