Chinese Semiconductor Outlook III: From Made in China to Designed in China

Chinese Semiconductor Outlook III: From Made in China to Designed in China


In our previous blogs, (Part 1 and Part 2) we discussed that one of the main focuses of the Chinese government is to develop an in-house IC design industry. Currently in our market, China’s government funding is supporting different companies international corporations. This is done with the intension to push R&D and favorable policies to attract additional global talents.


Today, we are going to take a close look at the rising stars within the Chinese IC design industry and what changes they bring to the global market.


Within the worldwide IC market, the China-based chip business accounts for only 3% in 2014 sales, but the 9% growth rate in their “fables” design companies put them on the spot . In 2009, only one Chinese company, HiSillcon, made it to the global Top 50 Fabless IC supplier ranking. In 2014 another eight Chinese companies joined the list . Two stars on the list are HiSillcon and Spredtrum, followed by Datang, Nari Smart Chip, CIDC, ZTE, Rockchip, RDA, and Allwinner . Most of them are thriving due to the booming of low- to mi-range smartphone market in China.


Hisillcon: As the number one IC design company in China, Hisillcon generated $1.4 billion USD in 2013. Their predominant product is the Kirin series of processors, seeing in Huawei’s Ascend series of phones. There is rumor that Hisllcon’s new Kirin 930 SoC might be used in the next Nexus phone.


Spredtrum: Focusing on providing solutions in the mobile platforms, modems and Turnkey Platform, Spredtrum’s products cover applications from 2G to 4G. Their quad-core and dual-core WCDMA chipsets are adopted for Samsung WCDMA tablets and smartphones .


Rockship and Allwinner: Both companies focus on the tablet’s computer processors. A combined market share of these two companies showed an increase from 0.3% to more than 27% in 3 years , challenging big names such as Qualcomm and Intel. They were able to make large leaps forward in the market by taking risks and by having the ability to react quickly to customers’ requests due to proximity.


With more Chinese companies joining the global IC design industry, the trending of “Made in China” is gradually shifting towards “Design in China”. Everyone should also be aware that China is also bringing notable changes into the electronic industry.


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