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Leapfrog Strategy: A Study on Semiconductor Foundry Industry
Semiconductor foundry,Structure-conduct-performance model,SCP model,Resource based view model,RBV model,Leapfrog strategy,
|Publication Year :||2009|
在這樣的局勢下，專業晶圓代工廠商之間所採取的策略成為取得競爭優勢重要的一環。本研究的主旨乃針對兩家大型專業晶圓代工廠商的競爭模式加以探討，應用Structure-Conduct-Performance Model、Resource Based View Model及Porter的five forces model與leapfrog strategy等以了解兩家晶圓代工廠商在不同環境與產業結構下如何以不同的策略進行資源配置互相leapfrog取得技術及市場的領先地位。
本研究主要發現：（1）案例A公司在由180nm往130nm製程的推進中正視技術障礙的存在，選擇穩健的做法以降低風險，包含力推half node technology的150nm製程，並提前以相對成熟的130nm製程大幅取得市場佔有率。（2）案例B公司在150nm與130nm世代落後的情況下掌握到市場結構轉變的機會，成功找到合適的策略夥伴與之結盟，同時在新技術的開發上謹慎應對並且補足過去欠缺的half node technology，因此在90nm世代取得一個相當成功的開始。（3）摩爾定律延緩逐漸衝擊整個半導體產業，居於領導地位的晶圓代工廠商必須思考在產業結構轉變時如何調整策略才能維持其競爭力不墜，防堵後進者的追趕。
The semiconductor industry is an intensely competitive one that is both capital and technology-intensive. Starting in 2000, the industry witnessed a structural transition that included several factors: (1) IDMs began accelerating their outsourcing to foundry manufacturing, (2) Entry cost-barriers became higher and higher as R&D expenses for advanced technologies and capital expenditures for capacity continued to grow, and (3) Rising uncertainties due to technology development difficulties reduced the number of companies that were able to pursue advanced technologies. This phenomenon led to an oligopoly situation within the semiconductor industry, with the major players remaining dominant.
Under these conditions, the strategies that foundry companies adopt become an important factor to gain competitive advantages. The purpose of this research is to discuss the competitive model between the two major foundry players, Company A and Company B. By using Structure-Conduct-Performance Model, Resource Based View Model, Porter’s five forces model and leapfrog strategy, we can understand how these two companies adopt different strategies to allocate resources under different circumstances, therefore to leapfrog for technology and market leadership.
This research found: (1) At the migration from 180nm to 130nm, Company A faced a technology barrier and chose to proceed safely in order to lower their risk. They employed measures including launching a half node technology (150nm) and using a comparatively mature technology for its 130nm process to significantly earn market share in during the early stages of this technology node. (2) Company B seized market share when the industry structure started to shift, as its 150nm and 130um technologies fell behind its major competitor. Company B successfully allied with strategic partners, was more cautious in new technology development, and furthermore, Company B developed half-node technologies that were lacking before, which gave the company a good start for the 90nm generation. (3) As the slowdown in Moore's Law gradually impacts the semiconductor industry, foundry leaders need to consider how to adjust their strategies as the industry structure changes in order to maintain its competitive advantages. This is necessary to prevent second-tier followers from closing the technology gap.
This research suggests that future research needs to observe the foundries' competition for 65m, 45nm, and even the 32nm generation, and also how the common platform's future evolves.
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