The semiconductor industry has obvious cyclicality. The semiconductor market was at a low level in 2019. In the storage field, Samsung is losing its leading position due to price reductions. Macronix is the main memory chip supplier of Nintendo, Sony, Huawei, and Apple. Now, the company predicts that the price of memory chips will rebound in 2020. Also, market demand will recover steadily.
‘We see 2020 as being a relatively robust year, and we see room for memory prices to rebound given the supply-demand situation,’ Miin Wu, chairman, and CEO of Macronix told in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review. ‘As a leading indicator, the chip industry is like ducks in a river who know spring is coming ahead of other people.’
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Miin Wu also said that government subsidies will help promote the development of the entire semiconductor industry. But still, it requires a lot of time and energy to train talents and accumulate technology.
In fact, Macronix did not receive any funding from the government but has a clear strategy. So it was able to survive the extreme volatility in the memory chip market over the past three decades.
‘From the semiconductor industry’s point of view, it will still take China some 20 years to train a pool of qualified engineering talent and to build up its own technologies.’ He added that the China-US technology war has sounded the alarm in China. The latter believes that its chip technology still lags far behind global leaders.
However, if China-based companies work hard and most of the current players such as Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix do nothing, ‘in 20 years, the current existing chip companies may not be able to survive given that China has such a massive domestic market.’