Research insights
China IC design houses see record output in 2020, says Digitimes Research
Jim Chien, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

China's IC design sector saw out grow 24% to hit a record high in 2020, with the top-five vendors accounting for nearly 50% of the total, Digitimes Research has found.

Chips related to communication, consumer devices and IT products contributed over 80% of IC output value in 2020, with communication applications alone taking up nearly 50%.

The number of IC design houses is fast rising in China thanks to policy support and ample funding. Ten IC design firms went public in 2020, and most of them have been performing positively so far.

Even so, China suffered a deficit of CNY200 billion (US$30.73 billion) in international trade of IC parts, a level which was on par with that seen a year earlier. The deficit is likely to remain at high levels in coming years, as it relies heavily on imports of high-end chips, while still focusing mainly on developing and producing entry-level to mid-tier IC products locally.

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