Does MEMS fit into China’s “Made in China” Plan?

 

Renowned for their high volume product manufacturing capabilities, China is now turning its attention to the technology market. As part of the “Made in China 2025” (MiC2025) initiative launched in May 2015, the aim is to further develop the Chinese manufacturing industry. Focusing on quality, innovation, standards and intellectual property rights, 10 key sectors have been identified as a priority:

-new, advanced information technology
-automated machine tools and robotics
-aerospace and aeronautical equipment
-maritime equipment and high-tech shipping
-modern rail transport equipment
-new-energy vehicles and equipment
-power equipment
-agricultural equipment
-new materials
-biopharma and advanced medical products

In the semiconductor industry, China, while being the largest consumer, lags behind the rest of Asia in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation. Up until recently, MEMS manufacturing has been virtually non-existent in China. But with government support, that is changing, and with the prominence of the Internet of Things, there is a big push to make the Chinese MEMS industry competitive in the global economy.

The Need for MEMS Foundries

According to a report presented last year at SEMICON Taiwan, a number of MEMS fabless companies have popped up in China, and are trying to establish a MEMS ecosystem in the country. One thing the Chinese have learned in the process is that MEMS require more than CMOS-based foundry processes, and therefore there are opportunities for pure MEMS foundries. So far, a number of companies and research institutes such as Shanghai Industrial Technology Research Institute (SITRI), Silex Microsystems, Hanking Electronics, Micro Sensing Technologies, Nanopolis, and Guo Gao, are taking advantage of these, and collectively have two 4” MEMS, a 200mm pilot line and four 200mm lines either in place or in the works for 2016.

Developing MEMS Partnerships

With investment in research and development from the state and private industry, the intention is for China to become a fore-runner in the development of advanced technologies. With calls for Chinese businesses to augment overseas investment,

They are looking to forge relationships, and work in collaboration with worldwide partners to establish a global MEMS ecosystem. Establishing a center of innovation in China is part of this as is the recognition that respecting patent rights is paramount if they wish to participate outside of the local market.

As a player in both MEMS process development, as well as new and refurbished equipment for outfitting 200mm MEMS foundries, memsstar is well positioned to serve a key role in helping China build its infrastructure in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Based on lessons learned through our efforts to help establish a productive and efficient MEMS industry in Europe, we understand that an environment built on close collaboration and strategic co-operation that forms successful relationships is key to creating a valuable supply chain that enables continued growth. We believe if China takes this approach, then MEMS does indeed fit into MIC2015.

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