Analog semiconductor revolution has only just begun

The semiconductor industry has undergone tremendous changes, and the relatively stable analog chip field has not been able to face this trend for a long time. Product integration requirements and cost pressures have changed the appearance of the analog market.

A few years ago, I remember that "High Performance Analog" was the focus of Texas Instruments' marketing products. The industry generally associates TI with high performance and high price points. The price has clearly differentiated TI from other analog suppliers, allowing the world's largest analog IC supplier and each of its decentralized players to stick to their respective fields.

Last year, Texas Instruments acquired National Semiconductor (NS) as one of the most significant events in the semiconductor industry. After the completion of the entire acquisition process, Chen Jiancun, general manager of TI Taiwan, explained the current situation of the two companies after the merger. In all of his emphasis, reducing costs and filling production capacity are the most critical strategy for this analog chip giant.

The market trend is "lower and lower", Chen Jiancun said. In addition, the current market is not oversupply or shortage, it is difficult to find a balance. Therefore, analog chip companies must also have extremely flexible resilience to survive.

TI is the first company to use a 12-inch wafer fab to mass-produce analog products. Although Chen Jiancun did not specify the exact number of 12-inch plants in terms of reducing product costs and increasing production capacity, it has brought pressure to other analog manufacturers.

After acquiring the 12-inch Qimonda plant, TI moved the plant equipment directly to the company's R-Fab, and quickly began mass production at the 12-inch plant. The 311 Great Earthquake in 2011 accelerated the production of R-Fab.

The rapid resilience, coupled with the jump in new plant capacity, allowed TI to quickly receive many orders after the Great East Japan Earthquake at the beginning of the year, but even so, in a recent internal company meeting, Chen Jiancun revealed that the production plants in TI Supervisors continue to issue the desire to fill capacity.

In the past few years, TI's transition has put pressure on other relatively small analog manufacturers in the same field. When a manufacturer known for its high performance and high price points holds a product that many manufacturers have expected to sigh for price, claiming to be able to supply at a more competitive price and sophisticated manufacturing technology, this market's dramatic changes have already started.

We will supply it at more competitive prices, Chen Jiancun said. The prices of TI products that have been above and beyond are now available for bargaining, and “the price guarantees satisfy the customers.”

In 2010, the global effective market for analog components (TAM) was US$42 billion, and Chen Jiancun predicted that this figure will grow to at least US$50 billion in the next two years or so. TI's market share in the pre-merger NS was 14% and it was 17% after the merger. "This means that 83% of the market is waiting for us," he said.

Looking around at the analog market, TI now only has capacitors, inductors, and resistors that do nothing, and others are almost everything, Chen Jiancun said. With more than 45,000 products after the merger of NS, coupled with a low price strategy, and the possibility of re-emerging mergers and acquisitions, the changes brought by TI's imitation monster are only the beginning.

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