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The Way Of EDA'S Localization

2021/8/6 13:18:00 0

ChipEDALocalizationThe Way

As a necessary software tool in the process of chip design, EDA (Electronic Design Automation) has been regarded as "the Pearl on the crown of chip industry", and is the most upstream and high-end link of IC design industry.

At present, the global EDA market is mainly composed of three large American companies, accounting for nearly 80% of the market share. Although the share of the three giants fluctuates slightly every year, the trend of oligopoly has basically taken shape.

In contrast, domestic EDA companies started a little later. However, in recent years, as the leading domestic semiconductor design companies, including Huawei Hisilicon and ZTE microelectronics, have gradually strengthened, which has provided the soil for the symbiosis and progress of industrial ecology. In the past two years, relevant EDA companies have also begun to prepare for landing on the science and technology innovation board.

According to the data released by semi electronic system design alliance, the global share of EDA revenue of Chinese companies was once very small, and is rapidly narrowing the gap with North America, which is still the largest market.

Objectively speaking, if only from the company's establishment time, Huada Jiutian, which has the highest market share in China, was established in 2009, but all the three giants were founded in the 1980s. Superposition Moore's law supports the rapid iterative progress of process in decades, which means that our country still has a large space to catch up in this field. After entering the era of Moore's law, the exploration of new technology route is regarded as the potential energy for domestic companies to accelerate their catch-up.

Giant monopolizes EDA

EDA is important because, unlike traditional software, it can constantly modify bugs in the process of design and use; Once the chip product is produced, it can not be changed, which requires the help of EDA software.

Through virtual design, simulation, simulation and other links in EDA software, the film will be formally produced after confirmation. And chip designers often use EDA tools to design hundreds of thousands or even billions of transistors, which can reduce the capital and time cost of the overall chip design and manufacturing.

According to the statistics of CCID think tank, in terms of China's EDA tool market competition pattern, Synopsys and cadence account for about 30% of the share respectively, and the share of Siemens companies in the past three years is about 15%. Among them, the share of Kaideng electronics in China has increased by 1% - 3% in recent two years, and the overall market share slightly exceeds that of Xinsi.

Yao Jiayang, a consulting analyst with trenforce, told the 21st century economic report that there are some differences in the operation strategies of Xinsi technology and Kaideng electronics in recent years. Xinsi has begun to strengthen the development of software integration products and develop the product strength of its product lines on average. Therefore, mergers and acquisitions are frequent, At the same time, it can strengthen the revenue performance; In contrast, Kaideng's M & A activities are relatively few, but its revenue in EDA related fields also shows a steady growth trend.

"From this point, we can see that Kaideng's product line strength in EDA is relatively solid, and has gradually won the trust of customers." He further pointed out to reporters that if only from the perspective of EDA revenue performance, Kaideng is slightly better than Xinsi; However, in terms of total revenue, Suntech is a small winner.

Yao Jiayang believes that in the EDA industry, the operation of the three overseas giant companies has been in operation for a long time, and the development of the whole industry has been quite mature. In the case of no major breakthrough in technology, the share gap among the three companies is small, so that there will be no oligarchs with absolute leading shares among them.

However, the development of these head companies is not limited to the EDA industry itself. From the perspective of industry, EDA is a key industry with small scale but can leverage the huge downstream chip market. Therefore, its gross profit margin is often very high, generally around 90%.

Because EDA itself is not a big industry, the first two giants in the world, Xinsi technology and Kaideng electronics, have developed into EDA + IP parallel mode.

Li Junchao, senior manager of Yunxiu capital, told the 21st century economic report that the adoption of EDA + IP development mode is due to the fact that the downstream customers of EDA companies are all chip design companies or wafer factories, and different upstream links such as EDA or IP companies will bring strong synergy if they can integrate different capabilities together.

"The joint involvement of the two industrial sectors can also expand market space and sales." However, it is not entirely from the accumulation of self generated technology of a single company to enter into new industrial links. For example, Xinsi technology has realized two business parallel development routes through a large number of mergers and acquisitions of IP companies. In the future, with the further development of domestic EDA companies, if you want to take a similar path, you can also promote it through self-study and industry integration.

Domestic EDA

Historical data show that our country started in the field of EDA not too late. Only in the open market environment, the soil for cultivating EDA in China is not deep, and there is a certain period of stagnation.

Huada Jiutian's prospectus roughly describes the development process of domestic EDA industry. In the 1970s and 1980s, China was unable to purchase foreign EDA tools due to the influence of overseas embargoes. Therefore, China began to carry out independent research and development and tackle key problems. In 1988, China started the research and development of the domestic EDA tool "panda system".

In the early 1990s, some members of the initial team of Huada Jiutian successfully developed the first EDA tool "panda ICCAD system" with independent intellectual property rights in Chinese history. However, since then, foreign countries have lifted the blockade on China's EDA tools, and a large number of foreign EDA tools have entered China, resulting in the domestic research and development and application of EDA tools which lack of policy and market support.

Since 2008, the state has paid more and more attention to the development of EDA industry. Since then, domestic EDA companies have emerged and entered the market. Based on the previous technology accumulation, Huada Jiutian has become the largest EDA R & D enterprise with the most complete product line in China.

From the financial report, we can see that there are still some differences in the development of domestic EDA companies. According to the nine day prospectus of Huada, the company's operating revenue increased from 151 million yuan to 415 million yuan from 2018 to 2020, with an average annual compound growth rate of 65.86%. Over the years, more than 95% of the company's revenue comes from providing EDA tools and software sales and related services.

The company's revenue from 2018 to 2020 will be 51.9486 million yuan, 65.4866 million yuan and 137.4832 million yuan, respectively. The company frankly said that the small scale of operation has limited the total amount of investment in R & D, sales, acquisition and merger activities that the company can support to a certain extent. From the perspective of income composition, the proportion of manufacturing EDA tools revenue decreased from 58% to 43%, while the contribution of design EDA tools income fluctuated between 25% and 29%.

Core vision, which decided to terminate its listing before, revealed in its prospectus that during 2017-2019, the company's business with the highest proportion of revenue came from "IC analysis services", accounting for about 80% of its revenue; The revenue contribution from EDA software licensing is about 3% - 6%. The company's overall revenue increased from 70 million yuan to 155 million yuan in the past three years.

It can be seen that at this stage, it is still difficult to achieve greater business growth through EDA business, but many domestic companies have undoubtedly ushered in a new turning point.

Ecological rise of China

As mentioned above, the rapid growth of EDA income from China market in the first quarter of this year means that domestic ecology is jointly promoting industry to bring more development assistance.

Li Junchao told reporters of the 21st century economic report that the high growth rate of EDA revenue from the Chinese market in the first quarter of this year was due to the low base of the index in China. Previously, in the Asia Pacific region, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan of China purchased more EDA. However, in recent years, more and more system level companies have begun to participate in self-developed chips, and the domestic demand for advanced process chips and R & D volume are growing, so the procurement of EDA software will naturally increase greatly.

"This will form a virtuous circle." He pointed out that at present, China's market share of EDA's revenue in the Asia Pacific region is about 10%. With the rapid rise of EDA in the chip design market, the future demand of China's market in the Asia Pacific region is expected to reach 40% - 50%.

The current development of domestic EDA software manufacturers is indeed unbalanced. Li Junchao told the 21st century economic reporter that objectively speaking, domestic EDA software companies are currently focusing on the analog chip field, which does not require very high iteration requirements for chip manufacturing process, and relevant companies have occupied a certain position in some subdivision links in this field.

But in the field of digital chip EDA software, domestic front-end and back-end links are relatively lack of deployment. Due to the need for joint adjustment with top chip design companies and wafer factories, there was no mature symbiosis environment in China before, but now the domestic industrial foundation has been built.

"So this is a good opportunity for the development of domestic EDA companies." Li added that the differences in EDA software used for analog chips and digital chips are mainly reflected in the complexity of process links and the difficulty of process adjustment. Specifically, the EDA process required by analog chip is less; The digital chip needs EDA software in every link, so the demand is larger, and the workload and design difficulty are also high.

"The difficulty is that in the process of chip design through EDA software, a large number of existing data need to be matched and calibrated with EDA tools. At present, the domestic advanced process data reserves in the field of analog chips still have room for increase. However, due to the slow iteration time of analog chip process, it will be relatively easy to catch up with international giants. " He analyzed.

Specific to the distribution of different chip processes of domestic EDA companies, Li Junchao told the 21st century economic report that at present, domestic EDA companies have relatively more ability to accumulate in the chip manufacturing end. However, due to the high threshold of EDA software for chip design, it still needs development time.

"At present, in terms of digital chip design, we still need to combine the capabilities of several domestic EDA software companies in series to complete the design, but for analog chips, we can only use the software of domestic head companies to design the complete process." He pointed out that on the whole, at present, in terms of EDA software in China, we still need to constantly deepen our R & D strength. When we reach a certain mature stage, we will bring better synergy effect. At that time, we can consider the topic of capacity integration among industries“ For example, Xinsi technology, after its mature development, has connected more abundant EDA software links through acquisition and merger, and has become a giant today. "

Especially after entering the era of Moore's law, Li Junchao believes that this will be an opportunity for Chinese companies to overtake on a curve“ If we continue to develop iteratively under Moore's law, there will always be intergenerational differences. " He pointed out that, however, with the theory beyond Moore's law, the emergence of new technology routes such as chiplet and 3D packaging is still a new topic for the world, and we can say that it is on the starting line.

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