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The semiconductor competition in 2020: when will the localization of chips come?

The localization of chips is a big test for domestic semiconductor talents.

As we all know, my country is the largest consumer and importer of the global chip market.

It is understood that in 2004, the market size of my country’s chip industry was 54.5 billion yuan. The amount is three times the export value.

Just this year, the State Council set a goal of 70% of China’s chip self-sufficiency rate by 2025, and the localization of chips is a long way to go. Behind the “localization” is a big test for domestic semiconductor talents.

How short is my country’s chip talent?

The “White Paper on Talents in China’s Integrated Circuit Industry (2019-2020 Edition)” released this year shows that currently only more than 500,000 people are engaged in the integrated circuit industry in China. By 2022, my country will need 750,000 people to work in the integrated circuit industry. That is to say, before 2022, there will still be a talent gap of 250,000 in my country’s integrated circuit industry.

From the perspective of talent training, there are currently about 28 schools with integrated circuit majors in China, represented by Tsinghua University, University of Electronic Science and Technology, Xidian University and other institutions, and the annual enrollment of each institution is very high. limited.

Wang Zhihua, deputy director of the Institute of Microelectronics of Tsinghua University, also made it clear that dozens of colleges and universities across the country cannot meet the talent needs of the integrated circuit industry. There are 10 to 20 undergraduate students in China, and 100 to 200 students are trained in 10 years. Other integrated circuit brother colleges train 100 students, and 1000 students in ten years.”

Not only that, the integrated circuit professional system is huge, and students still need a certain amount of time to grow from theoretical study to specific practice. The problem of talent shortage is difficult to fill in a short period of time.

Shi Xin, senior director of Imagination, the fifth largest supplier in the global chip IP market, also said, “The entire integrated circuit industry has relatively high requirements for talents. Taking processors as an example, processor design is a highly demanding direction. The talents needed are basically at the 985 master’s level, and they have to work for at least three or five years before they can be used with confidence.”

Why is there such a shortage of chip talents in my country?

There are currently three categories of arguments:

The traditional training model is difficult to adapt to the training of professional chip talents;

The chip industry is technically difficult, resulting in a small number of top chip talents;

The chip industry has high investment, low income, and long R&D cycle, resulting in low wages and brain drain in the overall industry.

It is worth mentioning that Nanjing University of Integrated Circuits, the first chip university in China located in Jiangbei New District, Nanjing, was officially established recently. Different from ordinary colleges and universities, Nanjing University of Integrated Circuits aims to cultivate skills and recruit senior students and practitioners related to integrated circuits, aiming to accelerate the filling of my country’s chip talent pool.

Regarding the current situation of low overall salary in the chip industry, according to BOSS direct employment data, the average recruitment salary of talents in the chip industry in 2019 is 10,420 yuan, and the average recruitment salary of chip talents with ten years of work experience is 19,550 yuan, which is only for software with the same working years. half of the salary level of similar talents. Taking Tencent, Ali and other leading Internet companies as examples, the monthly salary of programmers recruited by graduate students has already exceeded 10,000 yuan.

The data also shows that the top 5 majors studied by chip talents are electronic information engineering (18.69%), automation (10.63%), electrical engineering and its automation (9.02%), electronic information science and technology (5. 02%) and measurement and control technology and instruments (4.97%). The above five majors mainly involve the chip design level.

Shi Xin said, “For a long time, the overall salary in this industry is actually low, and in terms of salary and treatment, it is indeed not competitive.”

However, with the attention of the whole society and the whole industry, the current situation has improved.

In response to this, Shi Xin also said: “In the past two years, I can feel that it has become more and more difficult to recruit people, and we clearly feel that people are starting to grab people.”

The “Battle of People” in the Semiconductor Industry

With the shortage of talents, the “people-snatching war” in the semiconductor industry has also sounded the horn. It can be said that various provinces, cities, universities, and enterprises have resorted to their own various means, just to retain or cultivate talents.

On the side of the government, favorable policies have been continuously introduced. Taking Nanjing Jiangbei New District as an example, in 2019, the scale of the integrated circuit industry in this new district will reach 30 billion+ billion, a year-on-year increase of more than 150%.

According to Liu Li of Ant Silicon Service, there are more than 400 integrated circuit-related enterprises in Jiangbei New Area, covering all upstream and downstream links of the industrial chain such as chip design, wafer manufacturing, chip packaging and finished product testing, special materials and equipment, and terminal manufacturing.

On the side of colleges and universities, in order to cope with the talent gap, the integrated circuit discipline has also ushered in an “upgrade”-2020, the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council will set integrated circuit as a first-level discipline and be independent from the first-level discipline of electronic science and technology. At the same time, more and more colleges and enterprises have begun to link up, from the perspective of “integration of production and education”, more targeted training and sharpening of more talents.

“The cultivation of chip talents cannot be delayed. Compared with theoretical research, the most urgent task is to shorten the cycle of chip talents from the training stage to the front line of scientific research and industry.” Professor Shi Longxing, the current president of Nanjing University of Integrated Circuits, once said.

In addition to colleges and universities, chip training courses have also sprung up like mushrooms. Advertising slogans such as “4 months of class, from a novice to an annual salary of 300,000” and “2 months to find a job” also remind the public that the chip industry is seeking Thirsty.

On the enterprise side, the salary requirements for recruiting people are getting higher and higher, and the form of robbing people is also intensifying. For example, Ren Zhengfei visited 4 universities in 3 days, and many employees of TSMC were poached.

In July this year, Ren Zhengfei LED a group of Huawei executives to visit Shanghai Jiaotong University, Fudan University, Southeast University and Nanjing University for the purpose of talent training and recruitment. “The future is full of uncertainties, and what we will strive for in the future is to strive for education and talents,” Ren Zhengfei said during a meeting with Xu Ningsheng, the president of Fudan University and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

As the world’s No. 1 foundry company, the importance of TSMC is self-evident, and it was also revealed this year. Since 2019, mainland China has recruited more than 100 TSMC engineers and managers to develop 14nm and 12nm chip process. According to statistics, more than 3,000 chip engineers in Taiwan, China have been dug to the mainland with high salaries.

“Generally speaking, my country’s integrated circuit talents are still in short supply, and the cultivation of talents in the chip industry requires a multi-pronged approach, actively carrying out the joint training model of ‘production, education and research’, and breaking through the development and training of high-end talents is the key bottleneck for industrial development.” Ant Silicon Service Liu Li concluded.

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