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IC發明60周年 八領域寫新頁 (2019-02-23 IEK產業情報網 )

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the invention of the integrated circuit (IC). Semiconductors are a key component in most electronic system products. The semiconductor industry is a very important industry to Taiwan, it is the key to Taiwan’s position as “Silicon Island,” and the technology of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry has a pivotal position in the world.
In the past, the market for computer electronics and smart phone devices drove the development of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry. However, Taiwan is facing rapid changes in technology. In addition to the continued deepening of the traditional 3C electronics market, the government’s 5+2 industrial innovation plan and innovative application of AIoT are expected to lead the industry to a new height.
The ISTI, ITRI predicts that under the trend of AIoT, Taiwan’s semiconductor industry can seek opportunities in eight fields in the future, including artificial intelligence, 5G wireless communication, Internet of Things, industry 4.0/smart machinery, Internet of Vehicle/autonomous vehicles, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), high performance computing (HPC) and software and network services. We expect to see diverse application of AIoT in the future. New applications can be developed in the 90-nanometer field, or even the micro-nanometer field. Under the trend of lowered cost threshold, small IC design companies are expected to rise and conquer the market with innovative application services, driving the diverse development of the IC design industry.
In addition, mergers and acquisition has become a trend in the global semiconductor industry. Many large companies maintain their growth through mergers and establish layout for future development. For example, MediaTek had four mergers and acquisitions in 2015 to strengthen its technology and intellectual property of core memory and image processing. Mergers and acquisition has helped enhance the competitiveness of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry. According to a survey conducted by IC Insights, the scale of mergers and acquisitions in the semiconductor industry reached 100 billion US dollars between 2015 and 2016.
The International Semiconductor Industry Association (SEMI) announced that the value of goods shipped by North American semiconductor equipment manufacturers in March 2018 was 2.42 billion US dollars, a slight increase from February and a record high in more than 17 years. In 2018, with the continued investment in memory and foundry, the industry remains optimistic about the continuous growth of the semiconductor equipment market.
Looking at Taiwan’s IC design industry in 2018, MediaTek continually developed new mobile phone AP products (P60/P65) in the first half of 2018, and with the increased demand for SSD, networking devices, and design services, and the trade war between China and the US heating up, some Chinese-based brands have started to look for alternative solutions to US-based ICs. This will benefit Taiwan’s IC designers. It was expected that after the end of the second quarter, the market would slowly increase demand for these goods and gradually magnify the output value of IC design. The annual output value of Taiwan’s IC design industry in 2018 is expected to be NT$ 645.5 billion, a 4.6% growth from 2017.
For Taiwan's IC manufacturing industry in 2018, thanks to the rapid growth in HPC, IoT and automotive electronics, especially the increased demand for advanced processes from cryptocurrency mining equipment, AI, GPU and other chips covered by HPC, the output value of the foundry industry is expected to grow by 1.7% to NT$ 1.227 trillion. For memory, DRAM has become an indispensable component with great demand due to the expansion of AI, IoT, smart vehicles, HPC and other applications. For NAND Flash, the significant demand from the downstream smartphones, PCs and server customers also drove the increase in price and output. The output value of memory and related products is expected to grow by 25.2% to NT$ 203 billion. Combining the growth momentum of foundry, memory and other manufacturing, the output value of Taiwan’s IC manufacturing industry in 2018 is estimated at NT$ 1.43 trillion, a 4.5% growth over the previous year.
For Taiwan's IC packaging and testing industry in 2018, the output value of the whole year is expected to be NT$ 474.5 billion, a 0.5% annual reduction. This is because the increased global economic uncertainty in the second half of 2017 affected the sales of electronic terminal products plus the low price competition strategy due to the increased capacity of China’s advanced packaging and testing after the mergers and acquisition of big packaging and testing companies. Combining the relevant data, the output value of Taiwan’s IC industry in 2018 is expected to be NT$ 2.55 trillion, an annual growth of 3.6%.
China has become the world's largest assembly base for electronic system products. In 2017, China’s share of the global semiconductor market rose to 30%, and its IC design industry now accounts for 10% of the global market share.
So far, Taiwan’s technology and market share are still in the lead, and thus are still competitive. However, under the policy support and capital-intensive advantages, China has been catching up and has gradually become a serious competitor of Taiwan.
In particular, competition in semiconductors has now entered the 5-nanometer arena. In addition to the continual pursuit of process miniaturization, highly heterogeneous integrated chips will be developed at the same time. Moreover, the competition for future new materials has started, for example, superconductors and carbon nano-materials required for quantum computing will break through the limits of today’s silicon materials.
Taiwan already has the basic advantage of being the “Technological Silicon Island”, and Asia is going to be the most important market in the world in the future. From its key position, Taiwan should leverage its existing advantages in semiconductors to develop an innovative technological “eco-island” with a cultural heritage to meet the human-oriented demand. In the era of AIoT, technology will be closer to people’s lifestyles and customers’ demand will drive the industry to promote open innovation and serve as a demonstration field for innovation. The innovative eco-island will be an environment for talent gathering, industrial clusters, diverse funding and continual innovation.
本文原刊載於IEK產業情報網,著作權為工研院產科國際所所有。
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