Stopping China’s chip autonomy ambitions already seems impossible.
Written by Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher
The US has imposed new export restrictions affecting China’s semiconductor industry. The new ban includes export restrictions of Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA) and diamond – used for semiconductor substrates instead of silicon and is the latest generation chip. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Department of Commerce has announced new export control measures for national security reasons. Although the document does not mention China, it is clear that the decision was made to prevent the Asian country from accessing advanced technology.
US President Joe Biden signed on August 9 the “Science and CHIPS Act of 2022” to create an impetus to produce semiconductors in the US. Under the law, $52 billion is allocated in subsidies to leading chipmakers to develop manufacturing in the US. This law has two goals: to increase the US share of the global chip market as the country currently accounts for no more than 12% of global semiconductor chip production; and, to prevent US investments from contributing directly or indirectly to the development of manufacturing in China.
In the past, Washington forced Dutch consortium ASML – which has a monopoly position in the manufacture of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) systems – to stop exporting EUV machines to China. The company complied with the demand, but in the end, it was not enough to hold back the growth of China’s semiconductor industry. China is the production platform for end products for all the leading manufacturers, such as Intel, TSMC and Texas Instruments. All these companies have their own chip testing and packaging facilities in China.
Chip companies in China, such as SMIC, continue to develop and master new technologies. Recently, the press reported that China’s SMIC was able to master the production of chips based on the 7nm process. Furthermore, SMIC is using ASML equipment of previous generations: Deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography is not prohibited. The US tried to persuade ASML to ban the export of DUV systems to China, but the Dutch company is thus far resisting pressure since China accounts for about 16% of ASML sales, which is the third largest market after South Korea and Taiwan. In addition, ASML emphasises that DUV equipment has been sold on the global market for a long time and China has been able to create a significant reserve of it.
Washington realizes that the existing bans on the Chinese semiconductor industry are no longer effective – China can still move forward in making next-generation chips. Indeed, the ban on providing chip manufacturing technology using the 28nm process, or even the 10nm process, looks ridiculous when China has just produced chips based on the 7nm process. As a result, the US made the decision to ban the supply of promising technologies that no major manufacturers were using yet.
A microchip is a collection of electrical circuits containing semiconductor components. In modern chips there are billions of such components. In order to reduce the size of the chip and reduce power consumption, the transistors on the chip are getting denser, and the silicon wafer itself is becoming thinner, i.e. “nanotechnology”. The problem is that it is impossible to reduce the size of silicon wafers to infinity – essentially new microprocessor architectures and materials are needed to make silicon wafers.
In addition, diamonds and gallium oxide will be used to make chips. Unlike silicon, such materials can withstand higher voltage, frequency and temperature loads. Because of this, it will be possible to multiply the density of transistors and connections on a chip. With this development, Samsung has announced that it will start manufacturing chips on the 3nm process using Gate-All-Around technology. Widespread use of the new technology is expected no earlier than 2024-2025.
The export restrictions imposed by the BIS are all aimed at such promising technologies and attempts to restrict China from accessing it. Importantly, it is probably a long time before these technologies become widely used. Therefore, in the short term, such restrictions will not have any significant impact on the development of China’s semiconductor industry.
Limitations are related to 3nm process technology, and China currently produces the majority of 28nm chips – technology of a previous generation. In fact, currently, there is a great demand for chips manufactured according to this technology and manufacturers receive their largest income from this product.
The long-term effects of these restrictions on China will depend on how the country develops its own industry. China’s long-term goal is to develop its own technologies and this is not hinged on the successes of Western developers, but China’s own scientific thought. The Asian Giant is completely capable of coming up with breakthrough solutions.
Huawei, as an example, conquered the global market after the company developed its own SingleRAN radio access technology, which allows operators to support all communications standards according to 2G, 3G and 4G standards. In the semiconductor industry, China is developing its own technology to use silicon carbide in chip production – a task outlined in the five-year plan to develop smart manufacturing.
Besides, China can get out of this situation by using old equipment to make next-generation chips, as happened with DUV equipment. This will increase production costs but China spares no expense in Research and Development in promising industries and technologies. Last year, China allocated 2.44% of GDP – a record 2.79 trillion-yuan ($441.3 billion) budget to Research and Development. This makes it nearly impossible for the US to stop China from developing its own technology.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- U.S. And Japan Set To Overtake Taiwan In Semiconductor Technology Development
- Broken Nest, The US Anti-China Project To Destroy Semiconductor Factories In Taiwan
- Pelosi Meets With Taiwan’s Top Chip Industry Leaders
𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗮 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 $𝟮𝟲𝗸 𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆. 𝗜 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 $𝟭𝟴𝟲𝟯𝟱 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗻 (𝗻𝗮𝘂-𝟯𝟬) 𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝗼𝗻 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴.
𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄=====>>> 𝗯𝘂𝘇𝘇𝗽𝗮𝘆𝟭.𝗯𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘀𝗽𝗼𝘁.𝗰𝗼𝗺
Ahh.. Another mericunt way to harass and impede Chinese embattled progressive march.
LOS ANGLOSAJONES SIEMPRE EJECUTAN EMBARGOS A QUIENES TIENEN LAS PELOTAS PARA ENFRENTARLOS CUBA VENEZUELA INCLUSO ARGENTINA QUE SUFRE UN EMBARGO MILITAR MUY FUERTE SABEN MUCHO DE EL TEMA
China will overcome all the US sanctions and I would think that China is prepared for the US’s only weapon these days, LOL.
Well, Russia is a huge producer of industrial diamonds so China will never lack that aspect of Chip production requirements and once again, a Chinese / Russian alliance on CHIPS should be explored. Biden does seem to want to drive the 2 together against the US and its allies.
MEJOR QUE RUSIA AVANCE POR LAS SUYAS EN ESOS TEMAS DE ALTA TECNOLOGIA O DE LO CONTRARIO SUFRIRA EL TRISTE DESTINO ARGENTINO UN PAIS MANEJADO POR CIPAYOS Y CASTRADO !!
too late—new eastern outlook reports China already eclipsed USA and Taiwan….bye bye lgbt empire: you will not be missed
The more the US push China against the corner, the more China develops their own ways and their own things. At some point, there will be nothing else left for the US to threaten to take away from China. Same thing to Russia. Companies leaving Russia are only pushing them to make their own stuff and have less dependence.
If Taiwanese-Chinese can do it so can China Chinese , let’s go Brandon
Another hick who has no clue beyond binary yes/no logic 😆😆😆😆