We were “stuck in place” for nearly a year. However, a year ago, we might not have thought that the “transformation thinking” brought about by this state of affairs to large and small enterprises in China and even the whole world will evolve from a small fire in January to a digital fire burning all industries. “Under the epidemic situation, the science and technology industry has actually been decoupled from the overall economy. In particular, the semiconductor industry is still booming. ” Liu Deyin, the current chairman of TSMC, proved at the shareholders’ meeting in June 2020 that the fire consumed the “bottom fuel” – the speed and appetite of chips, which were unprecedented. Three months later, TSMC raised its income forecast for 2020 for the second time. The main judgment of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer comes from the strong demand for 5g mobile devices and high-performance computing devices in data centers. As a result, at this very special time point, the semiconductor market, which has always been “merciless” and has no “sympathy”, will usher in its destined era of great integration in 2020. < / P > < p > in 2020, in less than five months, the semiconductor industry has witnessed five mergers and acquisitions (as shown in the figure below). Each of the semiconductor companies involved is famous, and each transaction amount exceeds 10 billion US dollars. Each merged enterprise will become a new semiconductor giant. < / P > < p > as of November this year, at least US $115 billion (RMB 763.3 billion) of acquisitions have been concluded in 2020. Both the maximum amount and total amount of a single transaction have broken the record of semiconductor industry merger and acquisition in recent 20 years. < / P > < p > according to the monitoring data of IC insight, the global semiconductor M & A amount reached US $103.3 billion in 2015, but this trend continued in 2016, with a total transaction volume of more than US $98.5 billion, almost five times that of 2010-2014 (the average annual transaction volume is only 18.6 billion US dollars). < / P > < p > according to the analysis of insiders at that time, with the slowdown of global macroeconomic growth, the growth of semiconductor industry also slowed down, but the R & D and capital intensity continued to increase, and the competition was becoming increasingly fierce. The merger and acquisition of semiconductor industry would be the general trend. < p > < p > Li Xiaomin, chairman of Shengke nano, once told huwen that compared with domestic semiconductor market, the overseas semiconductor market is highly mature, especially in the analog chip market, and even the victory or defeat has been scored. Therefore, each subdivision area has gradually entered the stage of merger, integration and oligopoly. In 2020, the company will become the second largest flash memory company in the market after Intel and Samsung. < / P > < p > “according to previous statistics, NASDAQ could find the names of 100 semiconductor companies ten years ago, and now there are only about 40. But while the number of listed companies has decreased, the overall revenue and market value of the industry has greatly increased. ” On the other hand, through M & A, we can make up the short board and diversify business to disperse the business risk of the enterprise, which is more obvious in the two transactions of NVIDIA and AMD. < / P > < p > NVIDIA, whose advantages have been limited to AI accelerator for a long time, can obtain chip design authorization for more than 80% of smart phones and thousands of household appliances in the world through arm. < / P > < p > according to the financial data of Xilinx (below), orders from aerospace, defense, industry and surveying and mapping departments account for nearly half of its revenue, and the wired and wireless equipment division accounts for 30% of sales. AMD’s market share in these markets is very low, even does not exist at all. < / P > < p > first of all, the United States uses the semiconductor supply chain as a weapon to try to disrupt this highly globalized division of labor industry, which also adds uncertainty to the future trend of the semiconductor industry. < / P > < p > although China’s semiconductor comprehensive strength is not strong, far behind the United States, South Korea and Japan, China is the world’s largest semiconductor sales market, and the sales of chips account for more than 50% of the total global sales. As a result, Huawei’s “ban” in 2019 has hit Huawei’s US chip suppliers, including Marvell, inphi and micron, and lowered their quarterly earnings and sales expectations. < p > < p > in 2018, Qualcomm abandoned the acquisition of NXP due to China’s “refusal to sign”. In other words, China’s “nod” will be an important part of whether these five large M & A can reach the final step in 2020. < / P > < p > the game between the two countries in the semiconductor market is pulling all the companies in this chain, and none of them can be left out of the game. Therefore, in order to survive this extremely unstable, but do not know when the end of the rainstorm night, “group heating” is the best policy. < / P > < p > a month ago, when the news of NVIDIA’s acquisition of arm was just exposed, an NVIDIA engineer conveyed four words to Huhu to summarize the technical reasons for the acquisition: < / P > < p > in the development of the semiconductor industry for more than half a century, every time we want processors to have stronger computing power, we basically have one answer: add more “Silicon” 。 However, the complexity of operation, the limitations of transistor arrangement on the chip and the cost have already eroded this criterion, which is one of the key reasons for the demise of Moore’s law. < p > < p > a senior expert who once worked in ASMC and semiconductor materials enterprises told Huhu that in 2010, Intel reduced the line width of its chip to 20 nm, which reached the extreme that the lithography equipment could bear at that time. According to its disclosure, Intel has tried the lithography machines of several top enterprises, including ASMC and Nikon, but still can’t solve the problem. < / P > < p > “now, what you hear about 14 nanometers, 7 nanometers, is no longer a strictly Moore’s law size. In order to continue Moore’s law, including Intel, all enterprises must make architecture innovation on chips. ” In other words, Moore’s law, the golden law that determines the innovation cycle of semiconductor products, has long been in existence. The absolute size of the chip is shrinking slowly, which is approaching the “limit of chip manufacturing equipment”; however, the application fields of IOT (Internet of things), artificial intelligence and automatic driving are in urgent need of new ammunition to suit the case. < / P > < p > Jim Keller, a former head and senior vice president of Intel’s Silicon engineering division, has participated in the design of Lakefield, a 3D stacked chip product of Intel. He highly advocates the use of vertical building to redesign chips. < / P > < p > in short, this method can stack chips with different functions together, and transmit data vertically through the bottom block, so as to realize high-speed interconnection between chips. < / P > < p > of course, AMD, Intel’s strongest competitor in the PC market, is trying to “mix and match” a set of chips with different functions, different processes, and even different brands into one system. < / P > < p > for example, only the core of AMD’s second-generation enterprise class “Xiaolong” processor uses TSMC’s 7-nm advanced technology, while other parts use low-cost old technologies, such as 14 nm or 20 nm. Because of some functions, the old process is adequate. In other words, materials and packaging in the life cycle (material production, design, manufacturing, packaging and testing) of a chip will play an increasingly critical role in changing the chip structure. Therefore, the 2.5D packaging technology in Xilinx’s famous circle will certainly help amd design more complex system on chip (SOC). < p > < p > Xilinx launched data center product versal ACAP in October 2018, a fully software programmable heterogeneous computing platform < / P > < p > from a business point of view, a more realistic question is, what profitable opportunities are driving the giants to rush for chip architecture innovation? < / P > < p > let’s answer this question first – why are Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Alibaba involved and designed chips themselves and used the most advanced manufacturing and packaging processes? < / P > < p > although we are not sure about the feasibility of artificial intelligence commercialization, in just three years, the application penetration rate of artificial intelligence in various industries has far exceeded the public’s imagination – < / P > < p > from today’s headlines and personalized recommendation of Taobao, to Tesla’s auxiliary driving function and predictive maintenance of factory production line In the process of digital transformation of all industries, such as finance (Banking), retail and industry, there are artificial intelligence algorithms hidden in them. < / P > < p > therefore, from the perspective of the whole application volume, the semiconductor purchase driven by artificial intelligence algorithm in the next five years will not be underestimated. With the explosive growth of the magnitude and complexity of the algorithm model, it is imperative to innovate the architecture of the chip. < / P > < p > at the same time, with the wave of personal entertainment and office, consumer hardware and enterprises going to the cloud, cloud computing giants operating super data centers and large and small enterprises with data centers will become buyers of new high-performance processors. < / P > < p > then a lot of things are expected – Intel, the biggest winner with 70% of the data center market share, is bound to encounter a more fierce siege. < / P > < p > although the PC market has made Intel known to the public, the “data center” is its revenue source next to the PC market, accounting for more than a third of its total revenue. In 2019 alone, Q4’s revenue is as high as $7.2 billion, while amd2019’s annual revenue is only $6.7 billion. < / P > < p > in view of the five large M & as in 2020 (the first picture), a semiconductor expert told Hu Hu Hu that NVIDIA, AMD and Marvell are all aiming at the data center market from the perspective of business competition. < p > < p > maiwell, who just announced the acquisition of inphi, clearly expressed his intention at the beginning: “inphi’s technology is the core of cloud data center network, and we hope to expand the data center infrastructure market with the help of inphi’s unique silicon photonic materials and DSP (digital signal processing) technology.” < / P > < p > in addition, NVIDIA, which has become the largest supplier of AI accelerators in the data center segment, first annexed mellanox, which can efficiently connect thousands of servers, in April 2020. Later, CEO Huang Renxun publicly challenged Intel when he announced the acquisition of arm: < / P > < p > however, due to its concise and refined chip architecture, arm, which is popular in the mobile device market, has also made great efforts to impact the data center market, but it has not felt much presence. < p > < p > an engineer wrote in the EE journal that Intel’s Xeon processor and other enterprise class products have always been impregnable in the data center, which is defended by three things: < / P > < p > marketing defense. In 2B market, the purchasing departments of enterprises are not willing to choose new products at the risk of being fired, but prefer to purchase “the system that 90% of the data centers are using”. < / P > < p > the ecology of X86 instruction set architecture. For decades, it has been an industry standard and the default target for most software compilers. Let the enterprise use the new CPU, you need to let the engineers out of an executable