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January 16, 2021

Jiang Shangyi, Vice Chairman of SMIC: Advanced technology and advanced packaging should develop in parallel

According to Semiconductor Industry Observer, on January 16, 2021, the annual high-profile event for in-depth exchanges between CEOs of Chinese chip companies and partners of top investment institutions-China IC Creation Annual Conference | China IC Conference was grandly held in Shanghai. At the meeting, Dr. Jiang Shangyi, Vice Chairman of SMIC, delivered a speech entitled "From Integrated Circuits to Integrated Chips".

Dr. Jiang Shangyi, Vice Chairman of SMIC

At the meeting, Dr. Jiang said that he has been immersed in the exploration of advanced packaging and integrated chips for ten years. Advanced technology research and development is the cornerstone. In accordance with the development law of Moore's Law, the long-term sustainable development of advanced technology is beyond doubt. At this critical moment when Moore's Law slows down and the post-Moore era is approaching, the development trend of advance layout, advanced technology and advanced packaging dual-line parallelism is particularly necessary.

After that, Dr. Jiang shared some insights on the semiconductor industry. He mentioned that the semiconductor industry is an overall industry that requires cooperation from upstream and downstream. The semiconductor industry environment has undergone tremendous changes in the past two years. The main reason is that Moore's Law, as a strong driving force leading the development of the IC industry for 30 to 40 years, has approached the physical limit. Although semiconductors will continue to innovate, they will not have such a strong impact on the industry as in the past.

Under Moore's Law, chip integration doubles every two years, and packaging and circuit board technology is almost unchanged. Therefore, in 30 to 40 years, packaging and circuit board technology has become the bottleneck of the overall system function.

In addition, there are fewer and fewer customers and products using advanced technology, and only a very small number of ICs in great demand may be adopted. According to statistics, the design cost of advanced technology is high. Generally speaking, it costs US$500 million to US$1 billion. The design fee usually accounts for 10%-20% of product revenue. To recover the investment, it takes 5 billion sales to be possible. And with the advent of the post-smartphone era, IoT products are very diversified, and there is no single product that has such a large demand to amortize the cost of using advanced technology.

Integrated chip is to develop advanced packaging and circuit board technology, which can break the bottleneck of today's system performance. Therefore, many different chips can be effectively connected through advanced packaging and circuit technology, so that the overall system performance is similar to a single chip, thereby reducing cost and increasing efficiency. Dr. Jiang pointed out that this will be the development trend of the post-Moore era.

In addition, for newly developed advanced packaging and circuit board technologies, redefining the communication specifications between chips and chips can greatly optimize the overall system functions. To accomplish this, the overall ecological environment and industrial chain need to be established. Including: equipment + raw materials-silicon wafer technology-advanced packaging and circuit board technology-chip products-system products; at the same time, the domestic still needs EDA Tools, Standard Cells and other cooperation. These links are indispensable. It is necessary to ensure consistency and integrity, that is, to form unified specifications and standards and establish a complete industrial chain. After the ecological environment is fully established, domestic product development can develop in an efficient and orderly manner and occupy manpower. There will also be fewer material resources to win in the global market competition.
HOREXS will also follow the national strategic direction and the requirements of advanced packaging technology to keep improving, and continuously improve the process capability and production level to serve the high requirements of more customers.

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