Strong return, Sharp became the vanguard of Foxconn's entry into semiconductor

By E Ink


In the spring of January 2019, Sharp did not see good news. Instead, it announced that it would reduce its annual operating profit forecast by 4.5%, and its annual revenue forecast was revised down from 2.69 mega-dollars to 2.5 mega-dollars.

Sharp's inability to reach the annual target is of course related to Apple's weaker panel demand. In fact, South Korea's LG Display (LGD) also said that its annual results will turn from profit to loss, and the US-China trade conflict, including the global mobile phone, camera, TV and other consumer products parts, the profit decline, which is the face of all technology groups. The challenge is the opportunity for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to drive the global 8K market. Sharp must be fully prepared.

The last Tokyo Olympics was half a century ago. The Tokyo Olympics in 1964 was the first time in Asia to host the Olympics, and the world was seen in Japan after the postwar economic recovery. That year's Olympics, Japan's first commercial Shinkansen - Tokai Road, subway expansion, industrial and technology, Toyota and Matsushita Electric (Panasonic) to the world. In 1967, Japan's economy exceeded that of Britain and France. In 1968, it surpassed West Germany at that time and became the second largest economy after the United States!

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 8K is ready to go

In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, technology is the focus of the competition. On December 1st, NHK, the national public television station of Japan, officially broadcasted 8K and 4K channels via satellite, becoming the world's first TV station to broadcast content in 8K resolution and 22.2 channels. Japan supports the development of 8K with the height of the country. Minister of General Affairs Ishida Shinji understands that Japan hopes to achieve global dominance in 4K and 8K broadcasts.

For 8K, Japan has been working hard for more than 20 years. The country started 8K research and development in 1995, called Super Hi-Vision. In 2007, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) listed the 8K video format as a digital video standard. This is why Japan’s Sharp President Dai Zhengwu has a rich broadcast experience with NHK executive Xishan Boyi, who served as the head of the 8K ecological chain. the reason. Xishan once served as a director of NHK. He is quite clear about the specifications and strategies of imaging products. He pointed out that the 8K pixel is 16 times that of 2K FHD, and it is more capable of presenting the ultimate realism that 4K OLED can't reach. It is definitely the mainstream product in the future market.

After the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, there will be Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, which are excellent 8K stages, and behind the 8K, there are 5G and artificial intelligence. NTT Docomo, the Japanese telecommunications leader, has successfully tested the 5G transmission of 8K video on the Tokyo Skytree in 2017. It is expected to cooperate with Tokyo Olympics by 2020. The Tokyo Olympics will also first introduce the NEC face recognition system and the identity-based image system to face the scene. From the players, the audience, the staff to the officials, the whole process can be about 2.5 times faster.

NTT Docomo, NHK and NEC are at the forefront of the times, in order to welcome the Tokyo Olympics. At IFA, the largest consumer electronics show in Europe in 2017, only Sharp has exhibited 8K. Major manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, LG and Panasonic are preparing to face up with Sharp in 2018. Just in Japan, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is expected to attract 40 million foreign visitors, and it is also the best stage for "New Sharp" to re-enter the world with technology and quality.

Detach Sharp Semiconductor's business to create a win-win strategy

It is no wonder that from this year onwards, Sharp President Dai Zhengwu announced that he is directly the highest commander of China's Sharp. After all, the team that was outsourced to the Chinese market in the past could not show Sharp's technical quality. China is also the place where Sharp is heavily invested, from the access road to The coordination of production capacity, from brand to customer relationship, is not the original resource of Hon Hai Group. Especially in the era of globalization, cooperation between China and Japan is an important key to economic development.

Therefore, when the Zhuhai Municipal Government announced on August 16 last year that it signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hon Hai Group to fully develop IC design and services, semiconductor equipment, etc., not only let Guo Taiming’s strategy of “one-stop” in semiconductors emerge, but also the organization of New Sharp. Development has a clearer outline.

Sharp was once the top 10 semiconductor companies in Japan in the 1990s, starting with large integrated circuits (LSIs) used in electronic computers. Sharp has been developing factories in Fukuyama City, Japan for nearly 50 years. Its main products include LCD driver ICs, high-definition photographic originals, optical disc readers and semiconductor lasers used on projectors. It has a high market share in Japan.

Starting from April this year, Sharp will split the "Electronic Device Business" and "Laser Business", each becoming the newly established "Shaffushan Semiconductor" and "Shaffushan Laser" subsidiaries, and has 8 wafer fabs. The semiconductor business has approximately 1,300 employees and its turnover accounts for approximately 20% of Sharp's overall sales.

According to industry insiders, semiconductors play an extremely important role in the development of 8K and Internet of Things (IoT). It is difficult to make large-scale investment by Sharp itself. It also needs to invest a lot of resources in research and development. If Hon Hai’s resources come in, it must be Can create a win-win strategy for shareholders, companies and markets.

Chips are self-produced, Zhuhai layout IC industry

Guo Taiming and Zhuhai Municipal Party Committee Secretary Guo Yonghang attended the signing ceremony of the strategic cooperation on August 16 last year. This is also reminiscent of the fact that less than two years ago, Guo Taiming officially launched Foxconn in Zengcheng, Guangzhou. Five generations of LCD panel production projects, this is also the world's largest TV production base in the future. From this perspective, Zhuhai's IC industry layout is like the function of a destroyer, further providing a more mobile attack and defense capability. The application of the LCD industry has changed very rapidly. If there is no sensitive supply chain and technical cooperation, the huge capacity and function will be like the aircraft carrier to turn and need more power.

The outside world believes that Hon Hai’s development of semiconductors will encounter the problem of insufficient talents. It is completely unfamiliar to Hon Hai’s global layout strategy, not to mention that Hon Hai’s founder of the panel business, Duan Xingjian, is from the first integrated circuit manufacturing company in Taiwan, Lianhua Electronics. He is also a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University and has cultivated many industrial engineers.

Industry executives also revealed that after Hon Hai invested in Sharp, the demand for semiconductors will rise and actively deploy the special application chip (ASIC) field; Japan's Sharp's semiconductor strength will also enable Hon Hai to replicate the "TSMC model" - used in China. Engineers and manufacturing machines are teams and equipment that have been used in Taiwan, and then moved to China for production, naturally reducing the cost and uncertainty of the initial production.

The first-stage and mature process will be developed in Zhuhai to attract and train talents. In Japan, we will further develop high-end products to form a new layout in Japan, China and the global market. "New Sharp" is playing a key role.

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