JW Insights: Chinese manufacturers have a long way to go in developing GPU though the market has great potential

来源:爱集微 #GPU# #CPU# #Overview# #IC&design#
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By Li Panpan

The GPU industry is developing in different applications with steadily growing market sizes, driven by technologies such as artificial intelligence. Compared with international suppliers that occupy the market, new Chinese players have a long way to go to resolve issues in technology, patents, talents, and ecosystem. This is the key point in a JW Insights analyst article.

Artificial intelligence is subtly changing the traditional application fields, from smartphones to self-driving cars. Different application needs have driven the growth of AI development. In scenarios with specific requirements such as large data volume and parallel computing, GPU, as one of the computing architectures for AI, has occupied a significant share in the market after years of development.

Research agency Verified Market Research expected the global GPU market size to be valued at $25.41 billion in 2021 and reach $246.51 billion by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate of 32.82%. 

Intel is the world’s largest GPU supplier in integrated graphics, while Nvidia and AMD own the market shares in the discrete graphics field, with 81% and 19%, respectively. These three occupy the vast majority of the GPU market. There are minimal market shares left for other players. 

The current GPU application markets can be summarized into the PC/smartphone market, AI, and others. With the growth of AI and machine learning, the CPU processing method can no longer meet the needs of more extensive data calculations. GPU has improved from a particular processor to a more general-purpose processor.

Data released by research agency Lead Leo showed that China’s AI integrated circuit market in 2019 was valued at RMB9 billion($1.41 billion) and is expected to reach RMB69 billion ($10.84 billion) by 2025. The market mainly includes GPU, FPGA, and ASIC, with ASIC accounting for the largest market share instead of GPU.

Although it’s not China’s largest AI chip market, GPU still has broad market prospects.

The number of well-performed GPU players is very limited in the Chinese market. Only Jingjia Micro (景嘉微)and Zhaoxin Micro (兆芯) are listed in the JW Insights Top 100 Chinese Semiconductor Company List (2021) ranked by revenue. 

Founded in 2006, Changsha-based Jingjia Micro is a major player in China’s GPU market and the only one with independently developed technology and commercial production on a large scale.

Zhaoxin Micro said it masters three core technologies of CPU, GPU, and chipset at the same time.

Other Chinese players include Innosilicon(芯动科技) and Iluvatar CoreX(天数智芯), both with self-developed products. Biren Technology(璧韧科技), Moore Threads (摩尔线程), and MetaX Tech (沐曦集成电路) were established a few years ago because of growing market demand and future potential. 

However, it is still difficult to enter the GPU market and take root. Because of the vast amount of data calculation, GPU has completely different requirements from CPU for calculation efficiency and method, which brings higher complexity than CPU.

What’s more, the design of GPU is more complex, with a vast system and wide-range technologies, meaning high costs in chip design, which results in a limited number of companies with design and manufacturing capabilities. And the ecosystem of GPU also supports its following development.

To sum up, whether it is technology, patents, talents, or ecosystem, it is not easy for Chinese GPU manufacturers who are just starting. 

The GPU market has broad prospects and complex demands. International manufacturers occupy the high-end field with long-term technical experiences, while Chinese players can focus on good demands in the low-end market.

There are not many Chinese GPU manufacturers listed in the “JW Insights Top 100 Chinese Semiconductor Companies (2021).” It is because Chinese players started late and are still in the early stage of development. From the needs of the entire Chinese market and the level of attention, more and more Chinese GPU manufacturers will rise in the next few years.

责编: 张未名
来源:爱集微 #GPU# #CPU# #Overview# #IC&design#
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