New semiconductor fab construction projects in China will intensify the competition and expand the production capacity of the industry in 2018.
TrendForce estimates that China's production capacity of 300mm wafer will reach nearly 700,000 pieces per month by the end of 2018, a 42.2% increase from the end of 2017.
New, well-funded fab construction projects in the country include Silan Microelectronics and CanSemi, TrendForce says, adding that the revenue from China's entire wafer fabrication industry is expected to reach RMB 176.7 billion in 2018, an annual growth of 27.12%.
From 2016 to the end of 2017, the undergoing and planned new fabs in China totaled 28, of which 20 were for 300mm wafers and 8 were for 200mm wafers, says TrendForce. Most of these new fabs will go into operation this year. At present, players in China's integrated circuit fabrication industry include Chinese manufacturers, foreign-funded manufacturers, and joint ventures, among which foreign-funded manufacturers and joint ventures account for almost half of the total production capacity. Foreign-funded manufacturers also enjoy advantages in advanced process technology.
The Chinese players, led by SMIC, are currently focusing on mass production of 28nm Poly/SiON process node. Meanwhile, they have made significant progress in increasing the revenue share of 28nm process node, accelerating the mass production of 28nm HKMG, and R&D of 14nm process node. On the other hand, foreign players like TSMC (Nanjing), United Semi (Xiamen), and GlobalFoundries (Chengdu) have also joined the competition in advanced manufacturing process technology. As for the memory sector, which has been dominated by international giants, the newcomers including Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC), Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit (JHICC) and Innotron.
The Chinese government has been actively developing its domestic semiconductor industry through industrial fund. TrendForce forecasts that the total investments, including the first and second phase of the "Big Fund", capital from local authorities, etc., will approach RMB 1 trillion. The "Big Fund" has been invested to IC fabrication projects, such as SMIC, Huahong Grace, Shanghai Huali Microelectronics, YMTC, Silan Microelectronics, and Navtech, etc. Some other key projects are still in the negotiation stage.