[G20 dialogue] Linear IC market share will account for 70%, Chinese companies will occupy the global market in the future

Interview Background: The G20-LED Lighting Summit is a high-end platform for LED lighting industry leaders led by Gaogong LED. The member companies cover the middle and upper reaches of the industrial chain and have certain segmentation areas and industry representation.

In this issue of G20 interview, Gaogong LED visited a member company, Mingwei Electronics, a leading LED driver IC in China, and Li Zhaohua, general manager of Mingwei Electronics, to discuss the future direction of the IC industry and the strategic layout of the company.

Li Zhaohua, general manager of Mingwei Electronics

Since its establishment in 2003, Mingwei Electronics has always been committed to “doing a good driver IC” and has clearly positioned itself as a professional linear IC provider. After more than ten years of hard work, it is still sticking to the original development route.

Li Zhaohua said, "In the desert, a big tree is much easier to survive than a small grass. If LED companies want to survive, they must have some accumulation and precipitation to support."

Then, in the LED industry entering a key inflection point, how will Mingwei Electronics respond to changes in the future LED industry?

Dialogue record

Q: In the first half of the year, the LED lighting and display terminal market showed rapid growth, and the prices of devices and other products tend to be stable. As the main lighting and display driver IC provider, how is the operation status of Mingwei Electronics in the first half of the year? Does it benefit from the recovery of the downstream market? ?

Li Zhaohua: Mingwei Electronics has completed its established revenue plan for the first half of the year. The LED lighting and display market has formed an oligarchic pattern, and the customers are relatively concentrated. The products in the market are basically traditional IC products, and the price has been the lowest, but the price/performance ratio is relatively high.

In fact, the penetration rate of LED lighting products in the world has been very high, and many large enterprises have begun to take the road of scale and strengthen their scale effect. For SMEs, more is to go to market segments and develop smart products. However, in terms of current market share, smart products are not mature enough.

Q: As one of the largest driver IC companies in China, Mingwei focuses on new products such as linear ICs. What new changes will be made in technology, products, and market development in the second half of the year?

Li Zhaohua: In the second half of the year, Mingwei Electronics will continue to focus on linear products, striving to achieve the ultimate in linear products, innovative design in linear products, and leading products in the industry.

In terms of market, Mingwei Electronics aims at some large customers, and mainly develops some powerful products based on their needs. Linear products are now mostly used for export, mainly in Europe, America and North America. In addition, India, Vietnam, Brazil and other regions are slowly taking up, the market began to accept and appreciate the value brought by linear IC.

Q: In the past few years, the LED power industry has been in a period of intense price competition. The continuous innovation of products has become a weapon for enterprises to differentiate their competition. How does Mingwei Electronics protect its products and market differentiation?

Li Zhaohua: Mingwei's linear technology has always been in the leading position in China. For example, Mingwei's SM2082X, SM2087, SM2212/13EA products have been widely used in the market. We will further integrate on the existing products of linear products, covering the products in all series of applications, such as the current spotlights, high power 100W/200W/300W, etc., can pass various certifications.

In the second half of the year, Mingwei Electronics will launch several unique linear products with great market value. For example, full-voltage linear, thyristor color temperature products, thyristor color + color temperature + switch segmentation, at present, switch segment products have been mass-produced, and are favored by customers, in the switch segment product SM2212EA / The 2213EA fast synchronization switching status is correct.

The overall scheme of the switch segment IC is very cost-effective, simple and convenient, and energy-saving. It is very suitable for home lighting products. Since it was introduced to the market in August last year, it has begun to gradually increase its volume. It is believed that it will become the mainstream of the market in the near future. Are you still worried about the monochrome cruel market? This can solve your troubles.

Mingwei Electronics' product layout and mass production products

Q: What is the performance of Mingwei Electronics' driver IC products (such as linear ICs) in the first half of the year? What changes are based on the downstream market?

Li Zhaohua: At present, the revenue of linear products shows a high-speed growth trend, and most customers are using linear products. Of course, there are also many potential customers, such as filament lamp applications, bulbs, ceiling lamps and other applications, smart trimming applications and other fields are trying to use linear products.

The growth rate of linear IC revenue is so fast that it meets customer needs on the one hand; on the other hand, it has low cost, small size and long life, which caters to market demand.

Compared with the switching power supply, when the thyristor is dimmed, the transformer will make a sound, the heat dissipation function is not strong, and it is easy to catch fire, short circuit trip, or even explode, and the linear power supply will not have similar problems. Because the linear IC is integrated, the heat dissipation function is extremely strong, and the use of components is very small, which plays a very good protection role.

Q: In the long run, linear IC is still the focus of the LED lighting driver power market. How does Mingwei Electronics' future development of its own competitive barriers at the product and market levels?

Li Zhaohua: The linear product line has become the main product of Mingwei Electronics. It is our goal to achieve the ultimate in linear products. Ming Micro’s philosophy has always been to create value for customers.

Because the power quality is difficult to control, the production process and process are more complicated, and the market will continue to be subdivided in the future. The whole market will form a pattern of switching power supply and linear power supply. However, I personally expect the linear market to account for 70% in the future.

The market space is large and the competitiveness is relatively large. Mingwei Electronics has a strong independent research and development system and has been in the forefront of the industry. At present, it has many patents related to linear ICs. In the future, we will also resolutely safeguard our own patent rights.

Q: “Going to power” has been the focus of industry discussions for a few years. Does the subsequent package (light source) structure and process (flip, CSP, DOB, light engine, etc.) change as a driver IC? Some new matching technologies and solutions?

Li Zhaohua: For flip-chip, CSP, DOB, light engine and other packaging forms, our linearity can be matched and the function is more comprehensive.

Q: How does Mingwei Electronics view the changes in the power industry? Compared with a few years ago, what are the different characteristics of the power industry?

Li Zhaohua: The new enterprises in the LED drive power industry have basically disappeared, and the existing power supply companies will continue to exist, but the number will gradually decrease, further integrating the reshuffle.

So far, the entire LED driver power industry has not really matured.

Switching power supplies need to use more materials, capacitors, resistors, transformers, PCB boards, wires, etc., the company's ability to control raw material costs is weak.

The raw materials used in linear power supplies are general-purpose materials, which save a lot of cost and the return process is faster, so the risk of bad debts is much smaller.

In addition, as the price of power gradually returns to benign competition, and downstream customers are also looking for large enterprises to mass-produce, then there is no future for small businesses.

Q: Will the IC industry enter the stage of big fish eating small fish and fast fish eating slow fish? Will industry mergers and acquisitions become one of the strategic directions of enterprises? Is overseas acquisition one of the ways for Chinese IC companies to become bigger and stronger? ?

Li Zhaohua: The LED driver IC industry is difficult to enter the big fish to eat small fish, fast fish to eat slow fish, the possibility of mergers and acquisitions is also very small. Because the IC industry is an independent research and development industry, it needs to be realized by integrated circuit design. The operation mode, market strategy and research and development strength of the whole company are accumulated day by day, and it can be bigger and stronger without relying on acquisition.

In addition, once the company is acquired, the entire processing technology and personnel management will change, resulting in a paralysis of the entire company system. Because most acquirers buy only the market and brand, not technology and employees.

As for overseas mergers and acquisitions, there is no doubt that the LED driver IC market will become the Chinese market in the future, because China is a big manufacturing country and enterprises have strong financial strength. While foreign manufacturing costs are relatively high, there is no way to compete with China.

Q: In the next step, in some high-end areas, can Chinese IC companies continue to “crack up”? How big is the gap between domestic and imported? What are our competitive advantages?

Li Zhaohua: At present, domestic LED driver ICs have occupied more than 80% of the global market share. I believe that the market share will continue to expand in the future, even reaching 98%. Next, domestic LED driver ICs will continue to develop in the high-end field, especially in the field of intelligence.

From the perspective of the environment of integrated circuits, domestic IC technology and cost performance have been ahead of overseas markets, and semiconductors in China are an industry with a bright future. I think the future will only be better and not worse.

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