模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

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芯历史──纵览国内外半导体产业发展历程,挖掘行业奇闻趣事,以古鉴今,探寻产业未来发展之道。德州仪器(Texas Instruments,简称德仪)和台积电都是半导体领域顶尖的公司。曾在德州仪器度过职业黄金岁月的台积电创始人张忠谋公开发言称,自己人生只分为两个阶段:一是为德州仪器效命,一是为台积电效命。

回忆起在德州仪器的职业生涯,张忠谋感慨:“从33岁做到52岁,开始时的事业单位员工只有3000人到后来的4万人,我的黄金时代都给了德州仪器,但是我学到了很多东西。”

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

张忠谋在德州仪器工作。来源:semiwiki

中芯国际创始人张汝京同样与德州仪器有着不解之缘。1977年,29岁的张汝京刚刚入职德州仪器,成为了张忠谋的四万下属之一。在满是老外的德州仪器,张忠谋对张汝京颇为关照。这两位关系不错的上下级一起在德仪工作了近十年。而张汝京在德州仪器一干就是20年,曾先后参与美国、日本、新加坡等多个晶圆厂的建设,由此积累的丰富建厂经验为他后来回国建厂打下基础。

事实上,这家企业被誉为“半导体行业的黄埔军校”,还培养出了台积电总裁魏哲家、台积电前共同营运长蒋尚义等半导体界大咖。

那么,德州仪器究竟是一家怎样的企业?它的成长故事又经历了哪些波澜起伏?

军火商“不务正业” 搞出世界首款集成电路

追溯历史,成立于1930年的德州仪器已过耄耋之年。第一次世界大战推动了全球对石油的需求,依托美国得克萨斯州得天独厚的石油资源。1930年,J·克莱伦斯·卡彻(J. Clarence Karcher)和尤金·麦克德莫特(Eugene McDermott)一起在得克萨斯州创建了一个做地质勘探的“地球物理业务公司”(GSI),这便是德州仪器的前身。

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

最开始,GSI主要业务是为石油工业提供地质探测,但由于石油开采量提升,石油行业出现供大于求的萧条期,到第二次世界大战期间,GSI开始扩大业务为美国陆军和海军生产国防电子产品。基于原来在石油工业开发的地质探测技术,从1942年开始,德州仪器凭借潜水艇探测设备开始进入国防电子领域。随后相关订单暴增,业务迅速崛起。

1951年是决定GSI未来发展方向的重要一年。这一年,该公司旗下的L&M部门迅速超越了GSI的地理部门,公司被重命名为“通用仪器”(General Instrument),同一年再次更名为“德州仪器”,并沿用至今。而GSI则逐渐变成了德州仪器旗下的一个子公司,直到1988年被出售给哈利伯托公司。

更名后的德州仪器在半导体领域火力全开。1952年,德州仪器从西部电子公司那里以25000美元的价格购买了生产晶体管的专利证书,开始制造和销售晶体管。随后,原本在贝尔实验室工作的戈登·K·蒂尔(Gordon K. Teal)看到广告后回到了故乡得克萨斯,在德州仪器担任研究主任,并于1954年2月研制出第一个商用的硅晶体管。

1958 年,德州仪器入职了一位名为杰克·基尔比(Jack Kilby)的工程师,而他,正是集成电路的发明者。

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

杰克·基尔比(1923-2005)

彼时,杰克因为新入职而没能“攒够”公司为期两周的传统假期。在其他人休假期间,杰克开始研究自己感兴趣的新工艺,最终在1958年9月12日研发出世界上首款集成电路。集成电路的发明,从根本上改变了半导体行业,并为所有现代电子元器件打下了坚实基础。由于其发明集成电路的杰出贡献,杰克·基尔比在2000年被授予诺贝尔物理学奖。

此外,德州仪器还于1967年发明了手持计算机。1982年,德州仪器发布了全球首个单芯片数字信号处理器DSP,之后便成为这个领域的霸主。

发展至今,德州仪器已拥有十万余种产品,涵盖处理器、微控制器、无线、以及ADC/DAC等等,能为客户全方位地解决需求。

在移动芯片领域与成功失之交臂

智能手机芯片市场经过几番鏖战,目前排行榜上只剩下联发科、高通、苹果、紫光展锐、三星和华为海思六大巨头。有人得意有人失意,那些出局者的故事大多已尘封在历史之中。

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

揭开智能手机芯片的发展史,我们发现当今的模拟IC巨头德州仪器(简称德仪)也曾将业务扩展到电脑微处理器和手机芯片,并一度称霸手机芯片市场。现如今,手机移动芯片厂商却难觅德仪的身影,那么,德仪在微处理器和移动芯片领域是如何与成功失之交臂,并最终出局的?

大多数工程师对微处理革命的印象都始于1971年的英特尔4位4004,而紧随其后的是该公司的8位8008芯片。但其实在英特尔8008之前,德仪就推出过一款8位处理器。

1970年,计算机制造商Computer Terminal Corp.(CTC)公司在设计最早的终端用户计算机Datapoint 2200时,希望英特尔能够采取单一芯片,使计算机体积更小、散热效果更好。

于是英特尔4004芯片应运而生,成为了世界上首个微处理器。但因为英特尔一开始对4004芯片并不上心,在研发过程中,4004项目被耽搁了6个月。

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

图:4004;2,300个晶体管

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

图:英特尔4位4004芯片

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

图:8008;3,098个晶体管

CTC不得已找到德仪,提出了相同的要求。随后在1970年4月左右,德仪开始为CTC开发单芯片CPU,该设计于次年完成,被称为TMX 1795(X为“experimental”)。1971年3月,TMX 1795被《商业周刊(Business Week)》称为“LSI(大规模集成)的里程碑”。

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

图:TMX 1795;3078个晶体管

1971年6月,德仪发起了针对TMC 1795的媒体宣传活动,描述了这种“芯片上的中央处理器”将如何使新的Datapoint 2200“成为一台功能强大的计算机,具有原先无法提供的功能”。但是,这并没有发生。经测试发现,TMX 1795芯片有很多问题,比如它不能承受超过50mV的电压波动、也不能独立完成运算;它的架构也不合理,导致其尺寸过大,生产成本较高。

而此时CTC已经自主完成了Datapoint 2200的升级,没有采用微处理器方案,运行速度和散热问题也都得到了很好的解决。TMX 1795项目就此终止。

事实上,德仪不仅涉足过电脑处理器,在移动芯片市场还曾是叱咤风云的存在,一点也不输现在的高通骁龙。

在iOS和Android系统还没火起来的年代,诺基亚就是德仪处理器的忠实用户。同时德仪处理器出现在多款摩托罗拉的机型中,比如摩托罗拉戴妃、里程碑等。

高峰时期,德仪在全球手机芯片市场占有率高达两成,然而在高通的竞逐下,2007年至2009年连续3年衰退。2007年,高通在手机芯片的市占首度超越德仪。

原本可以在智能手机时代继续风光无量的德仪为何会跌了大跟头?这与德仪处理器本身的特性有关。德仪的处理器仅仅是一个处理器,只有GPU和一些DSP单元,手机厂商如果使用其芯片还需要搭配其他公司的基带芯片,成本较高。这导致德仪和手握大量通信专利的高通进行竞争时,经常处于下风。

2008年,手机芯片市场发生了巨变。曾在该市场上称霸多年的巨头德仪在第三季度宣布出售通用手机基带部门。与此同时,德仪仍然保留了客户定制基带芯片业务以及OMAP业务。

2012年9月,已撤出手机基带市场的德仪,宣布进一步退出智能手机处理器市场。德仪时任董事长里奇·坦伯顿(Rich Templeton)表示,他要将公司转变成一个“模拟和嵌入式处理产品”的公司。他敢于痛下决心割舍手机基带市场,是因为竞争者太多了,屈指一算就有10家以上,“基带芯片的世界正在改变,正因如此,应该要专注投资新的领域。”

稳居半导体龙头,TI有何秘诀?

自1930年成立到如今,德州仪器(TI)已走过92个春秋,其模拟、嵌入式处理和无线技术也已渗透到人们日常生活的方方面面,为我们的生活提供着便利。由于其芯片产品几乎渗透到了所有电子产品领域,在股市上,TI通常被视为半导体和电子行业的风向标。

多年来,德州仪器也以亮眼的业绩宣示其在半导体多个领域的全球霸主地位。据Gartner数据显示,2020年,德州仪器在全球半导体企业营收规模排名第七,并在数字信号处理器和模拟IC领域维持全球第一,在多个细分赛道保持绝对领先。据相关资料显示,德州仪器在全球半导体企业营收TOP10的榜单中已有近三十年的历史。

跨越92年的时光,回看世界半导体局势,德州仪器能稳居半导体龙头的秘诀之一便在于其敢于做业务的“减法”与“加法”,及时调整业务布局。特别是1996-2001年期间,互联网从繁荣到泡沫时期,TI首次从多元化公司转型为半导体公司,短短四年时间,其围绕DSP与模拟技术这两个重点业务进行了战略调整。

TI曾多次做过主营业务的“减法”,以更好地聚焦优势领域,其中包括:

1988年,TI把GSI相关业务出售给了哈利伯托(Halliburton)公司;

1991年,TI把位于田纳西州约翰逊城的工业控制部门出售给了西门子公司;

1997年,TI将其国防业务出售给了美国雷神(Raytheon)公司等;

2007年,TI向英特尔、英飞凌、贝恩资本出售其LCD、DSL、传感器及控制器、手机基带业务后,把业务市场向汽车和工业领域拓展。

在做好“减法”的同时,TI还擅长做“加法”,通过一系列收购大举扩张业务版图。从1996年起到2011年,公司所披露的对外收购交易多达33起。主要包括:

1996年,TI收购Tartan;

1997年,TI以3.95亿美元收购Amati通信公司;

1998年,TI收购GO DSP,并收购Harris半导体旗下的标准逻辑业务;

1999年,TI以4700万美元收购Telogy Networks;

2000年,TI以76亿美元收购Burr-Brown公司,巩固了其在数据转换器与放大器领域的优势地位,并形成从电源IC到放大器IC乃至A-D/D-A转换器的广泛产品群。

2006年,TI收购Chipcon AS;

2007年,TI收购Integrated Circuit Designs(ICD);

2009年,TI收购Luminary Micro;

2011年,TI以65亿美元收购了国家半导体(National Semiconductor),在通用模拟器件的市场份额迅速提升到17%左右,成为世界上最大模拟电路元器件生产厂商,将对手远远甩在身后,同时也解决了产能紧张的问题。

多次有目的的“加法”,让TI身价高涨。2011年TI在财富500强中位列第175名。也正是在这一年,TI超过ST成为模拟老大,占据整个模拟市场份额的15.4%。自此,德州仪器一直保持着模拟芯片领域的龙头地位,无人能撼动。根据IC Insights最新的报告,2021年,德州仪器凭借141亿美元的模拟销售额和19%的市场份额继续保持模拟IC供应龙头地位。

模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路

(校对/holly)

Recalling his career at Texas Instruments, Zhang Zhongmou lamented: "from the age of 33 to 52, there were only 3000 employees in public institutions at the beginning and then 40, 000. I gave Texas Instruments all my golden age, but I learned a lot."

Zhang Zhongmou works in Texas Instruments. Source: semiwiki

Zhang Rujing, founder of SMIC, also has an inextricable bond with Texas Instruments. In 1977, 29-year-old Zhang Rujing just joined Texas Instruments and became one of Zhang Zhongmou's 40,000 subordinates. In Texas Instruments, which is full of foreigners, Zhang Zhongmou takes good care of Zhang Rujing. The two well-connected superiors and subordinates have worked in Deyi together for nearly ten years. Zhang Rujing has been working in Texas Instruments for 20 years, and has successively participated in the construction of many wafer plants in the United States, Japan, Singapore, and so on. His rich experience in building factories has laid the foundation for his later return to China to build factories.

In fact, this company is known as the "Whampoa military Academy of the semiconductor industry" and has trained big names in semiconductor circles such as Wei Zhe-Jia, president of TSMC, and Jiang Shangyi, former co-operating director of TSMC.

So, what kind of company is Texas Instruments? What are the ups and downs of its growth story?

Arms dealers make the world's first integrated circuit "out of business".

Looking back in history, Texas Instruments, founded in 1930, is over 80 years old. World War I promoted the global demand for oil, relying on the unique oil resources of Texas in the United States. In 1930, J Clarence Clarence Karcher and Eugene McDermott founded a geological exploration company called GSI in Texas, which was the predecessor of Texas Instruments.

At first, GSI's main business was to provide geological exploration for the oil industry, but due to the increase in oil production, the oil industry experienced a recession in which supply exceeded demand, and during World War II, GSI began to expand its business to produce defense electronics for the U.S. Army and Navy. Based on the geological exploration technology originally developed in the petroleum industry, Texas Instruments began to enter the field of national defense electronics with submarine detection equipment since 1942. Then the related orders soared and the business rose rapidly.

1951 is an important year to determine the future development direction of GSI. This year, the company's LathampterM division quickly overtook GSI's geography division, and the company was renamed "General Instruments" (General Instrument). In the same year, it was renamed Texas Instruments again, and is still in use today. GSI, on the other hand, became a subsidiary of Texas Instruments until it was sold to Halliberto in 1988.

The renamed Texas Instruments is full of firepower in the semiconductor field. In 1952, Texas Instruments bought a patent for the production of transistors from Western Electronics for $25000 and began to manufacture and sell transistors. Then Gordon K. Teal, who originally worked at Bell Labs, saw the ad and returned to his hometown of Texas as research director at Texas Instruments, where he developed the first commercial silicon transistor in February 1954.

In 1958, Texas Instruments hired an engineer named Jack Kilby (Jack Kilby), the inventor of integrated circuits.

Jack Kilby (1923-2005)

At that time, Jack couldn't "save" enough of the company's two-week traditional vacation because of his new job. While others were on vacation, Jack began to study the new process he was interested in and finally developed the world's first integrated circuit on September 12, 1958. The invention of integrated circuits has fundamentally changed the semiconductor industry and laid a solid foundation for all modern electronic components. Jack Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his outstanding contribution to the invention of integrated circuits.

In addition, Texas Instruments invented the handheld computer in 1967. In 1982, Texas Instruments released the world's first single-chip digital signal processor DSP, and then became the leader in this field.

So far, Texas Instruments has more than 100, 000 products, including processors, microcontrollers, wireless, and ADC/DAC, which can meet the needs of customers in all directions.

Missed success in the field of mobile chips

After several fierce battles in the smartphone chip market, there are only six giants on the list: MediaTek, Qualcomm, Apple, Ziguang Zhanrui, Samsung and Huawei Haisi. Some are happy and some are frustrated, and most of the stories of those who are out have been sealed in history.

Uncovering the development history of smartphone chips, we found that Texas Instruments, the current analog IC giant, also expanded its business to computer microprocessors and mobile phone chips, and once dominated the mobile phone chip market. Nowadays, it is difficult for mobile chip manufacturers to find virtue, so how did Deyi miss success and finally be out in the field of microprocessors and mobile chips?

Most engineers' impressions of the microprocessing revolution began with Intel's 4-digit 4004 in 1971, followed by the company's 8-bit 8008 chip. But in fact, before Intel 8008, Deyi launched an 8-bit processor.

In 1970, when computer manufacturer Computer Terminal Corp. (CTC) designed the earliest end-user computer, the Datapoint 2200, it hoped that Intel would adopt a single chip to make the computer smaller and better heat dissipation.

So Intel 4004 chip came into being and became the first microprocessor in the world. But because Intel didn't pay attention to the 4004 chip at first, the 4004 project was delayed for six months in the process of research and development.

Figure: 4004bot 2300 transistors

Picture: Intel 4-bit 4004 chip

Figure: 8008th 3098 transistors

CTC had no choice but to find Deyi and put forward the same request. Then, around April 1970, Deyi began to develop a single chip CPU for CTC, which was completed the following year and was called TMX 1795 (X for "experimental"). In March 1971, TMX 1795 was called "a milestone in LSI" by Business week (Business Week).

Figure: TMX 1795th 3078 transistors

In June 1971, Deyi launched a media campaign for TMC 1795, describing how this "CPU on chip" would make the new Datapoint 2200 "a powerful computer with functions that could not be provided before". However, this did not happen. After testing, it is found that the TMX 1795 chip has many problems, such as it can not withstand voltage fluctuations higher than 50mV, nor can it complete the operation independently; its structure is also unreasonable, resulting in its large size and high production cost.

At this time, CTC has independently completed the upgrade of Datapoint 2200, did not adopt the microprocessor scheme, and the problems of running speed and heat dissipation have been well solved. The TMX 1795 project is thus terminated.

In fact, Deyi not only dabbled in computer processors, but also had an all-powerful presence in the mobile chip market, no less than today's Qualcomm Snapdragon.

In an era when iOS and Android systems were not yet popular, Nokia was a loyal user of Deyi processors. At the same time, Deyi processors appear in a number of Motorola models, such as Motorola Diana, milestones and so on.

At its peak, Deyi had a 20% share of the global mobile phone chip market, but it declined for three consecutive years from 2007 to 2009 under the competition of Qualcomm. In 2007, Qualcomm surpassed Deyi in the market share of mobile phone chips for the first time.

Why did Deyi, which could have continued its splendor in the smartphone era, fall so badly? This is related to the characteristics of the Deyi processor itself. Deyi's processor is only a processor, only GPU and some DSP units, mobile phone manufacturers also need to match other companies' baseband chips if they use their chips, which is more expensive. As a result, Deyi is often at a disadvantage when competing with Qualcomm, which holds a large number of communications patents.

In 2008, great changes have taken place in the mobile phone chip market. Deyi, a giant that has dominated the market for many years, announced the sale of its general-purpose mobile phone baseband division in the third quarter. At the same time, Deyi still retains the customized baseband chip business and OMAP business.

In September 2012, Deyi, which has withdrawn from the mobile phone baseband market, announced a further withdrawal from the smartphone processor market. Rich Templeton, then chairman of Deyi, said he wanted to transform the company into a company with "analog and embedded processing products". He dared to make up his mind to give up the mobile phone baseband market because there were so many competitors that there were more than 10. "the world of baseband chips is changing, which is why we should focus on investing in new areas."

What is the secret of TI to be the leader of semiconductors?

Since its establishment in 1930, Texas Instruments (TI) has gone through 92 years, and its simulation, embedded processing and wireless technology have penetrated into all aspects of people's daily life, providing convenience for our lives. Because its chip products have penetrated into almost all areas of electronics, TI is generally regarded as a bellwether for the semiconductor and electronics industries in the stock market.

Over the years, Texas Instruments has also declared its global dominance in many semiconductor fields with outstanding performance. According to Gartner data, Texas Instruments ranked seventh in global semiconductor revenue in 2020, maintained the first place in the world in the field of digital signal processors and analog IC, and remained absolutely ahead in a number of subdivision tracks. According to relevant data, Texas Instruments has been in the TOP10 list of global semiconductor companies for nearly 30 years.

Looking back at the situation of semiconductors in the world in 1992, one of the secrets of Texas Instruments' stable position in the leader of semiconductors is that it dares to do business "subtraction" and "addition" and adjust the business layout in time. Especially from 1996 to 2001, from the Internet boom to the bubble period, TI first transformed from a diversified company to a semiconductor company. In a short period of four years, it made a strategic adjustment around the two key businesses of DSP and analog technology.

TI has done "subtraction" of the main business many times to better focus on areas of advantage, including:

In 1988, TI sold its GSI-related business to Halliburton

In 1991, TI sold its industrial control division in Johnson City, Tennessee, to Siemens.

In 1997, TI sold its defense business to Raytheon and others.

In 2007, TI expanded its business into automotive and industrial sectors after selling its LCD, DSL, sensor and controller, and mobile phone baseband businesses to Intel, Infineon and Bain Capital.

While doing a good job of subtraction, TI is also good at adding, aggressively expanding its business through a series of acquisitions. From 1996 to 2011, the company disclosed as many as 33 foreign acquisitions. It mainly includes:

In 1996, TI acquired Tartan

In 1997, TI acquired Amati Communications for $395 million.

In 1998, TI acquired GO DSP and the standard logic business of Harris Semiconductor.

In 1999, TI acquired Telogy Networks for $47 million

In 2000, TI acquired Burr-Brown for $7.6 billion, consolidating its dominant position in the field of data converters and amplifiers and forming a wide range of products ranging from power IC to amplifier IC to A-D/D-A converters.

In 2006, TI acquired Chipcon AS

In 2007, TI acquired Integrated Circuit Designs (ICD)

In 2009, TI acquired Luminary Micro

In 2011, TI acquired National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion, rapidly increasing its market share in general analog devices to about 17%, making it the largest manufacturer of analog circuit components in the world, leaving its competitors far behind and solving the problem of tight production capacity.

Many purposeful "additions" have made the price of TI soar. In 2011, TI ranked 175th among the Fortune 500s. It was in this year that TI overtook ST to become the simulation leader, accounting for 15.4% of the total simulation market share. Since then, Texas Instruments has maintained a leading position in the field of analog chips, which no one can shake. According to the latest report from IC Insights, Texas Instruments will continue to be the leader in analog IC supply in 2021 with $14.1 billion in simulated sales and a 19% market share.

(proofread / holly)

【腾讯云】多款云产品1折起,买云服务器送免费机器,最长免费续3个月
版权声明:芯智讯 发表于 2022-07-10 09:25。
转载请注明:模拟半导体老大的打怪升级之路 | ColaBug

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