Biz / Tech

IC needs more support for fund and talent

China's integrated circuit sector calls for more fund and talent with faster expansion in pipeline.

Altogether 17 new wafer plants have been planned or opened in the Chinese mainland for IC (integrated circuit) products since 2016, which created huge demand for capital and talent supply, researchers said today.

But still, China has to invest heavily on the integrated circuit sectors because it remains dependent on chip import. Chips are used in all smart devices covering smartphone, computer, consumer electronics and smart vehicles, analysts said.

Since 2016, Chinese mainland has planned 17 wafer plants including 12 advanced 12-inch plants, which cost heavily on factory building, equipment purchasing and labor hiring. said researcher TrendForce. 

Besides, the wage for senior IC professionals usually doubles or triples if a new plant invites them to join.

Overseas and domestic giants like SMIC, Global Foundries and Unigroup have invested heavily to build wafer plants in the cities including Shanghai, Xiamen, Wuhan and Chengdu.

The national IC fund now has 138.7 billion yuan (US$20.1 million). Over 60 percent of the fund will be invested in IC manufacturing to support local IC industry.

Compared with investment, high-end IC talent shortage is a bigger bottleneck of the domestic IC industry, said Gu Wenjun, analyst of the research firm ICwise.

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