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"Dark Forest Law" of the baseband chip

Release date:2021-12-28Author source:KinghelmViews:200

The baseband chip industry is ushered in an unprecedented change. However, in just two or three years, the trend rising and declining is almost a call.



Qualcomm seems to be less stable in the middle and high-end market. Ov intends to bring the Qianfa's grade to the top; Haisi rely on inventory, but still maintains a strong sense of existence; Lian Haicai is on top of this year's shipments, occupying More than 30% of the market share; the exhibition of the extension, the data released on July 14 shows that the 5G mobile phone business revenue in the first half of the year increased nearly 15 times.


The baseband chip company is on the mobile phone market, and the exterior is fiercely expanding. Being outside the home court of the mobile phone market, the major players have opened up the Battlefield of N Internet access equipment. Qualcomm has continued its consistent high-end positioning strategy in the most attractive car level chip market, launched a car smart cockpit chip; Haisi is targeted after the mobile phone chip is oriented, in the automobile, TV, set-top box and other market segments Still in combating; Lianfa will take HomePod Wi-Fi custom chip, and successfully entered Apple TWS supply chain; in children's smart watch, intelligent POS machine, LTECAT. 1 and other domestic market product lines, the exhibition is dominated by Sexual position. Eointlement with the war situation is the personnel 'dramatic.


Qualcomm officially replaced in July this year, integrating Haisi chip's Yu Chengdong, turning the focus on the car.

It is truly worthy of two changes. The boss of Liaotai, Cai Mingqi, invited CEO, Double Cai, improved management, arrogance of Shuangcai, improved management, arrogance in 2017. The new CEO of Excellence in Chu Qing went to the appointment in the end of 2018, governance, introduced a new management team, and the performance performance is growing.

In the current gate, why is the baseband chip industry happen to change? This article tried to split it into three angles, try to provide a logical interpretation and prediction:


1. Endless battle: the formation of "Dark Forest Law"

2. Management change: How to play a role in modern management science

3. The key to the win: the winner of the baseband chip industry



From the date of birth, the baseband chip is the nerve center of the mobile phone, which is born to the status of "master". Simply put, the baseband chip takes the codec of the digital signal between the mobile phone and the communication network, just like the brain of the person. Without baseband chips, mobile phones cannot be made and resolved, and they cannot be called mobile devices.


At the same time, the complexity of communication has created a high entry threshold for the baseband chip.


From 2G, digital communication system is a generation of several standards. The 3G era is also a famous WCDMA, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA's Sino-US Europe, so that it is to buy a mobile phone to ask if the whole network is connected to a generation. recall.


With the movement from 2G to 5G, different "G" needs to be compatible, interconnected, unable to interfere, and is actually higher.


The importance is at the heart, and the third threshold is very high. Therefore, the mobile phone baseband chip is born in the chip design industry.


According to this reason, in such a good track, there is no reason not to make money, but as the digital communication system has developed from 2G to 4G, the exited players have more and more.



Quickly reduced communication baseband manufacturers, Source: Prospect Industry Research Institute


First, Texas Instruments (TI). Ti is originally the only manufacturer of the baseband chip industry, but in the case of the Great Margin, I feel that the investment output is too bad in 2008, I have announced the initiative to give up in 2008.


Then Boyong and Marvell. These two have supported 3G, trying to launch counterattacks in 4G, but because the burning money is too powerful, there is a double double string to withdraw the team. Marvell's original punk is Dai Weili, and is considered to be a firm supporter of the baseband department. It is not allowed to endure due to money, and shareholders can't stand it.


Finally, Intel. The largest largest factory in this chip industry is the largest factory, and in 2010, In 2010, Bedling Wireless, a few years of tens of billions of dollars, was given to Apple. But finally used in the product but found that the difference is strong, but also sinned high-pass. Finally, Intel can't hold, and sell the baseband to the heart of apple.


The reason why the knockout is so fierce is because the mobile phone is intelligent in 3G, 4G era, so that the baseband has become a comprehensive product from a simple communication product:


Intelligent, that is, software application ecology explosion, three points required for baseband chips.


Integration ability: The whole machine is not only a baseband, but it is best to integrate the surrounding, which is most convenient for the economy. In addition to the core, the baseband chip is gradually increasing or controlled: RF, responsible for signal transmission and reception action; power management section, management energy consumption; peripheral, communication, storage, radio and other types of interfaces; multimedia part, The codec of the audio and video image system is basic functional requirements.

Design capability: Function module complicates, but still maintains high integration, small chip area, this aspect test chip design, also drives baseband chip companies to horses the most advanced process process.

Platform capabilities: massive software applications require better general platform to carry and adapt, especially for AI capabilities.


This kind of competition from the single point of operation to the seafood and air stereo operations, let a large number of players count, decide to quit, and let the players left to make out to broadcast the cost, and try to develop mobile phone baseband The internal strength.


Therefore, the baseband chip has emerged in an increasingly abundant intelligent equipment market, starting to the headphones, watch, smart cockpit, smart speakers, etc., are entered into a field that has been involved in SOC capabilities.


This also allows the "Dark Forest Law" of the baseband chip industry to form:


1. Communication is the first need for intelligent equipment.

2. Due to excessive capital investment, there is a cycle of consumer electronics, and the downstream machine self-research trend is intensified, and the baseband chip must continue to expand.



For a general technology company, technical heroism is still the current narrative mainstream. In the old age, many talented engineers, you can create another market miracle for dozens of days in the small black house. China's chip design industry is relying on these people, the lead in completing the localization of low-end products.


However, the baseband chip is a heterogeneous in the chip design industry.


First, long-term research and development attack: For mobile phones, there is no so-called low-end product, all is a difficult bone.


Second, competition is everywhere: For other intelligent equipment, communication skills are all target markets, and the mountains are all chances.



Under the action of the Dark Forest Act, a baseband chip in consumer electronic cycle has to be refined from management to gradually get rid of technical heroism, go to tissue and collective victory. In particular, the "baseband three sword passengers" in the Chinese market - Lianfa, Haisi and Excellence, have gradually been implemented in management.

The first is Haisi. Because it is born inside the Huawei system, Haisi is suitable for IPD in his life. After scratching the IBM IBM IBM 20 years ago, as the world's most rare communication equipment company, Huawei's application of the process tool is already driving. Haisi is different from other Chinese chip design companies, which are pretrusted in management.


Then it was a joint department. In 2017, the founder Cai Mingchen is introduced into Cai Li, some of the reasons are to weight. As a member of the "UNIT%% Cai Li's joining, it is facilitating the introduction of mature professional managers in Taiwan, and improves the company's operation.


Finally, it is exuberant. In the past three years, the new management team led by Chuqing and the new management team led by Heisheng and Lianfa, which has made the following changes measures:


On the code management system, discard the original patch-style solution, design code ideas, rewrite the code, and write the code, and write the documentation of the support, which is equivalent to the code module of dozens of millions of lines, Patch navigate map or manual.

Establish a complete IPD system on the R %& D process. Strengthen technical reviews on the project, implement QCC cycles on quality improvement, and reproduce the previous successful experience, and build a complete customer database in customer service for use.


In the product definition, set a complete product Charter Development section to set a strict charter for the product of the product. Excellence established the IPMT committee consisting of the head of the departments. For the strict question of the meeting, in addition to the usual gross profit margin, the research and development of output ratio, quality goals, etc., CEO sometimes asked the competitive company chief technical expert. who is it.


In the process of business, first is developer development, do product definition, guarantee "to do the right thing"; then it is developed by IPD, through continuous improvement process framework, guarantee "to make things correctly"; It is process certification such as CMMI and TMMI to ensure that "do things in the specific link".



It is, with this scientific management change, the "baseband three sword passengers" in the Chinese market has tenacious vitality.



Baseband chips have two battlefields.


The main battlefield of the mobile phone baseband, every few years of periodic elimination, the new participants in the turning point can also be indiscriminate, the whole machine is in the price of tens of billions of dollars, the big flat banner's overcome the baseband chip.


Especially China's whole machine company, after entering the deep water area of brand competition, the determination of chip research and development is stronger.


Vivo began to go deep into the upstream chip definition link, with Samsung jointly developed; Xiaomi abandoned the SOC strategy in the past, changed to be a ISP, first resolved the most practical imaging system; OPPO's core plan is like water The behemoth is not clear between the huge beast, but only from the role of the role of Joint United Kingdom, 50 billion R %& D budget, high-paying recruitment graduates, etc.



In the face of new people who come to combo, Lianfa is intertwined, long-sleeved and good dance; Haisi is still holding the power of the R %& D Shengjun;


The peripheral battlefield of the intelligent equipment will only be more, the more you, the baseband company fairy fight, other chip design companies. Baseband chip companies have a unique advantage in the pan-connected market, the core communication chip is generally integrated with other functional modules, not the opposite. As a result, other chip design vendors are squeezed and can only find more differentiation.


Under the circumstances of the wave, the baseband chip has to win, on the one hand, from the peripheral direction, on the other hand, it is necessary to go from the center to the periphery.


From the peripheral direction, specifically, from 3G, 4G to 5G, from the medium and low-end models to high-end machines, this is especially the way for the backfinder. Liaotai explores OV high-end models, exhibiting 5G, T740 is officially used in May last May, is the case.


From the center to the periphery, specifically, it is to fully expand the application scenarius of intelligent equipment and expand the boundaries of the battlefield. For the baseband chip industry, this is the fact that the staples are nail. The chip design company spread in other fields will have to face the impact of the baseband chip company.


Gao Tong, Haisi in the smart car, Lianfa in the smart speaker, exhibiting in the IOT communication equipment, is a huge substance, it can be envisaged, the future of the baseband chip industry destructive threat will only increase, will not decrease.


No matter how to go, the baseband chip company is either self-roll, either volume, volume to go now, it is successful, others are Chengren.



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