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Lack of materials, a major change in the foundry order model of wafers

Due to the shortage of mature process production capacity, new production capacity will not be released until the second half of 2022. The shortage of automotive chips, panel driver ICs, power management ICs and power semiconductors is difficult to solve, and the shortage of chips may continue to The first half of next year. In order to solve the impact of chip lengths and materials on the production chain, automakers such as Ford, Volkswagen, and Tesla, as well as panel makers such as Innolux and BOE, have directly sought out foundries for production capacity and foundry orders. There will be a big shift.

In the case of foundry production capacity in short supply, including automotive chips, microcontrollers (MCU), panel driver ICs, power management ICs, and power semiconductors, all are severely out of stock, which has caused automakers to reduce production, panel makers and OEM/ODM Factory shipments were lower than expected. Due to the different situations in which chip suppliers obtain foundry capacity, problems such as long and short materials and over-orders may cause drastic changes in the supply and demand of the production chain. In order to make the foundry capacity "use the best" and at the same time solve the problem of chip inventory. The problem, including the news that automakers and panel makers have directly contacted the foundries to book capacity, among which the automakers are the most active.

It is understood that automakers such as Flowserve and Tesla do not design their own chips. From the perspective of the existing supply chain, they are only indirect customers of the foundry and cannot directly place orders with the foundry. However, only the car manufacturers know the length and material situation of automotive chips. However, automotive chip suppliers are now facing full capacity in foundries or their own fabs, and they cannot make small and varied customized capacity adjustments for the different chip needs of various car manufacturers. Or production, so the key few chips that are out of stock may be even more scarce, causing automakers to be forced to reduce or suspend production.

As a result, the automaker changed the original ordering mode. It first understood the inventory level and process category of the required chips, and then booked the production capacity for the foundry, and then allocated the obtained capacity allocation to the chip supplier with the most severe shortage. Of course, the chip supplier was originally a wafer foundry customer and has completed the certification. Panel makers have also made similar moves. For example, BOE, Innolux, etc., find wafer foundries to book production capacity, and then allocate production capacity to suppliers that are seriously out of stock chips to cast films.

In the past 20 years, the semiconductor production chain has been operated by IC design houses, IDM plants or system plants to complete chip design, and then to wafer foundries and packaging and testing plants to complete production. Therefore, wafer foundry customers use IC design plants, IDM plants, Or system manufacturers with IC design capabilities such as Apple. Nowadays, the foundry order model will undergo a major change. With indirect customers such as car manufacturers and panel factories who master the actual terminal shipments, they will start to skip the IC design link and find the foundry and book the capacity. The long and short materials will affect the production. And the problem of over-ordering that may cause excessive inventory is expected to be effectively solved.