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With dual support of market and capital, China has been witnessing the rapid development of its semiconductor industry in recent years. In addition, as one of the largest IC markets in the world, China accounts for more than 50% of the global demand for chips. The advanced technology and endless competition in the semiconductor industry put forward strict requirements and severe challenges for wafer and panel factories in terms of cost saving, environmental protection and sustainable development. In an exclusive interview with us, Exyte recently talked about the success factors of building smart factories for semiconductor manufacturers.
Exyte, boasting 100 years of experience and technology heritage, entered the Asian market through a cooperation with TSMC in 1989 and has a history of 30 years in the Asia-Pacific region. According to Mark Garvey, the President of Exyte Asia-Pacific region, more than half of Exyte's revenue comes from customers in the semiconductor industry. As one of the great international markets amidst the core markets, the semiconductor industry is in a development cycle of fast growth. By focusing on its own resources, talents and energy, Exyte can use them more efficiently. But too much dependence on a single industry would be more or less risky. Mark Garvey said that Exyte's industrial portfolio of life sciences, chemical engineering and data centers served as an important approach to balance the business units.
By the end of 2020, another nine 12-inch wafer factories are expected to be established and put into operation throughout the world, according to IC Insights. Meanwhile, China has seen a surge in the wafer fabrication. According to Mark Garvey, the technology in the semiconductor industry is evolving and upgrading faster and faster. “I think that it is absolutely a wise choice” to make appropriate investment in the early stage and quickly get adapted to demands of the markets when the technology is upgraded in the future.
Continuous development of the technology for wafer factories enlarges their scales and also constantly steps up the technological requirements. According to Mark Garvey, "Exyte has an advantage in carrying out all-complex and large-scale projects quickly, on time and at cost. No matter how advanced the manufacturing facilities or how complex and large the engineering projects are, the Company has sufficient capacity and resources to undertake them effectively."
Another key to winning customers' trust is the protection of intellectual property rights. Exyte spares no efforts to integrate the important link of IP security in all products and construction. “At present and in the future, while implementing new intelligent manufacturing concepts and modules, Exyte will make data security a top priority and incorporate it into current and future design and construction," Mark Garvey said.
Benefitted by its extensive experience in technology, on the first day of wafer design, Exyte begins to clearly define the mechanical and material properties necessary for a wafer factory. Due to its international business operation, Exyte is particularly familiar with the global supply and supply chains, especially the cost-effective procurement resources of key building components and materials.
Moreover, the scale advantage of Exyte is market-driven and will effectively assist customers in delivering low-cost and high-quality materials while helping them have access to the most cost-effective solutions. “Nowadays China's supply chain and supporting infrastructure is well established, so Exyte can source as many materials as possible locale, whether it’s labor or building materials. For example, Exyte has recently undertaken a project in Asia and purchased raw materials in China, such as structural parts, casting parts, pipes, electrical equipment, instruments and equipment,” Mark Garvey said.
Mark Garvey added that Exyte has great respect for all competitors, but will deliver integrated engineering solutions that are difficult for competitors to match with our own unique advantages, so that our customers will stay ahead of their peers. Mark Garvey stressed that due to competition, Exyte will continue to innovate and provide superb services to keep ahead of the market. For example, Exyte will make progress with customers and the market in intelligent manufacturing and intelligent factory concept, etc.
Exyte is focused on new plants and facilities in the semiconductor manufacturing business. "To a large extent, Exyte’s success in the past also depended on meticulous selection of our cooperative customers. We maintain an earnest and serious attitude towards industry partners and establish long-term cooperative relations with them, " Mark Garvey proudly said, "We can see from the customers that more than half of businesses are from regular ones."
As for the surge of wafer factory building in the mainland of China, by observing the periodic law of development in the whole semiconductor industry, Mark Garvey believed that the demands of wafer and semiconductor chips showed long structural expansion. Nowadays, there are more and more mobile devices in the world. The number of chips on each mobile device is increasing. Cloud computing and data center applications are also developing continuously. Meanwhile, the development trends of driverless cars,artificial intelligence etc. demand a lot of chips as well. Of course, there may be some volatility in the semiconductor market in the short term, but in the long-term and macro perspective, Mark Garvey is convinced that the semiconductor manufacturing market will develop in a good direction.
In China, Exyte is the only foreign-funded enterprise that holds both the Grade-I general contracting qualification for construction engineering and for electromechanical engineering in the fields of semiconductor and life sciences. Therefore, Exyte is able to complete facility design and construction of various scales and complexity. Formerly known as M+W Group, Exyte was officially renamed "Exyte" in August, 2018. The name change reinforces Exyte's value proposition as well as its modernity and contemporary image, Mark Garvey said.
The interview took with Mark Garvey, Exyte's President of the Asia-Pacific Region, place during Semicon China in March 2019.