China's IC design industry revenue will reach RMB 200.6 billion in 2017, a yearly growth of 22%, and TrendForce expects the growth rate to remain at around 20%, in 2018.
China's IC design industry has made constant progress to develop more high-end products, for example, HiSilicon has already adopted 10nm technology in its high-end models of mobile phones. In addition, HiSilicon and Sanechips (ZTE Microelectronics) provide NB-IoT chip solutions. Cambricon Technologies and Horizon Robotics race to develop new AI-specific chips. Unigroup Spreadtrum RDA, Datang, and HiSilicon have released products for 5G network. As for the overall revenue performance of the industry, many companies record a double-digit revenue growth.
TrendForce analysts forecast in this year Datang Semiconductor will drop out of top 10 (revenue ranking), while WillSemi and GigaDevice enter the list with their remarkable performance in revenue.
HiSilicon records a yearly revenue growth of more than 25% due to the increasing penetration rate of Kirin chips in phones. The surging mobile phone shipments of Huawei, the parent company of HiSilicon, also contribute to the revenue boost. Unigroup Spreadtrum RDA experiences a drop in revenue because of fierce competition in low- and mid-range market. Sanechips, whose core business is designing IC components for telecommunication applications, turns out to have a revenue growth over 30% after expanding its ranges of products.
Huada Semiconductor benefits from rich resources of the corporation and develops wide ranges of products, including smart card, secure chip, analog circuit, and new display etc. Its revenue exceeds RMB 5 billion in 2017 for the first time.
In the market of fingerprint sensors, Goodix's market performance is catching up to the market leader FPC. It records a revenue growth of 25% as a result of its competitive products and the increasing penetration rate of fingerprint recognition technology in smartphones.
GigaDevice, which enters the top 10 list for the first time, has excellent market performance on NOR Flash and 32bit MCUs. Its 2017 revenue is expected to increase by more than 40%, reaching RMB 2 billion.
TrendForce says that China's semiconductor industry will keep its rapid growth in 2018. The market share of low- and mid-range products in China's domestic market is expected to increase. On the other hand, the central government and local authorities of China will continue supportive policies in IC design to increase its self-sufficiency in semiconductor production. The second phase of National IC Fund is being raised, and the portion of funding in IC design will also be increased and expanded to companies in innovative end-application markets. IoT, AI, automotive electronics and other innovative applications also bring growing demand for IC products.