Chengdu GlobalFoundries, which has been suspended for two and a half years, may welcome a taker.
According to Jiwei.com, Chengdu Gaojin Technology Co., Ltd., led by former SK Hynix vice chairman Cui Zhenshi, will take over the Chengdu GF factory and officially enter the DRAM industry.
What is the holy place to take over the man?
Data from Enterprise Check
OFweek Electronic Engineering Network learned from Qichacha that Chengdu Gaozhen Technology Co., Ltd. was registered and established on September 28, 2020, with a registered capital of 5,109,100,000 yuan. The company is currently jointly owned by Chengdu semiconductor Co., Ltd. and True Core (Beijing) Semiconductor Co., Ltd. under the Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone. Among them, Chengdu Semiconductor Co., Ltd. invested 306,546 million yuan, holding 60% of the shares, and Zhenxin (Beijing) Semiconductor Co., Ltd. invested 2,043.64 million yuan, holding 40% of the shares.
Among them, Zhenxin (Beijing) Semiconductor Co., Ltd. was established on November 4, 2019, with Cui Zhenxi as the legal person. According to the data, Cui Zhenxi is a famous Korean entrepreneur and semiconductor expert. Dr. Cui is very famous in the Korean semiconductor industry. Chief researcher, executive director of Samsung Electronics Technology Development Department, senior director of Hynix Semiconductor, vice president, president of STX SOLAR, general president of operation and innovation of Hanhe Group’s manufacturing department, and held teaching positions in many universities.
One of the classic cases in the history of Korean semiconductor development is that Dr. Cui transferred from Samsung Electronics to Hynix, relying on R&D and management capabilities to help the crisis-ridden Hynix business get on the right track. Another news shows that currently Cui Jinseok is one of only two veterans in South Korea who can have experience in the whole semiconductor field from R&D to mass production.
In addition, OFweek Electronic Engineering Network learned from Tianyancha that True Core Semiconductor has applied for 43 patents, all of which are jointly developed by True Core Semiconductor and the Institute of Microelectronics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and most of them are related to semiconductor technology. According to industry news, Chengdu Hi-Tech will take over the factory built by the Chengdu government for GF with an investment of 7 billion yuan, and build a DRAM production line on this basis. If Hi-Tech succeeds in taking over, it will be good news for the domestic chip market.
Data from Tianyancha
Under the aura of GF Chengdu: Seeing him rise from a high-rise building, seeing his building collapse
According to incomplete statistics, as early as 2017, SK Hynix, Hualiwei, Leadcore, Samsung Electronics, Wuhan Xinxin, Intel, SMIC, Wuhan Xinxin, TSMC and other companies have established 12-inch wafers in China. round factory. It can be seen that under the pattern of global chip market hegemony, major semiconductor manufacturers have chosen to expand their semiconductor footprint. The Chinese market has become an excellent choice for the world’s second largest wafer foundry, GlobalFoundries. Market entry.
Around 2016, with the strong support of the then CEO of GlobalFoundries, Sanjay Jha, GlobalFoundries planned to build a factory in China. In February 2017, GlobalFoundries officially announced in Chengdu High-tech Zone that it will join hands with the Chengdu Municipal Government to establish a new joint venture wafer fabrication plant. It has also been announced that the base will build the first 12-inch wafer production line in Southwest China, with a cumulative investment of more than 10 billion US dollars. This will also be GlobalFoundries’ largest and most advanced wafer manufacturing base in China, and it will be named “GF”, with the same initial as the company’s existing Chinese name, meaning “to explore things Principle, and gain wisdom from it”; the second word is core, expressing the meaning of “chip”, and together it sounds like “innovation”, which means rebirth, revitalization and reform.
It is reported that the project will build the first 12-inch wafer production line in Southwest China, and will also use the most advanced production technology of GlobalFoundries. The GF Chengdu wafer production base will be constructed in two phases: the first phase will build the current mainstream CMOS process 12-inch wafer production line, which is expected to be put into operation by the end of 2018; the second phase will build GlobalFoundries’ latest and world-leading 22nm FD-SOI process The 12-inch wafer production line is expected to be put into operation in the fourth quarter of 2019. Compared with mainstream processes, the new technology has lower power consumption and lower comprehensive cost, and can be widely used in mobile terminals, Internet of Things, smart devices, automotive electronics and other fields, and has a broad market space.
Under the blessing of many glory halos, the GF Chengdu wafer production base was once hailed as “filling the gap in the province’s 12-inch advanced process wafer production project” and “this project using the above process will make the province’s wafer production The manufacturing industry has ‘one step to leap into the international mainstream’”. According to previous research, 1 yuan of output value of integrated circuits can drive 100 yuan of output value of electronic information-related industries.
Plans have not kept up with the changes, which changed when fourth CEO Thomas Caulfield took over. After Thos Caulfield took office, he launched a “global slimming plan” for GlobalFoundries, announcing the cessation of 7nm chip technology research and development and global layoffs. Chengdu GlobalFoundries, which had previously invested heavily, was “abandoned”. In October 2018, GF announced that it had signed an amendment with Chengdu to cancel its investment in the first phase of the project.
In February 2019, it was reported that the Chengdu GF 12-inch fab investment plan was shut down, and the GF Chengdu factory issued three “Notices on Human Resource Optimization Policies and Suspension of Work and Business”. , the company will officially suspend work and business from the date of this notice.
The picture comes from OFweek Weike.com
In the notice, the compensation arrangements for the remaining 74 employees are as follows:
For those who resign on or before June 14, 2020, GF will pay the salary according to the salary standard stipulated in the labor contract. On and after June 15, the basic living expenses shall be paid at not less than 70% of the minimum wage in Chengdu. At present, the minimum wage standard implemented in Chengdu High-tech Zone is 1,780 yuan. In addition, for employees who are in a protection period such as breastfeeding, after the protection period expires, they will not renew their labor contracts. During the suspension of work and business, except for female employees on maternity leave who can receive normal wages during maternity leave, the rest of the protection period All employees shall comply with the above payment standards for wages/basic living expenses.
For employees whose contracts expired on or before July 18, GF will not renew their labor contracts and pay financial compensation (N). Employees whose contracts expire on and after July 19 can receive N+1 economic compensation. If the labor contract termination agreement is signed before 5:30 pm on May 19, 2020, GF will also pay an additional month’s salary as Sign up bonus.
According to the technology blog of Taiwanese author lynn, GF’s strategy of being conservative and austere is only part of the reason why GF Chengdu was forced to shut down. Technical limitations also account for a large part of the reason. In the two phases of GF’s construction in China, the first phase is to build a 12-inch wafer production line and transfer the technology of GF’s Singapore factory, which is expected to be put into production by the end of 2018. However, in the first phase of the project, the old and even obsolete second-hand equipment transferred from the Singapore factory is used. Constrained by these equipment and technologies, this 12-inch fab can only produce 40nm processes, and there is an extreme shortage of chip talents. The fab has not yet started and cannot be mass-produced.
For China, which is eager for the rapid development of the semiconductor industry, the 40nm process is not important. SMIC’s 14nm process is almost mass-produced. The key is that GF promised to transfer the 22nm FD-SOI manufacturing process to China, but in 2018 GF However, a huge loss broke out, so that the second phase of the project did not start, and a series of technology transfers were cancelled. FD-SOI is the same mass-produced technology as the mainstream FinFET process. FinFET is mainly used for high-performance devices such as GPU and CPU. Although FD-SOI has a lower market share than FinFET, it has lower power consumption. The 22nm process Comparing the power consumption of 14/16 nm FinFET, the technology has great potential in sensors, communication chips and IoT applications. However, this technology has a fatal disadvantage. The cost of SOI wafers is very expensive. Since only three suppliers in the world, Soitec in France, Shin-Etsu Semiconductor in Japan and SunEdison in the United States can provide compliant SOI wafers, the price of SOI wafers is even It is several times more expensive than mainstream silicon wafers. Therefore, the attempt to support the domestic semiconductor industry through GF’s FD-SOI process has also failed with the “crash” of the tightening front strategy announced in 2018.
In fact, there are too many unfinished plots of chip projects like this in China. Wuhan Hongxin, Nanjing Dekema, Dehuai Semiconductor, Shaanxi Kun and other cases are all failures in semiconductor projects. Under the wave of localization of chips, investing in the semiconductor industry requires capital encouragement, but also requires calm thinking. Even if GF Chengdu has really found a successor this time, in terms of the current global DRAM chip market structure, Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron are already three-thirds of the world, and it is not easy to develop under the brutal market competition. .