A reappraisal of China's semiconductor strategy

Discussion in 'Strategic Defense' started by ZeEa5KPul, May 17, 2019.

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  1. ZeEa5KPul
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    ZeEa5KPul Junior Member
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    That's an unfair characterization. Global Times is far more credible than SCMP, yet the latter is posted without comment here.
     
  2. CMP
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    CMP Junior Member
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    It’s a strategic mineral so China should hoard supply during the potential upcoming export halt, subsidize its producers and refiners to the hilt, and then
    Agreed. SCMP is often, but not always, like used toilet paper.
     
  3. Tam
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    Tam Senior Member
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    Mines often take as much as 10 to 15 years to develop, and many mines turn out to be dead ends. This is a very hit or miss industry.

    Let me add that Gallium --- not listed as one of the 17 rare earth elements --- is also a China near monopoly with 80% of the world's production --- is a highly important semiconductor that is critically important on things such as radars, smartphones, to base stations.
     
  4. Tam
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    Tam Senior Member
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    China is heading towards chip making overcapacity if trends continue. Surplus in chip making equipment actually meant a slowdown in imports in April. Declining sales of chip making equipment greatly hurts the makers of chip making equipment.

    https://www.eenewsanalog.com/news/chip-manufacturing-overcapacity-rise-china

    China's rush to compete in semiconductor manufacturing and reduce its balance of trade deficit in chips is likely to lead to excess manufacturing capacity for the next several months, according to a Digitimes report.

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...ged-90-april-weak-exports-china/#.XO87D6cvNRo

    Exports fell 2.4 percent to ¥6.66 trillion, down for the fifth consecutive month, due to a slump in shipments of chipmaking equipment to China, underlining the growing threat to the world’s third-biggest economy from a bruising Sino-U.S. trade war, while imports rose 6.4 percent to ¥6.60 trillion on a rise in crude oil prices.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-u...e-costly-but-likely-ineffective-idUKKCN1ST1OV

    Embargoes are rarely effective in compelling a change in diplomatic behaviour because they create substantial incentives to circumvent the blockade by switching trade, building indigenous capacity or changing technology.
     
    #214 Tam, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  5. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    Why worry it will depress the chip prices and lead to bankruptcy of many chip manufacturer in you know who Like they did with steel and solar panel
    Chinese manufacturer can live with razor thin margin they use to it
     
  6. Tam
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    Tam Senior Member
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    It means the US blocking chip sales to China is a big relief for Chinese chip makers, because now the Chinese electronic manufacturers are forced to rely more on Chinese made chips.
     
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  7. N00813
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    N00813 Junior Member
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    I cannot remember if this has been reported previously on this forum, but regarding data storage semiconductors:
    [bold highlighting is my own]

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/longsys-china-ssd-4tb-flash,39204.html
    Longsys to Launch First Fully China-Produced SSDs, up to 4TB
    by Paul Alcorn April 30, 2019 at 5:30 AM - Source: DigiTimes

    The popular saying that "today's wars are won with chips" applies to both traditional and economic warfare, and China's reliance on western technology is a strategic weakness that has the country embarking on multi-year initiatives to reduce its reliance on foreign chips.


    To that effect, China instituted a plan to develop its own home-grown chips, providing incentives and other measures to indigenous manufacturers. Some of those measures have come to fruition through partnerships with U.S. companies, like AMD's licensing of its x86 architecture to Hygon, and the slow but steadily-increasing number of foreign-owned silicon fabs popping up in China. In either case, China's memory imports, which include the flash memory used in SSDs, have increased 40% since 2016, meaning this segment of the market continues to be a vexing issue for those in China's halls of power.

    But what does all of this have to do with SSDs? Well, all the compute power in the world is worthless if you can't store the data, and SSDs are unequivocally the path forward for storage. That makes the recent Longsys announcement that it has developed a 100% China-produced SSD all the more interesting.


    SSD performance largely hinges on the SSD controller, a microchip that orchestrates all of the various components, but these small processors are amazingly complex. They also tend to come from Western suppliers. To circumvent that issue, Longsys tapped China-based Yeetor Microelectronics and Maxio Technology's new GK2302 SSD controller design for its new SSDs. These controllers support capacities up to 4TB and come with a few key requirements for the Chinese market: Much like the AMD spin-off processors built by Hygon, these SSDs come with Chinese government-approved encryption and decryption mechanisms to keep out prying Western eyes.

    With a China-indigenous SSD controller in hand, the company turned to China-native Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC), a subsidiary of the Chinese government-backed Tsinghua Unigroup, for the actual NAND flash. YMTC has its new 64-layer Xtacking 3D flash coming to market in 2019, which meshes well with Longsys's announcement that the fully China-made SSDs will come to market this year. YMTC also plans to move forward to 128-layer flash in 2020, which we expect will make an appearance in Longsys's future generations of SSDs.

    Technical details are slight, but we do know that the Longys's as-yet-unnamed SSDs will come with the SATA 6 Gb/s interface and the company claims it will deliver up to 500 MB/s of throughput. That's standard for today's SSDs that saturate the SATA interface. The company claims the SSD controllers are 15% faster than their predecessors and have 6.5% lower power consumption. The company hasn't shared other fine-grained specifications, like random read and write performance. It also didn't share information about a DRAM supplier, likely meaning these are DRAM-less SSDs.

    It isn't clear if these China-produced SSDs will ever come to the U.S. market, though it does seem unlikely. Given China's preferential treatment of indigenous manufacturers, these SSDs will likely be confined to the China market. Longsys currently sells its Foresee SSDs and Lexar products (bought from Micron in 2017) in the U.S., including USB flash drives, SSDs, memory cards, and embedded memory products.
     
  8. siegecrossbow
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    siegecrossbow Brigadier
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    SCMP is Jack Ma's tabloid. I don't have high opinion of it either.
     
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  9. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    Via xyz. AMEC is the semiconductor chip equipment manufacturer. Now they area one of the best They make 14nm etching machine. Naura is another semi chip equipment
    This ban on selling etching machine is a blessing for China. Now these companies will grow immensely over the years

    AMEC Ranks Among Top Performers in Customer Satisfaction Survey Conducted by Leading Market Research Firm, VLSIresearch

    News provided by
    Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. China

    PRNewswire/ -- For the second consecutive year, Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. China. China (AMEC) today announced that it has landed among the top-ranked worldwide semiconductor equipment companies that participated in the 2019 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) conducted annually by leading US market research firm, VLSIresearch.

    The CSS, which began in 1988, is the only survey of its kind that lets customers in all regions provide anonymous feedback on their overall experience with worldwide suppliers of semiconductor equipment and subsystems. For the second year in a row, AMEC is the only China-based company to be recognized in the list of winners that includes companies from the US, Europe and Asia.

    In THE BEST Suppliers of Fab Equipment survey category, AMEC was ranked third, with customers awarding high ratings for the company's commitment and dedication to partnering. AMEC was also ranked second in two additional categories: the 10 BEST Focused Suppliers of Chip Making Equipment, and THE BEST Suppliers of Fab Equipment to Specialty Chip Makers.

    "We are pleased to have the opportunity to assist leading semiconductor manufacturers in achieving their innovation, production and profit goals with advanced technologies, high performing tools and friendly service," said AMEC's CEO, Dr. Gerald Z. Yin. "Through our shared relationships and collective efforts, new industry sectors are being created and value is being generated across the IC and LED supply chains, and beyond. We're honored to be acknowledged by customers again this year. Maintaining product competitiveness and high customer satisfaction levels is a strategic imperative for AMEC and we will continue to invest in the people, technology, and infrastructure to satisfy customers' needs."

    "AMEC exceeded a 9.0 rating for the first time this year and is one of just three WFE suppliers to receive five stars in the 2019 survey," said Risto Puhakka, President of VLSIresearch. "As a young company, their strong ratings show how quickly they established a world-class service infrastructure to support their global etch and MOCVD customers. The team's commitment to partnering was cited as a strength, illustrating the importance of deep customer-supplier collaborations as success-drivers for leading semiconductor and LED manufacturers."

    Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. China (AMEC)

    AMEC is China's leading provider of process technologies, tools and expertise that help global manufacturers of semiconductors and LEDs achieve their innovation, production and profit goals. The company's etch tools enable chipmakers to build devices for diverse applications at nodes as low as 5nm, while its MOCVD systems lead the market for the production of Blue LEDs. More than 1100 AMEC process units, comprising both product lines, have been installed at 40 leading customer fabs across Asia and Europe. AMEC is headquartered in Shanghai with operations in Nanchang and Xiamen, and regional subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States.

    About VLSIresearch

    VLSIresearch is an award-winning provider of market research and economic analysis on the technical, business, and economic aspects of the semiconductor supply chain. Providing intelligence for faster and better decision making, seasoned executives in high technology, government, and finance rely on VLSIresearch's insights to guide them to the right decisions. The formula is simple: Better intelligence leads to better decisions which deliver better results. Founded in 1976, VLSIresearch is the leading technology research and advisory company focused on semiconductor related manufacturing.
     
  10. Hendrik_2000
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    Via xyz with Changxin memory producing DRAM for computer and server and Yangtze memory technology producing NAND for smart phone China should be self sufficient in memory by next year
    Hope HiSillicone sell their SOC to other smart phone company

    China memory maker CXMT to roll out 8Gb LPDDR4 DRAM by end-2019
    Siu Han, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES
    Tuesday 11 June 2019


    China-based DRAM maker ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) is stepping up DRAM production deployments as it will kick off commercial runs of its production lines by the end of 2019 while also marching toward volume production of 17nm process now under in-house development, according to industry sources.

    The sources said that following Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, CXMT may become the next China DRAM maker to face US trade sanctions, prompting the company to address its technology licensing issues and recruit top-notch engineers, many of whom used to work at Elpida.

    CXMT plans to kick off production of 8Gb LPDDR4 DRAM chips at its first 12-inch wafer fab at a monthly capacity of 20,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2019, with the capacity estimated to expand to a maximum of 125,000 units.

    The company will also move to build a second 12-inch wafer fab in 2020, which is expected to adopt the process of under 20nm for volume production. The company is scheduled to complete the R&D of 17nm node in 2021.

    https://www.digitimes.com/news/a20190611PD203.html
    --

    asia.nikkei.com
    China set to produce first locally designed DRAM chip
    CHENG TING-FANG, Nikkei staff writer
    6-7 minutes

    TAIPEI----A Chinese company founded in 2016 is about to become the country's first mass producer of locally-designed key memory chips, competing with giants Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology in a $100 billion a year market, as Beijing steps up its drive for self-sufficiency in core technologies.

    Changxin Memory Technologies, previously known as Innotron Memory, has redesigned its dynamic random access memory chips to minimize the use of U.S. technology, in a bid to avoid infringing patents and potentially falling victim to the U.S. crackdown on China's rising tech industry, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

    While Changxin will not be able to eliminate the threat entirely as its production will still rely on American equipment and design tool suppliers, the redesign will insulate the company against potential U.S. allegations of intellectual property theft, the sources said told Nikkei Asian Review.

    The company, which has invested $8 billion in a chip production plant in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei, intends to start production of these crucial memory components by the end of the year, they said. DRAM chips are the working memory of billions of devices, from laptops to smartphones, data center servers and connected cars.

    The Chinese company will initially produce some 10,000 wafers a month, one of the sources said. "It will need to undergo some kind of learning curve, but the company plans to have some output by the end of this year," he said.

    While the output will still be small compared with the 1.3 million DRAM wafers a month currently produced globally, the start of production would still mark a major breakthrough for China as the country currently has no homemade DRAM chips, said Sean Yang, an analyst at market research company CINNO.

    The global DRAM market was worth some $99.65 billion in 2018, and three companies -- Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix of South Korea and Micron Technology of the U.S. -- control around 95% of output.

    "The Chinese company...aims to match the [output] level and technology of the big three, rather than just making specialized DRAM for fragmented niche markets," one of the sources said. However, meeting this goal depended on the quality and consistency of production as it ramped up, he added.

    Another source familiar with Changxin Memory's plans said the company was expecting capital expenditure of $1 billion to $1.5 billion a year, which already exceeds last year's $650 million spending by Nanya Technology, the world's No.4 DRAM chipmaker.


    Other Chinese chipmakers are also slated to start mass production of chips such as NAND flash memory units, which save data when power is off. The country's first NAND flash memory project by state-backed Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. will begin producing by the end of the year and will challenge Samsung, Toshiba, Western Digital and Micron, Nikkei has reported.

    Changxin Memory decided to redesign its chips in an effort to avoid the fate of smaller local peer Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co, which never began production and was almost forced out of business earlier this year when Washington barred its access to U.S. technology and accused it of intellectual property theft.

    Changxin was widely seen as the next potential target for Washington's campaign and has taken extra steps to avoid infringing U.S. patents, sources familiar with the matter said. "The company also asked legal counsel to sit in on external business meetings to make sure staff was extremely careful when communicating with partners and suppliers," one of the two people said.

    Zhu said last month that Changxin Memory's DRAM design was based on technology from Qimonda, an affiliate of German chipmaker Infineon that filed bankruptcy in 2009.

    But like the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers it still needs to use equipment from U.S. companies such as Applied Materials, Lam Research, KLA-Tencor, as well as materials from Dow Chemical and electronic design automation tool providers from Cadence and Synopsys.

    The company's CEO Zhu Yiming traveled to Europe last October to meet the management of ASML, the biggest European chip equipment provider, and also visited Belgium's IMEC, a pioneering research institute that specializes in nano-electronics and digital technology. He was seeking support from suppliers outside the U.S. and wanted to signal the company's ambition to challenge market leaders, Nikkei Asian Review reported at the time. Changxin Memory's website says it was founded in 2016 and its LinkedIn page says it employs several thousands people.

    Depending on how quickly Changxin accelerates production, the company's entry into an already depressed DRAM market could hit prices even further over the next two years, analysts suggested. The average DRAM price has more than halved since the peak in the third quarter last year as the U.S.-China trade war takes its toll on the global economy, said CINNO's Yang said. "We expect the DRAM price will continue to drop in the second half of this year," Yang added.

    Research group Trendforce expects DRAM prices to plunge by up to 15% in the third quarter of 2019, with a further drop of up to 10% in the final three months of this year when the U.S. blacklisting of Huawei Technologies could be expected to hit demand.

    Changxin Memory is also referred to as Heifei Rui-li Integrated Circuit Manufacturing. "Changxin Memory has no information to share so far regarding Nikkei Asian Review's request for comments," said a company spokesperson.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trade-war/China-set-to-produce-first-locally-designed-DRAM-chip
     
    #220 Hendrik_2000, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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