Mi Lei, founding partner of Chuangxing: The conversion of chips from electricity to light is the next new opportunity | Pathfinder 2022

2022-06-25 0 By

Note: “Pathfinding 2022” is a year-end planning topic of Titanium media, inviting TOP investors and entrepreneurial leaders in various industries to review the industry changes and enterprise growth in the past year, and discuss new logic and outlook for 2022.This is Yang Guang, founding partner of Yaotu Capital, talking with titanium media App “Pathfinder 2022”. The following is Yang Guang’s outlook on the future of the industry.In the past year, the key words of the chip industry change are “up” and “car core”.The first word is “up”.At present, chip (itself) has been hot, especially in the past two years, embargo, restrictions let everyone gradually feel the pain of “neck”, independent innovation almost formed a comprehensive consensus.However, due to the lack of rings in our semiconductor industry in the early years, we have missed many lessons. To do a good job in “chip”, we need to comprehensively master the industrial chain and make independent innovation.Therefore, in addition to the chip itself, many people have begun to aim at the upstream of the chip industry chain – equipment, materials.In addition, the localization rate of these upstream links is relatively low, and the core technologies involved are basically in the Netherlands, the United States, Japan and other countries;Including lithography machine, etching machine, film deposition equipment and other semiconductor equipment, photoresist, target, special gas and other materials.The second word is “car core”.As a major automobile manufacturer, China has ranked first in automobile production in the world, accounting for one quarter of the global market.An average car needs 500-600 chips on average, and an intelligent car needs 1,000 chips on average. Domestic cars alone have a very strong demand for automotive semiconductors.In addition, the proportion of domestic car chip industry is relatively low, so no matter analog chip companies, MCU companies, AI chip companies, have begun to target the “car chip market” in 2021.In my memory, the most profound thing in 2021 is probably the “core shortage” brought by the epidemic, which finally led to the popularity of “car chip”, and the difficulty of obtaining a “core” caused a lot of things.For example, due to the impact of the epidemic, several chip giants, such as NXP and Infineon, have cut their chip orders in anticipation of a sharp decrease in chip demand. As a result, chip manufacturers, such as TSMC and UMC, have taken the initiative to cut their auto chip production capacity.However, due to the remarkable achievements of Epidemic prevention and control in China, the market demand has expanded. In addition, the research and development cycle of automobile regulation chip is long, leading to the supply shortage of upstream production and downstream expansion.As a result, more than 1 million cars were produced in China a year because of chip shortages.We also heard the anecdote that “the new energy car manufacturers’ meeting is about chips, not cars, but more like the semiconductor industry development conference”, “Hong Kong robbers robbed about 5 million Hong Kong dollars of chips”, “car manufacturers 100 times the price of recycling chips” and so on.Kechuang star of outlook 2022 chip industry, observation is with Moore’s law to “end”, the chip is becoming more and more obvious in process bottlenecks in the process, it’s almost close to the physical limits, the diameter of the silicon atom is about 0.22 nm, when the process down to seven nanometers, surge and electronic breakdown problem, appear easily also has been difficult to perfectly control electronics.Although TSMC, which represents the world’s top level, is still making continuous r&d and capacity investment in 3-nanometer and 2-nanometer technologies, it is widely believed that the size reduction of integrated circuits will reach the physical limit by 2030 at the most, and it is urgent to find a way out for innovative development.Therefore, how to surpass Moore’s Law, improve performance, and save energy, becomes a new challenge.This means that the next to further breakthroughs in materials, such as the use of broadband gap semiconductor material, namely, SiC, GaN, the third generation of semiconductor when subjected to a high temperature and high pressure, high current, with generation (Si), the second generation (GaAs), do not easily become conductive from insulation, more stable characteristics, energy conversion is also better.On the other hand, Zhongkecuangxing has been paying attention to the development of optical chips, which is also in line with the development trend of the “70 Meter Law” proposed by me. Compared with electrons, photons have innate advantages as information carriers: ultra-high speed, ultra-high parallelism, ultra-high bandwidth and ultra-low loss.Specifically, one is that photons have extremely fast response times when transmitting information.Photon pulses can reach the order of FS (femtosecond), the information rate can reach tens of Tb/s, and the performance can be improved hundreds of times.Second, photons have a very high information capacity, which is 3-4 orders of magnitude higher than electrons.Low switching delay and high transmission bandwidth can be achieved by using the new enabling technology of optical interactive system.Third, photons have extremely strong storage and computing capacity, and can carry out ultra-low energy calculation at the speed of light.Fourth, photon has extremely strong parallelism and interconnection ability.Photons are bosons, and different wavelengths of light can be used for multi-channel simultaneous communication.Fifth, photon has ultra-low energy consumption performance.The energy consumption of 1bit information is 3 orders of magnitude lower than that of electronic devices, which is only 1/1000 of that of electronic devices.So switching chips from electricity to light is the next big opportunity.In addition, quantum chips, heterogeneous integration and Chiplet will also attract more and more attention.(this article starting ti media App, the contents for the respondents first person, edit | Guo Hong preparation)