From the Competition vs. Cooperation Relation of Semiconductor Foundry and IDM to Analyze Taiwan Foundry Strength and Strategy
|摘要:||半導體產業發展初始以IDM公司形式存在，從產品設計、生產製造、封裝、測試到行銷等都一手包辦，掌握相關技術；台灣為建立半導體工業，從美國引進積體電路設計及製造技術，以IDM形式開始發展，但在晶圓技術、製造、與產品行銷逐漸遇到瓶頸，長期而言，除了要負擔設計、技術研發成本之外，還要負擔愈來愈高的建廠成本，使得IDM公司經營面臨更大挑戰；伴隨著產業的發展與分工，第一家晶圓代工公司台積電成立，分擔IDM公司產能不足與生產成本，亦讓IC設計公司(Fabless)得以蓬勃發展；因台積電的成功，其他晶圓代工廠相繼成立，由於晶圓廠建造與生產成本，隨著新世代製程技術而急速提高，這驅使IDM公司不得不轉型，將製造生產方面全部或部分委託給專門的晶圓代工廠，轉為Fabless(無晶圓廠)或是Fab-lite(輕晶圓廠)公司，將資金專注於IC設計研發方面，鞏固其專長的領域，得以增強競爭力、並能與競爭力不斷增加的Fabless公司競爭，在發展至45nm製程技術後，IDM轉型速度也加快，著名的例子為AMD在2009年引進阿布達比資金，將晶圓製造分割成為Global Foundry，從事專業晶圓代工公司，AMD本身成為Fabless公司，不久，Global Foundry又合併新加坡Chartered，類似的例子逐一發生，壯大了晶圓代工市場，也增強晶圓代工公司之間的競爭。擁有先進技術的IDM公司為了本身策略與發展，也逐漸涉入晶圓代工領域。
At the early stage, semiconductor industry was presented in the form of IDM. IDM manages product design, manufacturing, packaging, testing and marketing together and own the whole required technologies. In order to build semiconductor industry, Taiwan government supports company to introduce semiconductor design and manufacture technology from USA started from IDM. But it becomes more difficult to operate semiconductor company due to technology, cost and marketing. In addition to do IC design and technology development, IDM encounters more challenge at building high cost factory to catch new generation technology. Along with the industry evolution and subdivision, the first foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), is formed to share the loading and manufacturing cost of IDM. This is not only benefit IDM, but also give a hand to Fabless that can grow rapidly. To see the success of TSMC, more foundries are formed one by one. With the rising cost of constructing factory and manufacturing, more pressure is pushing IDM to do transformation from IDM to Fab-lite or Fabless. They share loading or reply on Foundry capacity to reduce cost, then have resource focus on their specialities in the research and IC design to enhance competitiveness in the market. We can see this transformation is accelerating beyond 45nm technology. The most absorbing example is AMD split in 2009. One is Global Foundry that has Abu Dhabi fund investment, the other is AMD that is transformed to Fabless. Then Global Foundry merged Singapore Charted to become rank 2 Foundry in the world. The similiar case happens gradually. This has Foundry play more important role in the semiconductor market. The competition among Foundries become more severe. It attracts attention of IDM with leading technology to enter Foundry business. As the PC market downturn and not to catch the uptrend of mobile devices, Intel is facing problem of profit decline and growth in the semiconductor market. Intel is trying to be Foundry and actively seek customer to adopt her leading edge technology that wins one of TSMC customers, Altera. By the way, the system house and IDM, Samsung has already provided foundry service to Apple at semiconductor IC components since 2010. But Apple is trying to get rid of Samsung due to litigation of patent violation each other. Samsung is also actively looking for other customers to fill capacity and extend her foundry territory that can support her enterprise enlargement. These two IDM company, one is rank 1 technology and manufacturing leader in the world, the other is biggest company at mobile phone, memory, panels, etc. With two vigorous companies’ competition, how the Foundries in Taiwan to compete, especially TSMC. In order to maintain the leader position at Foundry, it is found that TSMC is increasing investment rapidly at leading edge technology research and building advanced factory to fulfill capacity demand from customers. TSMC aggressively forms “Grand Alliance” that includes customers, intellectual property and design service provider, EDA vendor, etc, to collaborate together. This can be powerful to compete with Intel and Samsung. Based on the strong partner relationship with customers and mutual trust each other, Taiwan Foundry is not only play as manufacturer, but also integrate frontend and backend to serve customer from design to shipment. The important competitive strategy is to have Foundry be transformed from manufacture to service.