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IC semiconductor integrated circuit industry: Why is China


In 2014, the state set up a large industrial fund, and 100 billion yuan of funds supported the semiconductor industry. Local governments, financial institutions and social capital responded to the call to attract funds to build factories. At that time, some Chinese engineers in Silicon Valley were shocked: the domestic IC industry is in full swing, and the US semiconductor industry is not dead, let's go back! I am one of them, but unlike the big brothers, I am just an ordinary digital circuit engineer. After returning to China, I quickly integrated into the local team and became the head of a small SoC (Startup System: System on Chip) team.


There is always a gap between reality and dreams. When I held the salary year-end bonus report of the team members and looked at the news pop-ups on the computer screen about Beijing's per capita income, I feel that I am sorry for these smart, hard-working and hard-working brothers. The entry barriers for semiconductor practitioners are relatively high, and the R&D positions are basically only for master's degree or above. The relevant professional master's training points in China are just a few of the key universities. Those who can finally enter this industry are the best in academics. Around 2007, my seniors graduated from a master's degree with a monthly salary of 8.9 thousand; after more than ten years, the average master's degree reached an average of about 16,000 (if not lower), while the ten-year job and the annual salary were only 300,000. Engineers abound.


Look at the situation in Silicon Valley. At the beginning of 2011, Silicon Valley IC Corporation was able to offer a pre-tax annual salary of around $85K. With the end of the financial crisis, students who graduated in the second half of the year can basically get an offer of $90K or even $100K+. At present, students who stay in the United States do not say that they can reach $200K in company A, and generally they are in the level of $150K. For reference, the median annual income of American households in 2016 is about $59K. If the average per capita is $30K, the income of IC employees is about 5 times per capita. It is true that the comparison here is not rigorous, limited to the lack of corresponding domestic data, and taking into account the differences in the development balance between China and the United States, the data citation here is not scientific, just give a rough reference.


   
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