EE Times-China survey shows a jump in mainland China fabless industry's use of advanced 45nm or below process technologies by 33.3 percent YOY
Most outstanding mainland China IC design houses for 2012 named and honored at industry awards event
HONG KONG, Sept. 7, 2012 –According to the 11th Annual China Fabless Survey conducted by EE Times-China, a leading electronic engineering title of Global Sources' (NASDAQ: GSOL) joint venture subsidiary, eMedia Asia Limited, volume production of digital ICs at 45nm or below by mainland China local fabless companies has risen significantly, jumping 33.3 percent year-on-year. This indicates mainland China's rising role as a global center of semiconductor design and manufacturing.
The survey findings were revealed today at the China Fabless CEO Forum & Awards, which featured industry heavyweight Professor Wei Shaojun, General Director of CSIA-ICCAD, as keynote speaker. Outstanding mainland China fabless companies and IC products; most recognized foundry, EDA vendor, and IP provider, as voted by managers of China fabless companies were also honored at the event.
Survey also reveals a falling proportion of local ICs designed for consumer electronics applications, although these still account for 50 percent of total demand. Demand for ICs in industrial electronics is expected to rise significantly. Hot application fields like smart grid, internet of things, smart city and telemedicine are expected to drive the upgrading of local IC products.
Brandon Smith, Publisher of EE Times-China, said: "Clearly, this year's survey points to increased design capacity and manufacturing technology in mainland China's fabless industry. The IC design segment of mainland China's semiconductor industry has been the fastest growing segment since 2000 and now makes up around 10 percent of the US$74 billion global fabless IC industry. Mainland China is on a trajectory to increase its market share, with its local IC design houses fast becoming a competitive global power to be reckoned with."
The Survey also showed that although mainland China foundries are still most in demand (88 percent in 2010, 87 percent in 2011, 80 percent in 2012), Taiwan foundries are increasingly preferred by local IC design houses (going from 57 percent in 2010 to 63 percent in 2011 and to 67 percent in 2012). The foundries of choice for this year's respondents are TSMC (27 percent) and SMIC (20 percent).
'Cost' and 'cycle time' remain biggest challenges of contracting foundries
This year's survey also sees a majority of respondents utilizing IP cores to conduct their designs, with a solid movement away from 'not using IP cores' (from 33 percent in 2010 down to 24 percent in 2012). Most IP cores are acquired through ARMS (47 percent), EDA (electronic design automation) companies (29 percent), design service companies (23 percent), and FPGA (field-programmable gate array) companies (16 percent). The respondents are primarily involved in ASIC (58 percent) and SoC designs (53 percent). The top 3 EDA vendors which respondents source design tools from are Cadence, Synopsys, and Mentor Graphics, as has been the case for the last three years.
Top challenges in IC design process remain 'reducing design cost' and 'lower-power design'
According to the Survey, this year's respondents designed ICs mainly for applications in consumer electronics (50 percent), computers (19 percent), others (19 percent) and telecommunication (11 percent). With an overall drop in consumer electronics, reducing to 50 percent in 2012 from 57 percent in 2011, while all the other categories have risen.
Among 'others', IC design for 'test & measurement' applications increased 63 percent YOY to 26 percent, and for 'industrial electronics' applications, an increase of 73 percent YOY to 45 percent.
Mainland China's top chip design companies and products honored
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