wow, this could be a good discussion, but what a collection of misunderstandings, politically motivated comments, and odd ramblings. back to the subject:
My impression from travel and business in China is that the state of chip design is far behind silicon valley. But without a doubt, the gap is closing slowly. Chinese system engineers I speak with are well aware of the difficulties in designing chips in China.
The comments from Synopsys Mr. Pan and others about the need for more business sophistication ( innovation and differentiation) seem correct.
All of the above comments pertain to fabless semiconductor chip design. Now, why it has taken China so long to get competent fabs is a whole other story. The foibles of SMIC could be a whole other series of articles. The challenges to making a real state of the art fab are technical, economic, and political. It takes many things to make a successful venture. Japan could have made a joint venture to take on tsmc 10 years a go, but the will was just not there.
It is really very shocking news, I am also wondering why any of the Chinese company has not stood up for a fab. But at the other end Taiwan and Malaysia are not too far from China at all the angles Politically as well as Geographically both ways. So it will not be that hard feature for the fabless companies in China.
the push for building a fab, at these times when setting up a class fab is expensive, can not come from the industry alone. Local government and industry collaboration can make such enterprise possible. Governments are usually interested when either a lot of jobs can be created or national defense is under threat.
China has much older fab equipment. They may not be suited for cuttinf-edge applications, but may find much usefulness in the health-care, education, "quality-of-life" fields. Many smaller Chinese fabless can seek growth via these areas. Of coiurse, one cannot preclude the adoption of the "samsung model" by ne of the giant private/state-own companies!
mmmmh, thanks for your note. I think it's more prudent for a reporter to go after topics and subjects, especially in foreign countries, from the ground level -- one step at a time.
We are all mindful that we don't know everything, and we probably won't know everything.
In my mind, a reporter's responsibility is to talk to as many people as he/she can, verify facts, and approach any topic with an open mind. Don't assume anything.
Many appreciate your quick response. It is necessary to clarify that,
there is huge cultural difference between Japan and modern China (i.e. since 1977)
Although not an expert, I think China is on a absolutely different way as Japan. For example the 'great wall' figure in your report, which is fortunately built hundreds year ago. Nowday, you won't be able to see any engineering work last for a half century. e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/5685963/Nine-held-over-Shanghai-building-collapse.html
It is a phenomenon of the conventional culture deteriorated in the country.
Amoung of those CEO's own history that you learn, have you ever varify those stories? Did you really get hidden stories underground?
I can fully understand the obstacle confronted as it is difficult to be 'Ai Weiwei' who take the risks of being prison to investigate and tell the truth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ai_Weiwei
Agree that we should treat each company individually. Rather than promote those fabless firms, why not do an investigate on the plain fact, such as a chinese foundry engineer's life after Sichuan earthquake, how one-child policy change the way of semiconductor in China, etc, etc.
Just to be clear, the quote above is not through an interpreter; we were both speaking in English.
I am sure that there were times when China was focused on reverse engineering (like in early days of the Japanese semiconductor industry). But in this context, we are talking about new products based on China's own designs.
I was mindful of learning about each CEO's own experience, history, how they started their own companies in China. None of the stories was same; each very personal and interesting. Let's not generalize Chinese companies.
Hi Junko, please correct me if my point is wrong. The interpreter did not translate following comment correct.
"if a company has 100 engineers in China, it can design a product at a sixth or an eighth the cost of the United States, and in one-third the time."
As should be
if a company has 100 reverse engineers in China, it can duplicate a product at a sixth or an eighth the cost of the United States, and in one-third the time.
Here is a cultural gap, if you wonder the true thought from said CEOs, you must investigate their background thoroughly, i.e. how did they get the fabless company established in the very early day.