Myth and reality of China's IC fund
Junko Yoshida, EETimes
6/22/2017 00:01 AM EDT
AUSTIN, Texas — It’s been two years since China announced a huge capital investment intended to kick-start an indigenous semiconductor industry. China’s ambitious “National IC Industry Development Outline” spells out a mission to build up a semiconductor industry that will eventually become self-sufficient.
So, how’s that working out for China?
At the Design Automation Conference (DAC) here this week, Shaojun Wei, dean at Tsinghua University (Beijing), told EE Times: “That’s a good question. The results are mixed.”
While acknowledging accelerated growth for manufacturing and fabless companies in China, Wei said he senses a certain amount of frustration.
Wei is a key advisor to the Chinese government on the National IC Industry Development Outline. Asked if the government is getting impatient, he said, “No. Chinese chip companies are the ones getting frustrated.” He explained, “Their expectations were very high… and they think things aren’t moving fast enough.”
China has been experiencing something of a fabless-chip gold rush. In 2011, China reportedly had 500 fabless chip companies. Today, Wei estimates more than 1,300.
That number, however, is grossly misleading.
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