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how to help Chip Enterprises break through the IP
2021-07-14
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Author:Kim      Share

With the development of vlsi-pcb design and pcb manufacturing technology, IC design enterprises have entered the SOC era. In this process, chip design becomes more and more complex. Fundamentally speaking, the birth of SOC is a process of IP verification and integration. The increasing complexity and design cost of SOC chip enterprises also mean higher requirements for IP core design and reuse technology.


Therefore, IP is also regarded as the ecological entry point for IC design and mass production, especially for all kinds of cross process, high-performance, high reliability, high security key IP and integration services, which are the most important to make SOC products successful.

 situation of the IP market

In this context, what is the situation of the IP market?


Development potential and trend of PCB intellectual property market

In terms of the development of the global IP market, according to IBS data, it is expected that the global semiconductor IP market will increase from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $10.1 billion in 2027, with a growth rate of 120% and an annual compound growth rate of 9.13%.  

 

China is an important place to drive the growth of the semiconductor market, and also provides fertile soil for the development of the IP market.  Yu potential capital in its previous research report pointed out that as the global IC industry chain transfer to mainland China, mainland China set up the new chip design company five year compound growth rate of 24.7%, the planned chip design project is increased, the comprehensive growth far above the world, this also for China's semiconductor IP market has brought a greater room for growth.  

 

Ao Gang, co-founder of China's leading enterprise in high-end IP and chip customization -- Core Technology, said that the key to the rapid innovation of today's multi-functional intelligent SoC chips is the benefit of a variety of high-performance IP cores.  A smartphone or cloud computing chip, for example, usually consists of more than a dozen high-speed interfaces, multimedia, and computing IP cores, all of which are essential in large chips such as traditional CPUs, GPUs, NPUs, and FPGAs.  At the same time, all kinds of consumer electronics, multimedia, security monitoring, Internet of Things, MCU and other terminal products required by the modern society also need to combine different types of IP, which provides a driving force for the growth of the domestic semiconductor IP market.  

 

At present, there are two trends in the development of IP market: one is the continuous evolution towards the direction of high performance; the other is the more and more popular personalized competitiveness in terms of size, power consumption, area and performance.  All of them emphasize cutting edge, efficiency and reliability.  

 

The role of Chinese vendors in the IP market   

At present, under the dual background of urgent demand for high-end chips and unprecedented opportunities for localization, local IP manufacturers have also ushered in unprecedented opportunities for replacement.  But this may not be easy, and overseas companies in IP market has many years of accumulation, first-mover advantage obviously, brand and product exposure rate is high, the market cost of huge investment, large volume, comprehensive layout, some even with EDA tools for a depth of binding, this also to tap into this market competitor has caused a lot of pressure.  

 

But from the growth of local IP manufacturers, domestic IP is still promising.  With years of efforts and accumulation of domestic chip enterprises, a number of advanced local IP manufacturers are gradually breaking the historical pattern, especially in the field of high-speed interface and hybrid circuit IP has achieved remarkable results.  Ao Gang, co-founder of Core Technology, also said in an interview, "There is still some misunderstanding about domestic IP in the market. In fact, the research and development strength of local IP manufacturers is not weak, and the performance of domestic IP in terms of performance, yield, reliability and shipment volume is outstanding."  

 

Driven by the market environment, local IP manufacturers have ushered in an era of rich accumulation and rapid development. They not only have the ability to compete with international IP companies, but also have achieved the leading performance and technology in the segment fields. For example, Core Technology took the lead in releasing GDDR6 and GDDR6X commercial IP worldwide.  As well as domestic independent Chiplet, LPDDR5, DDR5, HBM2E /3, etc.  


According to AoGang, core technology has been widely used in People's Daily contact with sweeping robot, AI intelligent speakers, hd set-top boxes, high-definition cameras, game consoles, mobile phones, tablets, rail transit id "brush face authentication", as well as today's digital age depends on automotive electronics, servers, switches and top/NPU CPU/GPU products such as strategy,  Therefore, the reliability and performance of domestic IP have been verified by a large number of markets, and they do not lag behind the international cutting-edge technology.  


In the advanced technology era of FINFET and FDX, the difficulty of high-end process design becomes greater, the cost of flow plate is high, and the market competition is fierce. How to ensure the rapid integration of various IP and the rapid mass production of products to market are the common pain points of many domestic chip enterprises.  Therefore, the competition of IP is not only the competition of technology, but also the competition of reliability and differentiated services.  Therefore, for chip enterprises, choosing IP manufacturers with rich process experience, close to customer needs, strong customization ability, flexible business model and the ability to cover bottom risks has become a key link to achieve chip differentiation competitive advantage.  This is also the advantage of local IP manufacturers in the corner overtaking.  

 

With unique one-stop IP core dynamic science and technology and chip custom service, for example, covering six big contract from 0.18 micron to nanometer technology nodes, 5 PPA optimized according to the customer application scenarios, can one pace reachs the designated position turnkey integrated quickly, for domestic chip to realize high reliability, high cost performance, low BOM cost, information security.  "We can see that domestic IP companies are making continuous progress and breakthroughs with their independent research and development capabilities and innovation capabilities," Ao said.  As long as we keep working hard, the prospect is worth looking forward to."  

 

How can local IP accelerate the development of domestic high-end chips  

The long-term development of China's integrated circuit needs the support of domestic technology and the support of the ecological chain of close cooperation.  As the basic link of semiconductor industry chain and a solid force to promote domestic independent innovation, core IP will play a crucial leading role.  Therefore, the domestic chip ecology needs a system of high reliability, high security and independent innovation. If there is no local IP, the system cannot function normally.  

 

However, compared with international enterprises, domestic IP manufacturers still have shortcomings in terms of volume scale and brand effect.  Therefore, opening up the upstream and downstream resource channels of the industrial chain and strengthening the cooperation between enterprises of both supply and demand are one of the most effective ways for local manufacturers to break out of the competition.  

 

Aogang said: "in the domestic IP field, the market demand is strong, and win-win cooperation will be promising. Chip enterprises make use of domestic advanced IP technology to quickly carry out knowledge reuse and innovation iteration, which can greatly avoid repeated investment, improve the core competitiveness of domestic products, and accelerate the implementation of terminal scenarios.


In fact, in addition to the above advantages, domestic IC design enterprises are also active in processor IP, RF IP, risc-v and other fields, which are still very popular.