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From signal chain MCU to science and technology innovation board, what is the core competitiveness of domestic chips

The establishment of the Science and Technology Innovation Board has ignited new hope for domestic semiconductors. In the past year or so, 17 companies related to the semiconductor industry have registered on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, with a total market value of more than 600 billion yuan, accounting for about 10% of the market value of the Science and Technology Innovation Board. 30%. Among the top 10 companies by market value, there are 4 semiconductor companies, namely China Micro Corporation, Montage Technology, and Shanghai Silicon Industry. Among them, China Micro Corporation and Montage Technology have a market value of over 100 billion.

R&D – the core driving force of the enterprise

Although the overall prosperity is thriving, it is a different scene when it falls into the company. From the perspective of revenue growth, there are 4 companies whose revenue has declined year-on-year. Among them, Jingchen’s revenue has decreased by 0.48%. Montage Technology’s revenue decreased by 1.13%, China Resources Micro’s revenue decreased by 8.42%, and Shengong’s revenue decreased by 33.25%.

In terms of net profit growth, the net profit of 6 companies declined year-on-year. Among them, VeriSilicon decreased by 3.94% year-on-year, China Resources Micro decreased by 6.68% year-on-year, Huaxing Yuanchuang decreased by 27.47%, and Shengong shares decreased by 27.47%. Down 27.8%, Jingchen shares fell 44.06%, the largest decline in Shanghai silicon industry, down 902.4%.

Since the semiconductor field has always maintained a high speed of technological iteration, if semiconductor companies want to remain competitive in the industry, they must invest heavily in research and development, which will inevitably affect the company’s net profit. The author counted the R&D investment of 17 semiconductor companies on the Science and Technology Innovation Board. From the statistics, there are 8 companies whose R&D investment accounts for more than 15%. Among them, the R&D investment accounts for more than 18%. The average R&D expenses of 17 companies including Ji Technology and Jingchen Co., Ltd. are 12.39%.

From signal chain MCU to science and technology innovation board, what is the core competitiveness of domestic chips

The intensity of R&D investment is one of the criteria for measuring the competitiveness of a semiconductor company. High and continuous R&D investment will inevitably have a certain impact on the profitability of the company. However, increasing R&D efforts is a required course for semiconductor companies. Say another semiconductor company – Chipsea Technology.

The personality of the founder of the company determines the tonality of the company. Lu Guojian, the founder of Chipsea Technology, has been engaged in the R&D and design of analog circuits for a long time. Therefore, Chipsea Technology is a semiconductor company with a strong engineer culture. This is from their financial report. can be seen.

According to Chipsea’s prospectus, from 2017 to January to March 2020, Chipsea’s R&D expenses were 40.1966 million yuan, 41.1569 million yuan, 51.0861 million yuan, and 12.9205 million yuan respectively. Yuan, the R&D expense rates were 24.52%, 18.77%, and 19.77%, respectively. This achievement is ranked among the companies on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, second only to China Micro and Anji Technology, and not comparable to Jingchen Semiconductor. Up and down, much higher than the average level of semiconductor companies on the Science and Technology Innovation Board.

Chipsea Technology

Chipsea started its business with ADCs. As early as 2007, Chipsea launched a 24-bit high-precision ADC chip CS1242 with 21 effective digits, and its performance index reached the same level as TI’s ADS1240, realizing the domestic mid-to-high-end weighing instrument. The replacement process of domestic chips from scratch. In 2011, Chipsea launched a 24-bit low-speed high-precision ADC chip CS1232, with an effective number of 23.5 bits, which is currently in the leading domestic and international advanced level.

Chipsea’s target US companies are TI and ADI. Although there is a big gap between the two sides in the market share, Chipsea’s R&D investment is not weaker than TI. According to TI’s 2019 financial report, its R&D investment is 15.5. 4.4 billion US dollars, and R&D accounted for 10.73%. Chipsea’s R&D investment is also higher than that of another company, ADI. Infineon in Europe accounted for less than 10% of R&D investment in 2018.

Domestic core – research and development to do addition

Recently, Chipsea is planning to register on the Science and Technology Innovation Board. According to the prospectus of Chipsea, the net profit of Chipsea in the past three years was 16.3585 million yuan, 28.0914 million yuan, and 42.8023 million yuan respectively, and the net profit growth rate was 16.3585 million yuan. It is worth noting that the R&D ratio of Chipsea Technology has remained at around 20%, which is higher than the 10% R&D investment of most companies.

In the past three years, Chipsea’s R&D expenses were 40.1966 million yuan, 41.1569 million yuan, and 51.0861 million yuan respectively. Chipsea is a typical technology-driven enterprise, and its net profit in 2019 increased by 52%. , but the R&D investment is still higher than the net profit. Last year, the R&D investment reached 51.08 million, which was 8.28 million higher than the net profit. Goodix Technology is also a company that is so paranoid about R&D investment. In the first quarter of this year, Goodix risked halving its net profit and doubled its R&D investment, whether it is Chipsea Technology or Goodix Technology , For a semiconductor company, such a spirit is worthy of respect.

The meaning of science and technology innovation board

What is the meaning of the science and technology board? If it is just for the purpose of simply speculating in stocks and making money, there is absolutely no need for an additional science and technology board. After all, the Sci-tech Innovation Board can also accept loss-making companies. The purpose of the Sci-tech Innovation Board is to develop core technologies to achieve independence and avoid Huawei and ZTE incidents 10 years later. Therefore, it is necessary to support a group of companies with core technologies and competitiveness.

SMIC was able to get the green light all the way and frequently broke the record of the listing process on the Science and Technology Innovation Board. From submitting the application to the Shanghai Stock Exchange and receiving the acceptance, to the approval and registration of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the whole process took only 29 days. The reason is that China needs a company like SMIC. enterprise. SMIC is to domestic semiconductors, just like Qualcomm is to the United States, it is a company with strategic significance, so the outside world does not care that SMIC’s revenue and gross profit decreased last year. The first day of Shanghai Silicon Industry’s registration on the Science and Technology Innovation Board soared 180%, no one cared that it lost 89.91 million in 2019, because it is the largest enterprise in China’s semiconductor wafer industry, and it is also the first in mainland China to achieve large-scale production of 300mm semiconductor wafers and sales businesses. Semiconductor companies on the Science and Technology Innovation Board are betting on the future of domestic chips.

Chipsea Technology not only gnaws at the hard core of ADC, but also develops low-drift amplifiers, reference sources and other products on the basis of high-precision ADC chips, thus mastering the full signal chain chip design technology. The so-called signal chain is the interface between the digital world and the physical world, including the entire processing flow of analog-to-digital conversion, amplification, conversion, conditioning, and control.

A complete signal chain cannot work without MCU. Only SOC products that integrate signal chain and MCU can realize a complete closed-loop signal chain from measurement, operation, and control. In addition, for the general signal chain MCU, Chipsea hopes to also create an innovative platform for customers. The specifications of the products may not be so extreme, but they will reserve space for partners to innovate. The signal chain can also quickly create an integrated and cost-effective product for customers or partners.

It is worth noting that the signal chain belongs to the analog circuit, and the MCU belongs to the digital circuit, which are two fields with a large technical span. Domestic enterprises generally focus on the signal chain or MCU field, while Chipsea Technology and TI are the few that master the signal at the same time. A chip company of chain and MCU technology.

The Future of Signal Chain MCUs

With the advent of 5G and the development of the Internet of Things, the signal chain MCU is playing an increasingly important role. Accurate perception brings more precise control. The antenna of the signal chain MCU not only plays a great role in the medical and health field, but also in the industrial Measurement and control, communication, especially smart home will also play a huge role. For example, Chipsea’s signal chain products are used in Gree air conditioners, COLMO central air conditioners, Xiaomi Air 2SE TWS headphones, and Meizu anti-splash electric toothbrushes.

Especially under the background of new infrastructure, the great development of the IoT industry such as smart home has obvious driving force for the signal chain MCU. In 2018, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the “Several Opinions on Improving the Consumption Promotion System and Mechanism and Further Stimulating Residents’ Consumption Potential”, which clearly put forward the focus on the development of smart home products that adapt to consumption upgrades. According to the forecast of the Prospective Industry Research Institute, the scale of China’s smart home market will reach 436.9 billion yuan in 2021.

In the consumer-side smart home market, Xiaomi and Huawei are two star companies and two leading companies. Huawei released its AIoT ecological strategy last year, which will build a smart home full-scenario product ecosystem from three levels of entry, link, and ecology. Chairman and CEO Lei Jun also realized the trend of artificial intelligence when he started his business, and clearly pointed out that the next super outlet will be in the era of the Internet of Everything brought by 5G communication, so he has deployed in smart homes early. As an important part of the signal chain MCU industry chain, Chipsea Technology is also a logical step to enter the supply chain of these companies. At present, the pressure touch control of Xiaomi mobile phones, TWS headset charging compartment, Xiaomi weight scales, and body fat scales all use cores. Hai’s chips and solutions, OPPO, VIVO and other companies also cooperate.

Finally, the Internet of Things is the future development direction, including Huiding Technology, MediaTek, Unisplendour and other companies are making efforts in this direction. Chipsea’s signal chain has natural advantages, so naturally it can also enjoy this wave of dividends, another On the other hand, as a semiconductor company, Chipsea is undoubtedly a low-key, pragmatic and technology-focused company. Although it is still far from TI, it has been working hard. Just like SMIC, it is also far from TSMC, but never thought about it. Lying down and making money, there are only more and more pragmatic companies like this. Domestic semiconductors will always rise one day, and the Science and Technology Innovation Board is the cradle of these companies.

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