2019 is destined to be the year of integrated circuits. The ZTE incident in 2018 was just a trigger point, and the Huawei incident in 2019 caused the Chinese chip pain to strike again. The dream of a great country requires not only the continuous surge of capital and models, but also the support of such key industries.
The Core Thought Research Institute hereby launched the column “Making Chips”, reviewing the history of wafer manufacturing in various provinces in China. This article mainly mentions 8-inch and 12-inch production lines, and covers design and packaging and testing.
Today we are talking about Fujian Province. Fujian Province is abbreviated as “Min”, and it was called “Minyue” in ancient times. Due to the dense mountains that separate Fujian and Yue from the Central Plains civilization, the ancient Minyue is even regarded as the most stubborn place outside the world. When the mountains closed the door to the outside world for the Fujianese, the sea opened another window for the Fujianese. Fujian has a long and winding coastline and numerous harbor islands. During the Song and Yuan Dynasties, Quanzhou became an important birthplace of the “Maritime Silk Road”, and Fujianese sold their goods to all over the world and started overseas trade activities. In modern times, Xiamen and Fuzhou were among the five trading ports, and the Mawei shipping culture was brilliant for a while. Overseas trade and overseas immigration have become the two major characteristics of Fujian, and also formed the Fujian businessmen who later spread all over the world. It can be said that factors such as ocean, commerce, openness and immigration have long been integrated into the blood of Fujian people and have become the unique endowment of Fujian culture.
Fujian’s integrated circuit industry began in the late 1960s. After more than 50 years, Fujian’s “core” pain is still the same: the integrated circuit industry is small in scale, narrow in radiation range, and weak in development capabilities.
In October 2018, Fujian issued the “Fujian Integrated Circuit Industry Development Action Plan Version 1.0”. The “Action Plan” proposes to support qualified and basic integrated circuit enterprises to provide integrated circuits centered on Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Putian. The coastal integrated circuit industry belt has agglomerated development. Emphasizes giving priority to the development of integrated circuit manufacturing industry, and proposes to adhere to the development of advanced manufacturing processes and special manufacturing processes. For wafer foundry, accelerate the expansion of 55/40/28nm chip production capacity, and promote the research and development of advanced manufacturing processes such as 22/20nm; for memory manufacturing , speed up the construction of DRAM memory production lines, and step up the formation of large-scale production capacity with high yield; for compound semiconductors, expand the mass production scale of compound semiconductor material chips such as gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, and silicon carbide.
Let’s take a peek at the history of core making in Fujian.
Fuzhou is difficult to chase “core”
Fuzhou, also known as Rongcheng, or “Rong” for short, is an important city on the southeast coast of China, one of the first 14 coastal port cities open to the outside world, the gateway to the Maritime Silk Road and one of the three areas of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone; Fuzhou is also one of the first five trade ports opened in modern China. Fuzhou Mawei is the cradle of the modern Chinese navy, the birthplace of Chinese shipping culture, and one of the cradles of modern Chinese culture, education and scientific and technological talents.
When it comes to integrated circuit companies in Fuzhou, the most talked about are design companies, such as RockChip, but few people talk about the wafer manufacturing industry in Fuzhou.
In fact, the integrated circuit industry in Fuzhou can be traced back to the 1960s. The Fujian Provincial Semiconductor Research Institute (Fujian Semiconductor Device Factory, State-owned 8430 Factory) established in 1969 is a factory specializing in the production of semiconductor integrated circuits and discrete devices. Combine business. In 1988, a complete set of equipment for a 4-inch 3-micron large-scale integrated circuit production line was introduced, and the first 4-inch production line in Fujian was established. In 1996, Fushun Microelectronics was established as a joint venture with Taiwanese Youshun Technology.
In 2006, Fushun Microelectronics established the first 6-inch wafer production line in Fujian Province. But at present, because the equipment is too old, and the partner Youshun Technology has a relatively new 6-inch factory in Xiamen, Youshun Technology is not interested in the upgrade of Fushun Micro.
Fuzhou also planned the Fushun wafer 8-inch production line project in 2012. Construction started in 2013. The first phase of civil engineering has been completed. However, due to the inability to purchase suitable 8-inch second-hand equipment, and the partner Youshun Technology has no demand for 8-inch wafers. , and there is no intention to carry out technical upgrades, resulting in the stagnation of the 8-inch project.
Fuzhou also has an 8-inch wafer manufacturing project in 2011, which is operated by EF Investment Group, and plans to build three 8-inch 250-110nm wafer production lines within three years. But so far the project has not landed.
Fuzhou also intended to integrate two 8-inch projects of EF and Fushun, but due to various reasons, the integration was not successful.
Fuzhou’s 8-inch core-making dream has been empty in ten years.
Xiamen builds a “core” dream
Xiamen, which was the habitat of egrets in ancient times, is also known as Ludao, or Lulu for short. It is an important central city on the southeast coast. In 1980, it approved the establishment of a special economic zone. It has become a demonstration area for cross-strait emerging industries and modern service industries. Cross-strait regional financial service center and cross-strait trade center.
The history of chip making in Xiamen can be traced back to the 1980s. At that time, there were several semiconductor device factories in Xiamen, including the first, second, fourth and rectifier factories, which produced various discrete devices, all of which were small in scale. In the 1990s, the state-owned 746 factory went to Xiamen to set up Hualian Electronics to engage in IC and LED packaging. Due to financial problems, the IC packaging business was gradually dismantled, which is a pity. In the 2000s, Taiwan Youshun came to Xiamen to set up Jishunxin Microelectronics, engaged in the manufacture of 6-inch wafers, with a current monthly output of 50,000 wafers.
In June 2014, the State Council issued the “National Integrated Circuit Industry Development Promotion Outline (2015-2025)”, and formulated the strategic plan for the development of the integrated circuit industry in the next 10 years. Xiamen seizes the opportunity to become a key city in the national integrated circuit layout planning. In recent years, the layout of the integrated circuit industry has continued to accelerate, and three integrated circuit clusters have been formed in the Torch High-tech Zone, Haicang District, and Huli District of the Pilot Free Trade Zone, initially covering integrated circuit design, manufacturing, packaging and testing, equipment and In the industrial chain links such as materials and applications, integrated circuit companies such as Leadcore Integration, Silan Microelectronics, Tongfu Microelectronics, Youxun Expressway, Leikewei, Han Tiancheng, and Meiri Fengchuang are gathered. At present, Xiamen has formed a certain scale effect. In 2018, the output value of Xiamen’s integrated circuit industry was 41.5 billion yuan. It is planned that the integrated circuit industry will reach 150 billion yuan by 2025.
1. Lead core integration
In October 2014, UMC signed an agreement with Xiamen Municipal People’s Government and Fujian Electronic Information Group to build a 12-inch wafer fabrication plant. 50,000 12-inch wafers, with a total investment of USD 6.2 billion.
Construction started on March 26, 2015, the main plant was capped on October 27; equipment was inserted on April 1, 2016, 40nm communication chips were cast on June 12, and officially put into production on November 16; March 21, 2017 The 28-nanometer technology transfer was approved on May 22, and the 28-nanometer PolySiON process started shipping on May 22. On March 26, 2018, the 28-nanometer HKMG process was successfully trial-produced.
Up to now, Leadchip can provide 90nm, 40nm and 28nm foundry services, with a monthly installed capacity of 25,000 12-inch wafers in the first phase.
It is reported that Leadcore integrated 12-inch process platform will introduce 22nm logic process in the future to strengthen the layout of 28nm and 22nm in MCU technology platform.
In all honesty, although Leadcore Integration operates independently, its dominance cannot erase the presence of UMC. The source of technology is completely dependent on UMC. Therefore, Leadcore Integration is more like a processing plant of UMC in mainland China, and its production capacity is controlled by UMC. , unable to provide much support for local design companies in Xiamen.
2. Silan Micro Project
On December 18, 2017, Chinese private IDM company Silan Micro and Xiamen Haicang government signed an agreement to build two 12-inch production lines and a compound semiconductor production line in Xiamen.
Silan Micro’s 12-inch featured process chip project has a total investment of 17 billion yuan to build two 12-inch integrated circuit manufacturing lines with MEMS and power devices as the main products. The first 12-inch production line, with a total investment of 7 billion yuan and a process line width of 90 nanometers, is planned to produce 80,000 pieces per month. It will be put into production in 2020; the total investment of the second phase of the project is 2 billion yuan, and the new monthly production capacity is 40,000 pieces; the second 12-inch production line is the third phase of the project, with an estimated total investment of 10 billion yuan and a process line width of 65nm-90nm. The project is operated by Silan Jike. On October 18, 2018, the foundation stone of the project was laid; the civil construction began in May 2019, the pile foundation project was completed in August, and the main construction began; it is currently in communication with major equipment manufacturers, and it is expected to be completed in 2020. put into production in the fourth quarter.
Silan Micro’s 4/6-inch compatible compound semiconductor production line project has a total investment of 5 billion yuan, which will be implemented in two phases. Among them, the first phase of the project will invest 2 billion yuan and the second phase of the project will invest 3 billion yuan. The project is operated by Silan Ming Gallium, and the foundation stone was laid on October 18, 2018; the main plant was capped in April 2019, and the equipment was moved into the commissioning stage in June, and it will be officially put into production in the fourth quarter.
The establishment of Silan Micro’s Xiamen base is an important measure for the company to enhance its core competitiveness in the field of characteristic processes and move towards a world-class semiconductor company. power, a milestone.
Jinjiang “core” is strong
Jin people moved south and lived by the river, hence the name Jinjiang. Since the Jin Dynasty, people from Luoyang in the Central Plains moved here because of the war. They missed their homeland of the Jin Dynasty, so the river where they lived was named Jinjiang. In 718, the Tang Dynasty established Jinjiang County in the southeast of Nan’an, under the jurisdiction of Quanzhou.
Jinjiang is one of the economically developed county-level cities in my country and the county-level city with the strongest economic strength in Fujian. Since 1995, its economic strength has always ranked first among county-level cities in Fujian. In 1986, Mr. Fei Xiaotong proposed the “Jinjiang Model”, which together with the Southern Jiangsu Model, the Wenzhou Model and the Yangtze River Delta Model constitute the four major models of economic development in my country’s counties.
Over the years, Jinjiang has insisted on transforming, cultivating high-tech industries, and driving the transformation and upgrading of domestic traditional industries. In 2015, Jinjiang said that it will gather the strength of the whole city to develop the integrated circuit industry in order to accelerate the transformation and upgrading of the industry. How easy is it to develop the integrated circuit industry in Jinjiang, a desert land of integrated circuits?
Strong nostalgia, a family from Fujian and Taiwan. Jinjiang has received the support of overseas Chinese to develop the integrated circuit industry, and finally cooperated with UMC to jointly develop the 32-nanometer DRAM process; Jinhua paid the technical remuneration, and UMC conducted research and development in the Nanke factory, and then transferred to Jinhua integrated production; technology The results are jointly owned by both parties.
After solving the source of technology, Jinjiang, which is not bad for money, moved quickly.
In February 2016, Jinhua Integration was established. Fujian Electronic Information Group, Quanzhou and Jinjiang governments jointly invested 37 billion yuan to build a 12-inch DRAM production line. DRAM memory items.
In July 2016, a construction ceremony was held for the project, and construction was officially started on October 18; the plant was capped in November 2017;
Patent litigation with Micron began at the beginning of the project. On October 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would impose export controls on Jinhua Integration on the grounds of national security, and was included in the U.S. export control “entity list” of Chinese companies. Exports to it were restricted because the company’s new memory chip production capacity would threaten the viability of U.S. suppliers of such chips to the military.
Although Jinhua Integration has encountered various difficulties, the strong Jinjiang people still try their best to keep the equipment running.
Compound semiconductor “core” noble
Fujian has been in the field of compound semiconductors for many years, and has formed a complete industrial chain from substrates, epitaxy, chips, devices, packaging, modules to terminal applications.
The layout of Fujian compound semiconductors is mainly in Xiamen, Quanzhou and Putian, including Sanan Semiconductor (GaAs, InP), Silanming Gallium (GaAs, GaN, InP), Yunxin Semiconductor ( Special packaging), Han Tiancheng (silicon carbide epitaxy), Huatian Hengxin (silicon carbide devices), Xinguang Runze (silicon carbide intelligent power modules), Fulian Integrated (GaAs), etc.
Sanan Integration is a professional compound semiconductor foundry. The RF business HBT and pHEMT foundry process lines have been supplied in batches and have been well received by customers. The products cover 2G-5G mobile phone RF power amplifier WiFi, Internet of Things, routers, and communication base station RF signal power amplifiers , satellite communications and other market applications; the power electronics business has launched high reliability, high power density silicon carbide power diodes and MOSFETs and silicon-based gallium nitride power devices, the products are mainly used in new energy vehicles, charging piles, photovoltaic inverters and other power supply markets; the optical communication business has the ability to produce DFB, VCSEL, PDAPD and other digital communication products, which are mainly used in fiber-to-the-home, 5G communication base station transmission, data centers and 3D sensing detection of consumer terminals and other application markets; filtering The production line equipment of the device business has been put in place and has entered the stage of full installation and commissioning. It is expected that the production line will be fully established and put into production this year. The latest news is that the company has received orders for Huawei’s self-developed PA chips. It plans to produce small quantities in the first quarter of 2020 and start mass production in the second quarter. Previously, Huawei’s PA chips were entrusted to Taiwanese companies to manufacture them.
The total investment of the Silanming Gallium 4/6-inch compatible compound semiconductor production line project is 5 billion yuan, which will be implemented in two phases. The foundation stone was laid on October 18, 2018; the main plant was capped in April 2019, and the equipment was moved into the commissioning phase in June, and it will be officially put into production in the fourth quarter. The main products are GaN epitaxy blue-green LED chips, GaAs epitaxy red LED chips, GaAs epitaxy laser device chips, and InP optical communication device chips, with an annual output of 6.72 million pieces (equivalent to 2 inches).
Fulian Integration focuses on wafer foundry services for compound semiconductor RF chips. It is a major productivity layout planning project for integrated circuits during the National “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan”, a special construction project of the National Development and Reform Commission and a key construction project in Fujian Province. The first-phase investment is 1 billion yuan. A production line with a monthly output of 3,000 6-inch GaAs integrated circuit wafers has been built, with the mass production capacity of RF power amplifier chips for mobile phones and Wi-Fi and the production capacity of military radar transceiver chips.
Han Tiancheng has formed 3-inch, 4-inch and 6-inch complete silicon carbide semiconductor epitaxial wafer production lines, and meets the needs of 600V, 1200V, 1700V device production. It is reported that the company has established cooperation with Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co., Ltd. to provide epitaxial wafers for 3300V silicon carbide power devices, which will greatly improve the overall performance and work efficiency of EMUs.
At present, Fujian has formed an integrated circuit industry spatial pattern of “one belt, dual cores and multiple parks”. “One Belt” refers to the coastal integrated circuit industry belt of Fuzhou, Putian, Quanzhou and Xiamen, and “dual core” refers to Xiamen and Quanzhou as the dual cores. Radiation development, multi-park refers to the integrated circuit industrial parks in various places.
It is a pity that the dual-core Xiamen and Quanzhou are too close, and they are both located at the southern end of the coastal integrated circuit industry belt, and their radiation to Fuzhou and Putian is limited. I don’t know why Fuzhou has not become one of the dual cores? Perhaps Xiamen and Quanzhou are close to Taiwan and have many overseas Chinese, taking advantage of “Taiwan” and “overseas Chinese” to promote personnel exchanges and cooperation among Fujian integrated circuit companies.
At present, Fujian has basically formed an integrated circuit industry cluster covering the entire industry chain, but there is still a long way to go to become an integrated circuit industry cluster with international competitiveness.
Author: Zhao Yuanchuang