In the recent 2018 Taiwan International Semiconductor Exhibition, TSMC founder Zhang Zhongmou attended the forum and delivered a speech. Zhang Zhongmou reviewed the history of the semiconductor industry with the theme of “seeing the rise and fall of semiconductor companies from the important innovation of semiconductors”. And exemplified the important innovations of the top ten semiconductor industries in their hearts, and said that these innovations are the main kinetic energy to promote the growth of the semiconductor market!
At the same time, Zhang Zhongmou also predicted the development of the semiconductor industry in the future, saying that in the next 10 to 20 years, the growth rate of the semiconductor industry will be 200 to 300 basis points higher than the global GDP growth rate, and the annual growth rate of the overall semiconductor industry will reach 5%. -6%, which will be 2%-3% higher than global GDP; although various technologies will still face ups and downs, there is still much room for future innovation.
These ten innovations mainly include technologies such as transistors, integrated circuits, memory, packaging and foundry, and foundry. For this, the core method has been simply counted and reviewed to jointly see the top ten driving the semiconductor industry. Important innovation in development!
NO.1 - Bell Labs transistor
The transistor is considered to be one of the greatest inventions in modern history, and can be compared in importance to inventions such as printing, cars and telephones. The transistor is actually the key active component of any modern appliance. The importance of transistors in today's society is primarily due to the ability of transistors to be mass-produced using highly automated processes, which can incredibly achieve extremely low unit costs.
The first transistor was invented in 1947 and came from Bell Labs. There are three inventors, John Bading, William Shawley and Walter Braden.
NO.2 - SI Transistor
A transistor is a solid-state semiconductor component that can be used for amplification, switching, regulation, signal modulation, and many other functions. As a kind of variable switch, the transistor controls the current flowing out based on the input voltage. Therefore, the transistor can be used as a current switch. The difference between a transistor and a general mechanical switch (such as Relay and Switch) is that the transistor is controlled by a signal. And the switching speed can be very fast, the switching speed in the laboratory can reach more than 100GHz.
After Bell Labs invented the transistor in 1947, in 1954 Texas Instruments invented the SI transistor, which made Texas Instruments, which was innovated at the time, a market winner!
NO.3 - Integrated Circuits
Integrated circuit, English is Integrated Circuit, abbreviated as IC; as the name implies, is a certain number of commonly used electronic components, such as resistors, capacitors, transistors, etc., and the connection between these components, through the semiconductor process, has a specific function Circuit.
Why do you generate integrated circuits? Let's take a look at the world's first electronic computer, which was born in the United States in 1942. It is a huge object that covers an area of 150 square meters and weighs 30 tons. The circuit inside uses 17468 tubes, 7200 resistors, and 10,000 capacitors. 500,000 lines, power consumption of 150 kilowatts.
Obviously, the large footprint and the inability to move are the most intuitive and outstanding problems; how good it would be to integrate these electronic components and wires into a small carrier! Many people have thought about this issue and have raised various ideas.
A typical scientist, such as the British Institute of Radar, Damer, at a meeting in 1952, proposed that discrete components in electronic circuits can be concentrated on a semiconductor wafer, and a small piece of wafer is a complete circuit. As a result, the size of the electronic circuit can be greatly reduced, and the reliability is greatly improved. This is the idea of the initial integrated circuit.
NO.4 - Moore's Law
Moore's Law was proposed by Gordon Moore, one of Intel's founders. The content is: When the price is constant, the number of components that can be accommodated on the integrated circuit will double every 18-24 months, and the performance will be doubled. In other words, the performance of computers that can be bought for every dollar will more than double every 18-24 months.
This law reveals the speed of advances in information technology.
Although this trend has been going on for more than half a century, Moore's Law should still be considered observation or speculation, not a physical or natural law. The law is expected to continue until at least 2015 or 2020. However, the updated growth of the international semiconductor technology roadmap in 2010 has slowed down at the end of 2013, and the transistor density is expected to double every three years.
"Moore's Law" has profound implications for the entire world. After reviewing the progress of the semiconductor chip industry for more than 40 years and looking forward to its future, information technology experts believe that "Moore's Law" may still apply in the future. But as the transistor circuit approaches the performance limit, this law will eventually come to an end. For more than 40 years, the integration trend of semiconductor chips, like Moore's prediction, has promoted the development of the entire information technology industry, which has brought changes to the lives of millions of households.
NO.5 - MOS Technology
Traditional transistors are called bipolar transistors. Due to the inherent limitations in the production process of such transistors, it is difficult to produce integrated circuits with high component density on one chip. The so-called LSI (Large Scale Integration) is manufactured by the MOS method.
The so-called MOS is the abbreviation of Metal Oxide Semiconductor, which can make the integrated circuit smaller and contain more components. Moreover, the fabrication of MOS in the manufacturing process is also simpler than the manufacture of conventional transistors.
We all know that a product must compete in the market, but it is excellent in quality and low in price. The production process of MOS is simple and the cost is low. The reduction in size and weight is also one of the reasons why ICs are generally valued and preferred. Of course, these reasons are less important than the reduction in cost. The emergence of MOS technology has also allowed Moore's Law to continue!
NO.6 - Memory
Memory is one of the three pillars of the semiconductor industry. Memory is similar to steel in modern industry and is a veritable “raw material” for the electronics industry. If the memory is subdivided, it can be divided into DRAM, NAND Flash and Nor Flash. Among them, DRAM is mainly used for PC memory (such as DDR) and mobile phone memory (such as LPDDR), which each account for 30%.
After several decades of cyclical cycles in the DRAM field, players have gradually reduced from 40 to 50 in the 1980s to five before the 2008 financial crisis: Samsung (Korean), SK Hynix (Korean), and Qimonda. (German), Magnesium (US) and Elpida (Japan), five companies basically control the global DRAM supply, and end product manufacturers such as Kingston, almost no DRAM production capacity, they must purchase raw materials from them. After several "counter-cyclical laws" and shuffling, there were only three players left in the DRAM field: Samsung, Hynix and Magnesium.
NO.7 - Packaging and Testing
The semiconductor manufacturing process consists of wafer fabrication, wafer testing, chip packaging, and post-packaging testing. Semiconductor package testing refers to the process of processing a wafer that has passed the test to obtain a separate chip according to the product model and functional requirements.
Among them, the package protects the chip from physical and chemical environmental damage, enhances the heat dissipation performance of the chip, and connects the I/O port of the chip to the component-level (system-level) printed circuit board (PCB) and glass. Substrate, etc., to achieve electrical connection to ensure the normal operation of the circuit.
The test is mainly for the function and performance test of the chip, the circuit and the aging circuit product, and the appearance inspection is also attributed to it. Its purpose is to screen out products with structural defects and functions and performance that do not meet the requirements.
NO.8 - The Microprocessor
The central processing unit refers to the internal processing of data in the computer and controls the processing process. With the rapid development of large-scale integrated circuit technology, the integration density of the chip is getting higher and higher, and the CPU can be integrated on a semiconductor chip. Large scale integrated circuit devices with central processor functions are collectively referred to as "microprocessors." It should be noted that the microprocessor itself is not equal to the microcomputer, just the central processor of the microcomputer.
Microprocessors have been in existence for more than 40 years since the initial development. During this period, according to the word length of the processing information, the microprocessor can be divided into: 4-bit microprocessor, 8-bit microprocessor, 16-bit micro Processors, 32-bit microprocessors, and 64-bit microprocessors, it can be said that the development of personal computers is advancing with the development of CPUs.
Because microprocessors can be used to perform many of the computational tasks previously required to be done with larger devices, and at a lower price, semiconductor companies are racing to produce microprocessor chips. Among them, Intel is the most famous!
Nowadays, microprocessors are everywhere, whether it is video recorders, smart washing machines, mobile phones and other home appliances, car engine control, CNC machine tools, missile precision guidance, etc. are embedded in a variety of different microprocessors. Microprocessors are not only the core components of microcomputers, but also key components of various digital smart devices. High-end computing systems such as ultra-high-speed supercomputers and large computers in the world are also built using a large number of general-purpose high-performance microprocessors.
NO.9 - VLSI and Zhizhicai (IP)
VLSI is an abbreviation for Very Large Scale Integration, which refers to an integrated circuit with tens of thousands of transistors and a line width of less than 1 micron on a few millimeters of silicon. Since the transistors and wires are completed at one time, the man-hours and costs of making several to millions of transistors are equivalent. In mass production, hardware costs are almost insignificant and depend on design costs.
Very large scale integrated circuits were developed in the late 1970s and are mainly used to manufacture memories and microprocessors. The successful development of ultra-large-scale integrated circuits is a leap in microelectronics technology, which has greatly promoted the advancement of electronic technology, which has led to the development of military technology and civil technology. Very large scale integrated circuits have become an important indicator of the level of science, technology and industrial development in a country. It is also one of the most competitive countries in the world, especially the United States and Japan.
NO.10 - Foundry
Foundry or Foundry, an operating model of the semiconductor industry that specializes in semiconductor wafer fabrication and is commissioned by other IC design companies rather than designing it.
Some semiconductor companies with fabs, such as Intel (Intel), AMD, etc., will also manufacture some products from foundry companies due to factors such as capacity or cost. TSMC and UMC are the world's number one and second foundry companies. Conversely, companies that specialize in IC circuit design and are not engaged in production and have no semiconductor plants are called Fabless.
Fabless companies rely on foundry companies to produce products, so capacity and technology are limited to foundry companies, but the advantage is that they do not have to build and operate their own fabs.
With the shrinking of chips and the growth of wafer size, the construction of a fab with a tens of billions of dollars is often not affordable for small and medium-sized companies; and through this model, cooperation with foundries, IC The design company does not have to bear the high R&D and construction costs of high-end processes. The foundry can focus on manufacturing, and the production capacity can be sold to multiple users to minimize the risk of market fluctuations and imbalances in supply and demand.
Overall, the semiconductor industry will continue to grow. It is expected that the semiconductor industry will continue to grow faster than global GDP growth, and the industry will need more innovative technologies.