[News] Over 350 China’s Semiconductor Industry Projects Thriving in 2023

2024-01-25 Semiconductors editor

In 2023, the downturn in terminal consumption has spread to various aspects of the semiconductor industry. While the industry generally adopted a cautious stance, some specific segments defied the trend and showed counter-cyclical growth. This attracted numerous companies to strategically position themselves, leading to a flurry of activity in various semiconductor industry projects.

In terms of project deployment, according to TrendForce’s statistics, there were over 350 new developments in China’s semiconductor industry in 2023. These projects span across areas such as third-generation semiconductors, memory, automotive chips, advanced packaging, sensors, RF chips, silicon wafers, semiconductor equipment, and more.

Flourishing Semiconductor Industry with Over 350 Projects Accelerated

Looking at the overall picture, among the disclosed investment amounts for over 350 projects, the highest investment goes to the second phase of Hua Hong Semiconductor (Wuxi) with a sum of USD 6.7 billion (approximately RMB 48.007 billion).

Following closely is Nexchip Semiconductor Corporation’s 12-inch wafer manufacturing project with an investment of RMB 21 billion (approximately USD 2.9 billion). Anhui Yangtze Advanced Semiconductor’s Third-generation Semiconductor Power Device Production Project exceeds RMB 20 billion (approximately USD 2.8 billion).

Among the 350+ projects, there are over 100 signed projects, over 90 projects have commenced, over 50 operational projects, and more than 50 projects nearing completion.

High Proportion of Upstream Projects, Concentrated Capacity in East China

From the perspective of the industry chain, last year’s semiconductor industry projects saw the highest proportion occupied by upstream semiconductor materials.

It involved companies such as Zhejiang Jingsheng Mechanical & Electrical Co., TankeBlue Semiconductor, SICC, Konfoong Materials International, Boncom Semi, Vital Micro-Electronics Technology (Jiangsu) Co., GRINM Semiconductor Materials, IV-Semitec, Zhonghuan Advanced Material & Technology, and SiFusion, among others. 

Following that is IC manufacturing, involving companies like Hua Hong Semiconductor, Nexchip Semiconductor Corporation, AscenPower, GTA Semiconductor, Jiejie Microelectronics, SMIC, CanSemi Tech, GalaxyCore, and Unicmicro (Guangzhou) Co., among others.

Companies involved in IC design include Huawei, Empyrean Technology, Loongson Technology, Corigine, 3Peak, HeYangTek, UNIM, Semitronix, Awinic, X-Chip, and Silergy Corp., among others. 

In the IC packaging and testing segment, companies like Huatian Technology, Nexperia, Forehope Electronic, Innosilicon, JCET Group, XinHenYuan Technology, ACCESS Semiconductor, and Leadyo IC Testing Co. are notable players.

From a regional perspective, the majority of semiconductor industry projects are located in the eastern regions of China, including Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Anhui, and Shandong. Jiangsu and Zhejiang have a relatively high proportion.

It is worth noting that a significant portion of semiconductor materials projects are concentrated in the eastern region. 

“Remarkable Advances in Specialized Sectors” – Third-Generation Semiconductors in the Spotlight

Amidst last year’s uncertain overall market conditions, notable growth in specific sectors has captured market attention. Chinese manufacturers strategically focused on various sectors last year, including semiconductor materials/equipment like photoresist, silicon-based products, quartz products, high-purity electronic specialty gasses, and ultra-pure chemicals. Additionally, areas such as silicon carbide, gallium nitride, sensors, automotive chips, and IGBT power devices were key areas of emphasis.

With the increasing trend toward electrification in the automotive sector and growing demand for efficient power systems in applications like new energy vehicles and industrial processes, the market’s appetite for advanced semiconductor materials is on the rise. 

In response, industries are transitioning to third-generation semiconductor materials represented by silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). Consequently, power devices like SiC and GaN are gaining substantial market popularity.

From an application perspective, GaN is not only expanding in consumer applications but is also making inroads into rapidly growing markets such as electric vehicles, computing (data centers, artificial intelligence, infrastructure), renewable energy, industrial power supplies, and fast-charging stations/adapters.

According to TrendForce, the global GaN power device market is expected to grow from USD 180 million in 2022 to USD 1.33 billion in 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of up to 65%. 

As for SiC, TrendForce anticipates the SiC power device market to reach USD 5.33 billion by 2026, with its mainstream applications still heavily reliant on electric vehicles and renewable energy.

According to previous TrendForce statistics, China has 44 foundries, and this number is expected to increase to 32 in the future, focusing on mature processes. The industry anticipates that there will be more fab capacity releases in the future, driving demand for upstream semiconductor materials and equipment.

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Please note that this article cites information from DRAMeXange.