Artificial intelligence applications, such as ChatGPT and autonomous driving systems, have taken the world by storm. Behind this AI revolution lies a remarkable story of innovation and advancements in semiconductor device manufacturing. Our report “Who are the World’s High-Performance Computing Semiconductor Innovators Powering the AI Revolution?“ reveals key findings in the semiconductor industry, shedding light on the manufacturers and technologies that underpin the AI boom. It also provides in-depth insights into the critical components of this industry, particularly advanced CMOS logic and advanced packaging, which fuels central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs).
Key findings from the Semiconductor Innovators report:
1. Top 20 Advanced Semiconductor Device Manufacturing Patent Owners:
- Leaders in Semiconductors: TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) maintains the largest patent portfolio, active patent families, and shows the highest portfolio strength measured by the LexisNexis® PatentSight® Patent Asset Index, emphasizing its dominance in advanced manufacturing. Samsung and ASM International rank as #2 and #3, respectively, highlighting the competitive landscape of the semiconductor industry.
- Diverse Contributions: The top 20 include pure play foundries, hybrid manufacturers like Samsung and Intel, equipment suppliers like ASM International and Applied Materials, and Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDM) such as Western Digital and Infineon. IBM stands as an R&D powerhouse.
- Notable New Entrants: The report identifies new entrants like Beijing Zhiguangxin Holding and Tsinghua Unigroup, reflecting the evolving global landscape of semiconductor innovators.
2. Evolution of Transistor Technology:
- Transition from Planar to 3D Transistors: The report discusses the transformation of transistors, with Intel’s introduction of 3D “FinFET” transistors in 2012, leading the way.
- Emergence of GAA Transistors: GAA (Gate-All-Around) transistors, offering superior performance and smaller dimensions, are the future of semiconductor technology.
- TSMC’s high positioning: TSMC is at the forefront of GAA technology, outpacing competitors in both portfolio size and quality.
3. Advanced Packaging and Moore’s Law:
- Advanced Packaging Innovations: The report explores advanced packaging technologies like Intel’s embedded interconnect bridge (EMIB) and TSMC’s chip-on-wafer-on-substrate (CoWoS), highlighting their role in meeting the demands of high-performance computing.
- TSMC’s leading position: TSMC spearheads the Advanced Packaging space, followed by Samsung and Intel, showcasing their high-volume capabilities.
4. Fine-Pitch Advanced Packaging:
- Fine-Pitch Packaging: The report delves into Fine-Pitch Advanced Packaging, with TSMC leading the charge and Intel showing promising developments.
- Co-Development of Logic and Packaging: The report underscores the significance of co-developing advanced CMOS logic and Advanced Packaging for the next generation of high-performance computing devices.