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Four major reasons of chip shortage, and the price increasing will continue!
2021.04.01
Since the second half of 2020, the problem of chip shortage has been affecting domestic related industries. At present, the production capacity in the semiconductor field is tight, not only in chip foundry, but also in many aspects of production capacity;

According to CCTV news, the global chip shortage continues to spread, and the security industry is one of the first industries to feel this wave of chip shortages.
 
According to industry media reports, a visit to the Huaqiang North in Shenzhen Electronics Wholesale Market found that downstream agents have appropriately increased their stockpiles. And a person in charge of the company said that in September last year, the commonly used 2 million pixel camera was more than 140 yuan, but it has now risen to more than 210 yuan.
 
01

Increasing production capacity has squeezed shipments of security chips

According to industry insiders, due to the epidemic, the demand for chips in home appliances, PCs, mobile phones, tablets and other fields has surged in a short period of time. At the same time, the production capacity of chip manufacturers has not been able to expand in time.
 
As a result, chip shipments in security, automotive and other fields have been compressed. The chain reaction caused the production of security companies to be directly affected, and downstream agents soon received notices of product shortages and price increases.
 
The industry predicts that the shortage of chips in the security industry may continue in the short term; a number of security module and product manufacturers have also issued price increases.
 
The shortage of security chips can be traced back to the first wave of shortages caused by HiSilicon chips last year the price and supply of HiSilicon chips were relatively normal before August 2020. From August 5th to 10th, the price suddenly skyrocketed. In early September, the price of HiSilicon security chips increased by at least 5 times.
 
With the global core shortage of multiple industries, the core shortage of security continues to this day.
 
According to the latest report from CCTV Finance on March 23, the shortage of security chips has generally lengthened the delivery cycle of security products by about half a month, and the delivery period of some products has been extended to nine months.
 
In addition, the shortage of chips has caused the price of security cameras to rise by more than 40%.
 
02

Low-end manufacturing fails to meet the market autonomously or differentiated

The impact of chip shortages continues to spread, and what chip manufacturers can do is to optimize chip manufacturing processes and speed up production capacity. From the perspective of the supply chain, links can also be appropriately shortened, thereby shortening the delivery cycle.
 
Domestic policies have also been introduced, such as the Semiconductor Supply and Demand Docking Manual to maintain the stability of the chip industry. However, the most important thing is to put more effort into manufacturing, and strive to achieve the independence of low-end chip design and stable supply.
 
At present, SMIC, the leading chip manufacturer in China, has just achieved mass production of 14nm process technology, and SMIC's production is currently inseparable from foreign technology, equipment, and materials.
 
Although the N+1 and N+2 technologies developed by SMIC are expected to reach about 7nm process technology, the production of chips with 7nm and more advanced process technology depends on EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography machines from Asmek in the Netherlands. .
 
It is reported that the most advanced lithography machine manufacturer in China, Shanghai Microelectronics' current most advanced lithography machine product is 90nm. It is said that in the past one or two years, Shanghai Microelectronics will launch a 28nm process technology lithography machine. It can be seen that the current domestic chips are far behind the international leading level in process technology.
 
However, in addition to advanced chip markets such as mobile phones and GPUs that require 7-14nm process technology, chips with a process process above 14nm in the chip market account for more than 90% of the total demand. At present, most of the chip manufacturing processes of security cameras are concentrated in 22-40nm.
 
03

Dependence at the design and tool chain level

The difficulty of solving the advanced process technology is so great that it cannot be solved in a short period of time. At the same time, among the world's largest chip manufacturing companies, SMIC, the only one in China, has limited production capacity.
 
In addition to a few advanced chip design companies such as Huawei HiSilicon, a large number of chip design fields are still blank.
 
The major shortcoming of the domestic semiconductor industry is the chip design tool-EDA software. For the current status of chip design tools EDA software, foreign manufacturers also account for nearly 95% of the market.
 
The domestic EDA software of several domestic BGI and other companies has not been adopted by advanced chip manufacturing companies. Only some smaller chip design and manufacturing companies in China have chosen to use it. In a real sense, they have not entered the global industrial chain of the industry. among.
 
At present, the world's leading EDA software vendors, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, and Synopsys, are all American companies. The dependence on the EDA software level will affect the development of the chip industry from design to manufacturing.
 
04

Upstream core material and capacity shortage

Tight upstream core materials and production capacity are also one of the main reasons for the shortage of semiconductor products.
 
Since the second half of last year, the wafer foundry market has been extremely hot, and wafer manufacturing capacity has continued to be in short supply. This has driven the demand for semiconductor wafers, the key raw material necessary for wafer manufacturing, to increase sharply. However, due to semiconductor wafer suppliers in 2019~ There will be no large-scale production expansion in 2020, and the capacity supply is limited. Even if it is to expand now, it will take at least one and a half years for mass production, which also makes the supply of semiconductor silicon wafers begin to tighten.
 
At the end of last year, Taiwan's large silicon wafer manufacturer Global Wafer has taken the lead in raising the spot price of 12-inch silicon wafers and said that other sizes will also gradually increase. Next, other semiconductor wafer manufacturers may soon follow up.
 
Due to supply shortages, methanol costs and catalyst raw material costs (including platinum costs) are also increasing.
 
In addition, cost factors such as logistics costs and secondary material costs are also increasing. It is difficult for the upstream of the industrial chain to absorb these increased costs, which are reflected in the prices of products in the middle and downstream.
 
If the cost of wafer manufacturing is further increased significantly, it will inevitably force a large number of chip manufacturers to start a new round of price increases since January this year, after raising their chip prices. This time point may be in the third quarter of this year.
 
Regarding the lack of chips for security, industry insiders said that due to the impact of the epidemic and the outbreak of the housing economy, the demand for chips in home appliances and other fields has surged in a short time.
 
At the same time, the production capacity of chip manufacturers has not been able to expand in time, and chip shipments in security, automotive and other fields have been compressed, and product prices have risen accordingly. The industry predicts that the shortage of chips in the security industry may continue in the short term.

 
 
 
 
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