Tuesday, June 8, 2021
The Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association announced on June 6 that Taiwanese chip design companies’ sales added up to TWD260.2 billion, up 49.1 percent from a year earlier, in the first quarter of this year. The association also said that Taiwan's chip design market is expected to grow 30.5 percent this year.
On the other hand, half of the top 24 chip design companies in South Korea were in the red in the first quarter. These days, those Taiwanese companies are accelerating their growth based on a demand recovery unlike the South Korean companies.
In the system-on-chip industry, South Korea and Taiwan have similar industrial ecosystems. In Taiwan, TSMC’s global market share currently amounts to 50 percent and a number of value chain aggregators and more than 200 chip design companies are working closely with one another. In South Korea, approximately 60 fabless firms are doing business with Samsung Electronics as a leading foundry.
However, the two countries are different when it comes to foundry-fabless cooperation. In Taiwan, TSMC and UMC have assisted in the growth of fabless companies by providing inexpensive foundry services based on their extensive intellectual properties. As a result, the foundries have successfully expanded their client base and the fabless companies have succeeded in boosting their price competitiveness in cooperation with the foundries accounting for 60 percent of the global market.
In South Korea, a foundry-fabless mismatch is still ongoing as Samsung Electronics is seeking collaboration with global clients with its 10-nm and more advanced process technologies and the smaller companies in the industry are still waiting for average technologies such as 28-nm.
In addition, the Taiwanese government has made extensive efforts to supply skilled and professional designers in the industry. The efforts have been made mainly in R&D complexes such as the Hsinchu Science Park and the Taiwanese government has provided various incentives for those returning to Taiwan after studying abroad.
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