What is fabless mode? Where will AI chip fabless go?

The fabless mode is relatively new, and many friends don’t know much about fabless. If you also lack relevant knowledge about fabless, you can take a look at the insights of fabless bosses in this article. In this article, you will have a clear understanding of fabless and find the answer to the question of “how can AI chip fabless continue?” Let’s find out together.

“The Fabless model has been developed in the past two or three decades, but the IDM process itself will bring long-term competitiveness to enterprises.” At the Nanjing Summit of the 2019 Future Forum held on the 29th, SMIC Juyuan Equity Investment Management Zhang Huanlin, managing partner of (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

Fabless is an integrated circuit design that does not have a manufacturing business and only focuses on design, while IDM is completed by a vertically integrated semiconductor company from design, manufacturing, packaging to products. At present, the AI ​​chip design that is in full swing in China is the loyal supporter of Fabless. Of course, part of the reason why the industry predicts that AI chips will eventually fail a large number of companies is that the process of tape-out and other processes takes a long time, and it is difficult to match the design and requirements within a certain period of time. .


As the investment platform of SMIC, SMIC Juyuan has invested in more than 60 semiconductor companies since its establishment, half of which are specialized in IC design, and the other half have invested in semiconductor silicon materials, chemical products, packaging equipment, testing equipment and IP design. and other fields. This made Zhang Huanlin’s voice more realistic.

“There are also special cases here. For example, Qualcomm is completely Fabless, but because Intel did not participate in the mobile phone market, or did not participate successfully, it gave Qualcomm a chance, but whether this fabless competitiveness can Long-term maintenance?” Zhang Huanlin mentioned that today Apple, Samsung, and these leading mobile phone companies are also making mobile phone chips, which is a very big challenge for Qualcomm. Many processes of Fabless are shared, which provides many favorable conditions for competitors to cut into the same market.

“Of course, the competition is also here. Today, so many IC companies are able to enter this place precisely because of the function of the Fabless model. At the same time, in the process of long-term development, this kind of competition must be maintained on the basis of IDM for a long time. “He said.

He advocates cultivating its own industrial chain, but IDM does not mean that it is completely limited to one country and one place.

For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, Japanese electronics companies were famous all over the world. It was these Japanese companies that promoted the development of the IC industry, but it was also because of these Japanese system companies that the Japanese IC industry declined. “Why do you say that? Because Japan was a very complacent society in the 1980s and 1990s, very conservative, and only willing to use its own industrial chain, not willing to accept overseas supply chain industries. Japan has its own communication standards. At that time, if Those who have been to Japan should know that the mobile phones we use in China, the mobile phones in the United States, and the mobile phones in Europe cannot be connected in Japan, and you must use a Japanese number to make a call.”

Zhang Huanlin believes that this is the reason why the leading terminal products of Japanese companies are rarely seen at CES today and move to the upstream industry chain. In contrast, Samsung and LG from South Korea. “These two companies have been developing for the global market and have always embraced the global industry.”

According to Zhang Huanlin’s observation, in the past 30 years, almost all of the top ten semiconductor companies in the world are integrated semiconductor companies operated by system companies. Basically, the top semiconductor companies in the world are all from system companies. SKHynix is ​​a semiconductor company cultivated by LG, TI was also a system company before, and also produces its own Electronic products, WD is a hard disk manufacturer, NXP is developed by the original Philips… Global system companies have promoted the development of semiconductor companies, Because they can provide semiconductor companies with a market and a clear demand. From the perspective of semiconductor companies, products customized for system companies are guaranteed by the market.

From this perspective, the development of China’s integrated circuit industry also needs the participation and guidance of system companies. China has the world’s largest refrigerator manufacturer, the world’s largest microwave oven manufacturer, and many mobile phone manufacturers. It has the conditions to participate in leading and nurturing the integrated circuit industry.

“Without their participation, our integrated circuit entrepreneurs would be very hard-working, because we don’t know what the market needs, whether our customers are telling you the truth, and whether the products we have designed can be used by them, which is beneficial for the semiconductor industry. The development of the semiconductor industry has brought a lot of troubles and obstacles.” Zhang Huanlin believes that the development of China’s semiconductor industry requires IC companies to embrace the world’s market, “China’s market is already the world’s largest semiconductor market, and our IC companies also need to embrace the global market.”

The above is the “fabless” related content brought by this editor. Through this article, I hope everyone has a certain understanding of the content brought by this article. If you like this article, you may wish to continue to pay attention to our website. The editor will bring more exciting content later. Finally, thank you very much for reading, have a nice day!

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