TAIPEI, Taiwan Systems-on-a-chip (SOC) will comprise 20 percent of the total IC market this year, and jump to 40 percent in 2003, Tom Yiu, senior vice president of Macronix International Co. Ltd., told a SEMI Semicon Taiwan plenary session here yesterday (9/16).
Yui said Taiwan foundries will miss out on this soaring SOC market unless they quickly become intellectual property integrators. "SOC design, IP porting, and handling all the IP legal transactions will become essential if foundries want to succeed in the new technologies," he asserted.
But Hong Jen Wu, president of United Microelectronics Corp., said complex chip design "is not the main field of foundries. It is difficult especially for foundries to lead in design of logic chips." He warned, however, that Taiwan foundries must become stronger "in IP mixing, matching, and porting to play a major role in SOC process technology."
"Taiwan is at a historical turning point," added Macronix's Yiu. "Do the foundries become IP integrators, or stay behind and be integrated themselves?"
Neither executive offered specific suggestions on Taiwan's foundries could boost their IP capabilities. But Yiu projected that customers will increasingly go only to foundries that can manage the complex integration of widely disparate IP cores and processes to produce SOC devices..