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Chengdu is expected to become IC's fourth city

Chengdu, a red city on the web that the masses find delicious and fun. According to public impression, there are hot pots, which sell "rolling" and hot sisters. But in fact, Chengdu has always been an important city in China's electronic information industry since its foundation.

Since the "first five-year plan", the state has created a large number of electronic industries such as the Hongguang Electronic Tube Factory (now the location of the East Suburb Memory, Chengdu Version 798), the former Guoguang electronic tube factory. , and the state-owned Jinjiang Motor Factory. In September 1956, under the personal deployment of Premier Zhou Enlai, the Department of Telecommunications Engineering of Jiaotong University (now Shanghai Jiaotong University, Xi'an Jiaotong University), the Department of Telecommunications of the Institute South China University of Technology (now South China University of Technology) and Nanjing Institute of Technology (now Southeast) University of Telecommunication Engineering (now China University of Electronic Science and Technology), the first radio university in China, was formed by the merger of the university's radio department.

In the pursuit of "three lines of construction", a number of factories and research institutes for military and national defense services were established in Chengdu and the surrounding areas. This period can be said to be the first "golden development period" of Chengdu's electronics industry. These defense and military electronics industries still exist today, however, it remains a significant weight for Chengdu to take a place in China's electronic information industry.

The rise and fall of Chengdu's integrated circuit industry

However, with the deepening of reform and opening up, the shortcomings of Chengdu's backwardness in the southwestern hinterland began to be exposed.

After entering the 1990s, most of these defense electronic units in Chengdu, especially the component factories, were in trouble due to backward technology and weak mechanisms. Chengdu has fallen into a low tide in the development of the electronic industry, especially the electronic component industry. With the release of the national "No. 18" document in 2000, the country began to exhibit "National IC Talent Training Base" and "National IC Design Industrialization Base" throughout the country. Due to the success of the electronics industry and the talent transfer advantage of the University of Electronic Science and Technology, Chengdu has become one of the "heavy cities" of integrated circuit design in China.

During this period, a number of well-known integrated circuit design companies were established and developed in Chengdu. Among them, there are companies such as Nanshan Bridge and Fujitsu Semiconductor Design (Chengdu) that are no longer brilliant, and there are also companies such as Bump Electronics and Xinwei Electronics that are still quietly following.

With the joint investment of Chengdu Gaoxin Investment Group Co., Ltd and Chengdu Industrial Investment Group Co., Ltd, the company will cooperate with SMIC to build and manage the "Chengxin" project, and Intel will establish the world's largest packaging factory in Chengdu, Chengdu in integrated circuits. There is an industrial design for design, manufacturing, packaging and testing. It can be said that in the golden age of this integrated circuit development cycle, Chengdu already had a complete industrial distribution of integrated circuits.

At that time, the industry had a rather beautiful metaphor: "the design of China's integrated circuit industry is like a Dapeng with wings, Shanghai is the head of a big bird, Beijing and Shenzhen are the two wings of Dapeng and Chengdu is the tail of Dapeng. . " . At that time, Chengdu had a pattern of "the fourth city of the IC industry".

However, on October 15, 2010, Texas Instruments officially announced the acquisition of Chengdu Chengxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd, and the development of the integrated circuit industry in Chengdu once again entered a period of low tide. A large number of integrated circuit design companies have experienced transformations, bankruptcies and liquidations. At the same time, in the Tianfu South District Software Park Office Building in Chengdu, a large number of mobile game companies and application development companies flourished under the spring of the mobile Internet. This was not only the factor of the general cold development of domestic integrated circuits at that time, but also the limitations of Chengdu's own industrial environment and talent. The two-phase comparison has greatly altered Chengdu's determination to continue developing integrated circuits.

With the establishment of the "big fund" of integrated circuits and the influence of various internal and external factors such as the Sino-US trade war, the development of the domestic integrated circuit industry has once again entered a development climax. However, Chengdu is more doubtful in the development of this round of the integrated circuit industry. Not only is there less than the strength and investment of Beijing, Shanghai and other cities, and even to some extent, it is not as good as cities like Hefei. Especially with the transfer of Tang Liangzhi, who has rich experience in the development of the integrated circuit industry, to Chongqing and the "Chengdu Gexin incident", the Chengdu IC industry seems to have fallen into a state of stagnant development.

But when we open the surface of these clouds and look at the core of Chengdu's integrated circuit industry, we will be pleasantly surprised that Chengdu has really become the "heavy city" of integrated circuits in China. The driving force for Chengdu to become a "heavy town" comes from power integrated circuits and systems, which are often cited by professionals as "the bottom of the despised chain of integrated circuit design."

Talents help ICs power up quickly

According to informed industry sources, semiconductor industry watchers were told that Chengdu now has hundreds of power chip companies. Especially in recent years, the rise of wireless charging and fast charging, another big wave company to enter Chengdu, which has enhanced Chengdu's influence in this field, and also started a talent battle in Chengdu.

Cheng may be involuntary in this field and has a great relationship with Chengdu in the accumulation of talent in PowerIC. On the one hand, the accumulation of these talents is related to the distribution of Texas Instruments, MPS and Bumpy Electronics in Chengdu in the early years, and cultivated a large number of talents and the environment; On the other hand, the University of Electronic Science and Technology as an electronic science and technology A+ subject university, in the power integrated circuit Academic advantages and talent cultivation advantages have accelerated the rapid development of Chengdu in this field.

First, we analyze foreign companies. At the beginning of this century, leading power chip companies, including Texas Instruments, Bump Electronics and MPS, established a chip design center in Chengdu. Although it has undergone changes and advances in recent years, it has cultivated many talents in electrical chips. For example, Nanxin Semiconductor, which just got more than 100 million yuan in funding, has a lot of Texas Instruments talent in its Chengdu office. The Chengdu design team of Chengdu Ruiyuan Semiconductor and Yingmaike (Xiamen) Co Ltd of Chengdu Ruiyuan Semiconductor has former employees of MPS and Bump Electronics.

The constant transmission of power integrated circuit talents by the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China is a propeller for the development of the PowerIC design company / R&D team in Chengdu. According to the official data of the Electronic Science and Technology University of China, Academician Chen Xingyu, born in 1931, is an internationally renowned microelectronics scientist who is known as the "Power China Device Leader". He was one of the first in China to study and participate in semiconductor technology. He was the first PhD tutor in the department of "Semiconductor Devices and Microelectronics" of the former Ministry of Electronics and obtained the first Ph.D.

Since 1981, Academician Chen has initiated research on power semiconductor devices, and first proposed the physical interpretation and analytical theory of various terminal technologies. He proposed two new types of longitudinal conductive devices with a new voltage structure, and made the unique results of three-dimensional electric field analysis, which has been praised by international academic circles as a new milestone in power devices.

During his tenure as head of the Department of Microelectronics Science and Engineering and director of the Institute of Microelectronics, Chen led the microelectronics of electronic science and technology in the direction of power integrated circuit development and achieved achievements of recognized international prestige. the basis of electronic technology. The academic situation of the university in this regard. Due to his outstanding contribution to the theory and design of high-voltage MOSFETs, Academician Chen received the highest honor of the International Power Semiconductor Pioneer Award from the May 2015 IEEE ISPSD conference. He is the first scientist to the Asia-Pacific region. receive this honor. In May 2018, the first IEEE ISPSD world hall of fame was selected for the invention of the super-junction device (32 in the world, the first in China).

Another "everyman" of high-power integrated electronic circuit - Professor Zhang Bo through the combination of industry, education and research, will continue to expand Chengdian's advantages in this regard and form a large-scale stable research team and Echelon talent training.

Professor Zhang Bo has been working on the research of new power semiconductor technologies since the late 1980s. He has been president of the International Conference on Power Semiconductors. In 2010 he became a member of the Technical Committee (TPC) of the International Conference on Power Semiconductor Devices and Power Integrated Circuits (ISPSD). The top-level professional conference on power semiconductors, Professor Zhang Bo is the first national scholar to enter the technical committee in recent years, and the vice president of the 2015 ISPSD conference. He currently leads the Power Integration Technology Laboratory of the University of Electronic Science and Technology (PITEL), focused on research on power semiconductor technology.

The Electronic Integration Technology Laboratory (PITEL) of China University of Economics and Technology is an important part of the "State Key Laboratory of Electronic and Integrated Thin Films" and "Integrated Circuit Research Center from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China." There are 11 professors/researchers, 9 associate professors, 2 professors/assistants, 198 full-time postgraduate students and 30 PhD students. They are praised by their international peers as "the largest academic research team in the field of global power semiconductor technology" and "the most comprehensive academic team in the field of power semiconductors".

In recent years, the lab has published more than 300 articles in SCI. He has published more than 60 articles in IEEE Electron Device Letters and IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, the leading publications in the field of electronic devices. After the publication of seven papers on EDL in 2012, the number of papers was among the best in the world. In 2015, eight papers were published in TED, and the number of papers ranked in the top three places in the world (first in the world in solid power and high voltage devices). In the field of power semiconductor technology, it has also applied for more than 800 invention patents in China. At present, it has obtained more than 400 invention patents from China and the United States, and has been the first in the field of IGBT and other fields. The laboratory graduates nearly 50 master's/doctorate students each year, providing a stable production of talent for the industry.

As the United States University of Electronic Science and Technology in the field of semiconductors and power ICs has formed an "aggregation effect", in addition to the University of Electronic Energy (PITEL), the University of Economics of Science and Technology (PITEL) Electronic Science and Technology University of Electronic Science and Engineering (exemplary microelectronics) There are also many teams and professors working on related research such as digital power controller chips and new power devices for further expand the scale of talent transfer. Under the continuous efforts of the three generations of the old, middle and young generations, the University of Electronic Science and Technology has consolidated its position in power IC and trained a large number of talents in Chengdu and even related fields in the china This is also the talent guarantee for many power chip companies to gather in Chengdu.

In recent years, the popularity of integrated circuits has increased, and the most important sites have increased the investment attraction of projects related to integrated circuits. Relatively, Chengdu's industrial policies and investment efforts are not calculated. With its own strength and talent accumulation, it has attracted companies such as Yichong Wireless, Shanghai Nanxin, Shengbangwei, Shilanwei and Yingjixin, which have made big names in related fields in recent years. / R & D Center. In Chengdu, the enterprise power chip company and invisible power chip design team that are different from the aforementioned foreign companies are countless.

This should be a good thing for Chengdu's industrial development. However, the arrival of these large capital companies has caused some local companies to face a problem, that is, it is difficult to recruit people.

According to a Chengdu chip company, HR told semiconductor industry observers that in recent years, the salary level of Chengdu IC talents has increased significantly.

In addition, he pointed out that this aspect is related to the heat of the integrated circuits; however, he also emphasized that this is also related to the fact that some companies that have been "rich in the first place" through funding are expanding rapidly and using higher standards than to discover people. In his opinion, this is good for engineers in the short term, but for many large companies, this will be a big blow. Because the latter with a mature compensation system will inevitably face the problem of losing senior engineers.

Although the phenomenon of human resources is not only a problem in Chengdu, but a common phenomenon in the country, Chengdu is in the IC industry compared to the northern first-tier cities, Guangzhou and Shenzhen with a relatively mature talent system, industrial base and compensation. mechanism There have been several problems in the development, such as the lack of talent and the low level of long-term income of employees. When newly funded companies that have obtained funding in Chengdu, their higher salary levels will have a greater impact on the weak talents of local companies in Chengdu. Since Chengdu has not formed a relatively strong and mature IC industry cluster for a long time, the ability to gather talents, especially those with industry experience and management ability, and high-end talent with PhD / engineering experience has been weak The flow of non-conventional talents caused by the increase in wage levels caused by the introduction of capital will inevitably hinder the overall improvement of Chengdu's industry, and it will also make Chengdu's local industrial clusters, which are difficult to obtain, return to be challenged. How to deal with and solve this challenge deserves the attention of policy makers in the Chengdu IC industry and related companies.

In addition, according to some chip industry veterans told semiconductor industry observers that, from a certain perspective, the "threshold of entry" for power chips is lower. Since the power chip does not need to pursue advanced technology and the overall size of the chip and small package, it has a lower cost of shooting than large-scale digital circuits such as CPU / GPU / SoC and complex analog circuits such as ADC / DAC / Serde. The design cycle is shorter. Therefore, the power chip design company has a long-standing phenomenon of "a dozen people and seven or eight guns", which has led to the homogenization of small companies and low-end products. How to make Chengdu power chip companies get rid of low-end competition and repetition and become a large competitive enterprise is another challenge that Chengdu IC industry officials and business leaders related have to deal with.

The leading research and talent development of power technology universities in the field of power chips and power devices is the guarantee of Chengdu's rise in the field of power chips. However, in recent years, with the development of brothers and universities, especially Xidian and Southeast University in this field, Chengdian will be challenged to the position of academic research and staff training in the highlands. With Xi'an and Nanjing having more complete and more mature support systems for integrated circuits, once the advantages of the highlands and talent culture change hands, the two cities are likely to form strong competition for the power chip industry in Chengdu. This also requires local governments, enterprises and universities to promote inter-center cooperation and school-enterprise cooperation with greater determination and sincerity and truly guarantee the advantage won by Chengdu.