Judgment and thinking on the development of global and Chinese semiconductors in 2022

At the end of each year, it is habitual to review the global semiconductor industry situation in that year, and at the same time make predictions about the industry trend in the next year. The development of the global semiconductor industry in 2021 continues the trend in the second half of 2020, and it has emerged from the ups and downs in the context of “out of stock” and “epidemic”. The volatility of the new crown epidemic, the unprecedented activity of technological and model innovation in the post-Moor era, the rise of technological nationalism and the increasing complexity of geopolitics have made the semiconductor industry, the cornerstone of the people’s livelihood economy, more and more important while also becoming more unpredictable.

Fortunately, 2021 is a rare and high-growth year. WSTS predicts that the growth rate will be at least 25%, the output value will exceed 500 billion U.S. dollars, and the domestic output value will be close to the trillions of income.

Therefore, based on the inertia of industry development, the semiconductor market in 2022 should not be bad, and various agencies predict that the growth rate will be between 8%-11%. However, we are still full of doubts and speculations about the development of next year. We will use the question and answer method to sort out and predict the global and domestic semiconductor industries from multiple dimensions such as capacity supply and demand, market, investment opportunities, policies, regional patterns, and supply chains. Judgment, and everyone is welcome to discuss it together.

  (1) How will the tight global semiconductor production capacity evolve in 2022? Will there be overcapacity?

Starting from Q3 of 2021, the global semiconductor shortage situation has gradually shifted from the full-line tension to the stage of structural relief. The supply of some general-purpose chip products such as small-capacity NOR memory, CIS, DDI and other consumer electronics has increased, and the inventory level has increased. The prices of some products have opened a downward channel, and agents have switched from hoarding to selling. From the perspective of production capacity, advanced technology and production capacity that partially rely on 8-inch special technology are still queuing up, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises that are still scheduled for full production and price increases.

However, from the current point of view, there is a high probability that the global semiconductor production capacity shortage in 2022 will be fully relieved, and even some products with strong versatility will have a surplus risk, and some chip products will continue to accumulate inventory due to the problem of “long and short materials”. , In the second half of 2022, it will enter the price-cutting channel ahead of schedule, and the price will pull back by more than 10%-15%. However, shortage and surplus are a dynamic adjustment process. The capacity situation in 2022 is still facing the following variables: First, the evolution direction of the new crown epidemic, especially whether the mutant strain “Omi Keron” will cause the global supply chain system to fall into again Stagnation and insufficient supply.

Second, certain external disturbances may affect the expansion schedule of certain manufacturers, such as major disasters, power cuts, or subject to the progress of the U.S. export license for key equipment, which further affects the distribution of global capacity supply and demand.

Third, despite the decline in global demand, under the background of new economic policies such as Metaverse and Dual Carbon, will there be a sustainable, phenomenal, and massive market like smartphones, driving the global semiconductor industry into a cycle of strong demand again? . The fourth is the influence of geopolitics and technological nationalism, and the global supply chain system has once again entered a state of deep uncertainty, which has intensified the inventory increase demand of major global chip application manufacturers.

  (2) Where are the investment hotspots of the semiconductor industry in 2022?

In 2021, the domestic primary and secondary investment market will continue to stage “black swan” events, leading to a significant decline in investment in consumer, entertainment, education and other sectors. A large amount of funds are squeezed into the hard technology track, which also causes multiple sectors in the chip field to rotate It has become a hot spot for investment. It is predicted that the number of companies receiving a new round of financing in 2021 and the scale of financing will double year-on-year in 2020.

The semiconductor segments that the capital market mainly pursues in 2021 include: GPU, DPU, and other high-performance dedicated processors that are strongly integrated with data center scenarios, and automotive-grade MCUs, ADAS, laser/millimeters that have attracted the attention of the capital market due to a global core shortage. Key chips such as wave radar, SiC, GaN and other power semiconductors brought by the concept of new energy vehicles and carbon neutrality, the entire industry chain from substrate materials to device manufacturing, as well as WIFI6, SAW filters, etc. to meet the needs of the new generation of communication localization The product.

In 2022, there is no doubt that semiconductors will still be the mainstream investment mainstream that represents hard technology in China, but the main logic of investment will undergo some adjustments: from comprehensive coverage to in-depth layout, from product-driven to production capacity and talent-driven factors, and from catching up and replacing to Both chasing and leading, from seeking value hotspots to finding value depressions.

From the perspective of the scenario, the terminals and infrastructure around the meta-universe concept such as new energy smart cars, AR/XR, and key chips related to carbon neutral applications; from the perspective of the industrial chain and products, domestic substitution is still the main line. X86 architecture server/desktop CPU, heterogeneous packaging and other advanced packaging, front-end measurement equipment, back-end probe card and other low-autonomous semiconductor equipment and consumables, as well as vacuum pumps (meters), radio frequency power supplies, silicon structural parts, etc. A large number of semiconductor parts and components; from the perspective of the new technology track, the new paradigm of intelligent computing chips such as storage and calculation integration (in-memory/near-memory), MRAM new memory, silicon light; all of the above may be favored by capital and Sought after.

  (3) What new changes will appear in the competitive landscape of my country’s semiconductor industry in 2022?

The competitive landscape of my country’s semiconductor industry in 2022 is mainly reflected in some changes in business strategies and paradigms. In the design industry, due to the wealth-making effect of the Science and Technology Innovation Board for three consecutive years, a large number of high-quality design companies have completed the listing, especially in the fields of analog chips, NOR memory, EDA, etc., where racetrack congestion and homogeneous competition have appeared.

Therefore, many leading companies have begun to choose horizontal products to extend across borders or vertical production chains to support the high valuations given by the capital market. The uncertainty of the supply chain in the past 2-3 years may have an impact on some small and medium-sized start-ups, and some start-ups are experiencing a cold winter in financing under this pattern. Therefore, in 2022, it will be observed that head design companies aiming at new product lines or manufacturing, packaging and testing production lines to carry out active mergers and acquisitions, CIS, Display driver, MEMS, power and other pan-analog chips are likely to appear 2-3 An IDM enterprise transformed from a design enterprise.

At the same time, the development strategies of more small and medium-sized design companies that have not yet been listed will shift from a large and comprehensive path to a high value-added “small and beautiful” path, and the Beijing Stock Exchange will continue to release the semiconductor sector after the Science and Technology Innovation Board. Bonus. In terms of manufacturing, the uncertainty of global technology and geography has led to a gradual increase in the number of companies transferring to domestic production capacity. The expectation of overcapacity in the second half of 2022 makes the customer strategies of domestic manufacturing companies more flexible. Innovative forms, such as “funding” investment capacity and “large and small” ecological capacity, will become more popular. In the packaging industry, in addition to the three leading companies of OSAT, new ventures in advanced packaging fields such as 3D heterogeneous packaging, Chiplet, and FC have made rapid progress, and OSAT, design companies, and foundries will have more synergy in the field of advanced packaging. cooperate.

 (4) What new changes will appear in the market structure of my country’s semiconductor industry in 2022?

There are four main factors affecting the changes in the market structure of my country’s semiconductor industry in 2022: First, the sluggish domestic consumer demand market. The second is the advancement of the digital economy and new infrastructure under the dual-carbon background. The third is the emergence and penetration of new intelligent terminals comparable to the mobile phone/PC market, and the fourth is the return of high-value talents.

In 2021, domestic education, entertainment, Internet and other industries will continue to be suppressed, in a disguised form, suppressing the consumer demand of the people. This impact will continue in 2022, making the market demand for consumer electronics chips continue to weaken. In 2022, the digital economy and new infrastructure will advance rapidly, so the demand for data centers, communications, and industrial chip products will increase.

However, subject to double carbon constraints, key chips in the field of new energy such as SiC/GaN and other compound semiconductors, photovoltaic wind energy, various types of chips and sensors with ultra-low power consumption, edge computing and intelligent power management chips, energy-saving semiconductor equipment and Parts and components will usher in room for development.

In terms of terminals, new energy smart cars will still be the darling of the market in 2022, but their popularity will decrease compared to 2021. Many domestic companies entering the car-level chip track have also entered a “cooling-off period.” And for TWS, GaN fast charging and other phenomenal products that once matched the size of the mobile phone market, their market growth rate will also enter a stage of steady development from rapid growth.

At the same time, Apple’s first MR product is expected to become a killer product in the 5G and meta-universe era, driving high-definition 8K video codec chips, head/eye tracking sensors, depth sensors, silicon-based OLED display chips, and NED near-eye display related optical imaging The market demand for components and other fields was stimulated. However, because new products and new technologies will always face the “market education” stage, they cannot make up for the sluggish consumer electronics market. In recent years, driven by the epidemic and the sci-tech innovation board, a large number of high-end talents with experience in large overseas factories are returning to Chinese companies, helping some market segments with low autonomy for a long time to enter a breakthrough period.

Therefore, in general, applications such as industry and automobiles will become the focus of market development in 2022. It is expected that the product line layout of many leading companies will shift from consumer electronics to high-quality application scenarios such as industry and automobiles. To “only quality” transformation.

(5) What new changes will appear in the regional structure of my country’s semiconductor industry in 2022?

In the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan, more than 20 provinces and cities in China included integrated circuits/semiconductors in the “14th Five-Year Plan”, which also indicates that regional competition in the domestic semiconductor industry will become increasingly fierce.

The changes in the pattern of regional competition in 2022 mainly come from three factors: one is policy incentives; the other is the country’s strengthening of top-level guidance and the rational allocation of resources; the third is the repositioning of regional development priorities. In 2022, the regional integrated circuit industry policy will still lead the Yangtze River Delta region with Shanghai as the core, but the Greater Bay Area and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei will have more innovative and breakthrough pilot policies.

The state will further strengthen the professional guidance for local governments to develop the integrated circuit industry, and strengthen the awareness of the responsibility of each region for the construction of integrated circuit projects. The phenomenon of low-level redundant construction in industrial sectors such as compound semiconductors will be controlled.

In terms of regional development positioning, Beijing in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region will focus more on solving the strategic “stuck neck” problem and the future long-term direction of the layout of frontier fields, while strengthening the training of basic high-tech talents; Shanghai in the Yangtze River Delta region will be even bigger. Efforts will be made to improve the entire integrated circuit industry ecology, and coordinate with Jiangsu, Zhejiang and other places in the industrial chain and the Yangtze River Delta region; Shenzhen, Zhuhai and other Greater Bay Areas will make full use of the historical opportunity of the construction of the “Qianhai Hengqin” dual cooperation zone , Becoming my country’s new gateway hub for attracting semiconductor global innovation elements.

Under the country’s overall layout and top-level design, starting from 2022, my country’s semiconductor industry will usher in a new round of regional layout adjustment after it “blooms everywhere”. Industrial agglomeration will be further adjusted, and the level of regional innovation in my country’s semiconductor industry will be even greater. Clear, and further promote the development of regional innovation characteristics.

In summary, although the semiconductor industry in 2022 may still be trapped by capacity issues, it is more stable than the roller coaster market in 2021. In addition, with the increasing attention of the entire industry, the number and quality of players have increased, leading to the development of the entire industry into a tough period and deep waters. How to go from pursuing scale and comparative advantages to pursuing quality and differentiated innovation capabilities may be a lot of domestic Questions that semiconductor companies need to think about in 2022.

In short, my country’s semiconductor industry will continue to ride the wind and waves in 2022, but only by setting the right direction, practicing well, and consolidating the foundation, can it be stable and long-term.

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