Top 8 Predictions for the Semiconductor Industry in 2023 [Part 2]

March 1, 2023
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[Part 1]: Top 8 Predictions for the Semiconductor Industry in 2023

7. Terminal manufacturers and design companies penetrate into the front end of the industry chain

Three types of rights in the semiconductor industry chain:
Design rights: determining innovation and supply
Foundry Right: Determining Safety and Capacity
Equipment rights: determine the safety of the industrial chain and breakthroughs in the bottom layer of technology

The global division of labor in the chip industry has separated the design and manufacturing links, and there is a geographical segmentation of the supply chain, which has exacerbated the risk of supply and demand imbalance due to external factors. Therefore, it is the general trend for enterprises to penetrate the front end of the industry chain and achieve independent control.

A. For terminal manufacturers, the chip field will become the new main battlefield, and focusing on mastering chip design rights and even foundry rights is the future development direction of terminal companies

At present, some software and hardware companies are gradually starting the chip self-development mode.

Smartphones: Xiaomi, OPPO, VIVO, and other chip research and development mainly focus on video, Bluetooth, battery management, and other subdivided fields;
Smart cars: With Tesla as the pioneer, traditional car companies and new car manufacturers such as GM, BYD, and NIO have also entered into self-developed chips;
Internet: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Ali, etc. drive the innovative iteration of cloud computing services by launching customized self-developed chips.

B. For IC design companies, it will become a trend to build their own fabs, master independent foundry rights at mature process nodes, and integrate chip design and manufacturing

At present, the lack of foundry rights has become a key factor restricting the development of Chinese semiconductor design companies

Insufficient production capacity: Wafer manufacturing by design companies is an important link in the chip industry chain. Under the background of the current shortage of global wafer production capacity and the recovery of end consumer demand, there is still a large supply and demand gap for chips in mainland China, and the production capacity of wafer foundries cannot Match the continuous improvement of the technical level of the design company.
Profit is under pressure: The shortage of wafers leads to price increases in foundries and increases the cost of IC design companies.

8. The smart cockpit will become the main battlefield for tram intelligence

The intelligent process of trams can be divided into two lines: intelligent cockpit and intelligent driving

Smart cockpit: After a three-stage development, it will become the main battlefield for smart trams in the next 3-5 years

1980s-2011: In 1986, the seventh-generation Buick Riviera was equipped with a standard 9-inch touch screen as a starting point. The first car equipped with touchscreen technology was born in history, starting the process of cockpit intelligence.

2012-2021: Tesla Model S innovatively adopts a large-size onboard display and cancels most of the mechanical buttons, marking the entry of the smart cockpit into the electronic era.

2022-2027: Ideal L9 creates an intelligent interactive mode, using five large screens, namely HUD + safe driving interactive screen + central control screen + co-pilot screen + rear cabin entertainment screen, and has 6 sound zones, 3D ToF sensors, and 21 speakers, etc. to achieve three-dimensional interaction, and then the development of smart cockpits will focus on the intelligent experience of human-computer interaction.

Intelligent driving: the current development is limited, and the time is not yet ripe. After 2025, it is expected to break through the constraints and develop

In the short term, intelligent driving cannot become the main reason for the development of smart electric vehicles

Lack of chip foundry: Although China has advanced process design capabilities and packaging and testing capabilities, the production and manufacturing level of advanced processes is backward, and there is a lack of chip foundries that master advanced processes, and the supply of high-performance chips is constrained.

Lack of algorithm computing power: Although Chinese chip manufacturers represented by Horizon and HiSilicon have a large computing power advantage, it is still difficult to meet the explosive growth of computing power demand brought about by the increase in the number of sensors.

Lack of laws and regulations: At present, laws and regulations related to autonomous driving in China are not perfect, and its commercial application will face legal challenges.

Therefore, it is expected that before 2025, intelligent driving will still be dominated by assisted driving and supplemented by intelligent driving innovation. In the long run, autonomous driving will be the end of smart electric vehicles