A reappraisal of China's semiconductor strategy

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

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  1. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    Now the microprocessor there are at least 2 competing desing for microprocessor one is HYgon the other one I don;t know the name
    https://www.pcgamesn.com/amd/amd-hygon-thatic-epyc-processor-clone-china-server
    AMD Zen-based Hygon chips start putting the squeeze on Intel in China
    [​IMG]


    A rare Chinese branded EPYC CPU clone has been spotted on the show floor of Computex 2019. This Hugon Dhyana processor is near enough the same as its first-generation EPYC counterpart, reportedly warranting very few changes to the code, however, it has been tweaked by AMD and its partners ever so slightly to better suit the burgeoning datacentre market in China.

    A couple years ago AMD formed a joint venture with various Chinese investors to produce the Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co. (THATIC), a company devoted to piecing together genuine x86 processors within China. These processors go by the name Hugon Dhyana, and branded under Hygon. Both EPYC and Ryzen lookalikes have been spotted rocking the rebrand.

    But pushing genuine x86 processors into the chinese market is no easy feat, nor is bypassing the airtight x86 licensing agreement that AMD must abide by otherwise face the wrath of Intel. In order to do so, the red team and its partners have weaved together a network of subsidiaries, joint ventures, and agreements in order to avoid any litigious actions.


    AMD-owned HMC handling production of Hugon Dhyana processors, while THATIC-owned Hygon designs them. The final products can only be sold within China, however, and until now, have remained elusive.

    Turn it up: These are the best CPUs for gaming in 2019

    But all that manoeuvring has finally resulted in the Hygon EPYC chip first spotted over at Computex by Servethehome (via AnandTech).

    These chips are reportedly similar in form and function to their EPYC counterparts, the cryptography engine reportedly the only major discernible difference. The server-grade processors utilise the exact same TR4 socket as their AMD progenitors too, while the few glimpses of smaller, desktop chips indicate an AM4-sized design and soldered BGA connection.

    View image on Twitter
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    [​IMG]
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    Hello Hygon Dhyana!!! Live from #Computex2019 This is AMD EPYC's cousin from China.

    Phoronix reports that the Linux code necessary for Hugon Dhyana processors to operate is almost identical to that of AMD EPYC chips, indicating a similar construction.

    With the United States cranking up the pressure on Chinese domestic manufacturing, this partnership could prove invaluable to sustaining China’s domestic datacentre efforts. China has been focusing its efforts on floating domestic semiconductor production for the last few years, which has put pressure on the likes of Intel and other US companies during this period of high tension between the two countries.

    But AMD has managed to manoeuvre itself around that blockade, which allows it to continue to pressure Intel and other dominant x86 processor manufacturers in one of the largest PC markets in the world.

    And it hasn’t come out of the venture empty-handed, with the deal netting the red team some $293m in much-needed cash back in 2016.

    At the moment the deal looks to be limited solely to first-gen Zen microarchitecture processors, and whether or not the JV will later gain the plans for Zen 2 – the architecture at the core of Ryzen 3000 chips – has not yet been confirmed.

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  2. Xsizor
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    Xsizor Junior Member
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    But IT IS A DEAD END.
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Tra...ees-no-new-tech-transfers-with-China-partner2

    AMD has effectively ended all cooperation with the Zen program. There won't be any Hygon chip successors (atleast based on AMD licenses or tech). So, it is safe to assume that the program has met it's end.
     
  3. Hendrik_2000
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    Nope where you get that idea It might not continue the cooperation beyond Hygon but the existing relation still valid they are producing this chips now
    US chipmaker AMD sees no new tech transfers with China partner
    CEO Lisa Su says joint venture remains intact amid trade war
     
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  4. styx
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    #224 styx, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  5. Xsizor
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    Xsizor Junior Member
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    Nope. It does Not. America is the center of an ecosystem. You are comparing a Big Tree (China) to a small forest(USA). US tech and human resource(engineers and scientists) cooperate ,enrich and gets entrusted with the technologies and developments of their allies (and client states). That includes UK, EU( western EU in particular), SK, Japan,Israel et. So US engineering skills can come from all these countries. It can come from places like Taiwan , Iran and India even.
    I do not think such a characterization -" US is in decline" should be let to control the discussion of this Trade War or the China vs US fight. China has its advantages like a guaranteed market and communist(technocratic authoritarian system). If the right moves are made, it can challenge US. Exploiting the weaknesses of US (in the field of Semiconductors) isn't easy BUT it is NOT impossible. US follows a capitalist model. The semiconductor industry (like every other industry in US) is beholden to that systems pros and cons. China can sidestep some and tackle some. I can't think of a better country to help humanity usher in a new era of semiconductor advancement.
     
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  6. s002wjh
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    s002wjh Junior Member

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    US attract a lot talent from all over the world. If china have any chance to compete they need attract those talents. Then maybe in 5 to 10 years they can be self sufficient
     
  7. styx
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    styx Junior Member
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    I think that US Will change
    i don't think so because china has a much larger educated population base.
     
  8. s002wjh
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    Educated and experience are different things. The talent im refer to are engineer who had many years experience working at Intel amd or other top companies, not ppl fresh out of college
     
  9. Hendrik_2000
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    But but INTEL is not even at the cutting edge of semiconductor anymore They have bee trying to migrate to 10nm with no success sofar and has been postponing it for years
    They try to get into SOC for smartphone again with no result to show for
    Ditto for smartphone modem

    Remember The most advance semiconductor is in far east right now Taiwan, Singapore, Korea and Japan
    With enough incentive China can lure talent like Dr Liang Mong Song that sparhead the development of 14nm in Taiwan and Korea

    I hope I got the name right
    https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1332462#

    this article is old from 2017 and does not reflect current status of semiconductor in SMIC
    My understanding now SMIC has high yield of 14 nm chips and start giving sample to prospective client and gearing for full production at the end of 2109

    TAIPEI — Liang Mong-song, a former employee at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) who leaked process technology to Samsung several years ago, has joined Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. as co-CEO.

    SMIC, China’s largest foundry, announced Liang’s appointment in a press statement on Oct. 16.

    In 2015, TSMC won a lawsuit against Liang, a former senior director of R&D who leaked secrets including 28-nm process technology to Samsung, TSMC’s largest rival in the foundry business. After leaving TSMC, Liang became Samsung's system LSI division chief technology officer. The TSMC lawsuit prevented Liang from working for Samsung.

    TSMC Senior Director of Corporate Communications Elizabeth Sun said that the company has no comment regarding Liang’s new appointment at this time.

    [​IMG]
    Liang Mong-song

    SMIC said Liang will work with Co-CEO Haijun Zhao, both of whom will also be executive directors. Liang may help SMIC catch up in the process technology race with TSMC and Samsung, according to Andrew Lu, an independent analyst writing for information provider Smartkarma.

    “We expect this to be structurally positive to SMIC to narrow its advanced technology node gap with TSMC and Samsung,” Lu said in an Oct. 16 report. “SMIC clearly needs the help of technology, R&D and yield improvement for the long-term.”

    Competition in China’s foundry business is expected to grow as the nation accounts for an increasing portion of demand, according to a report from market research firm IC Insights. Pure-play foundry sales in China are expected to reach $7 billion in 2017, up 16 percent from 2016, according to IC Insights. China’s growth rate more than doubles that for global foundry sales, the research firm noted.

    TSMC is forecast to hold about 46 percent of the market for China's foundry revenue with sales of about $3.2 billion, up 10 percent from 2016, IC Insights said.

    TSMC is likely to turn up the heat. In the second half of 2018, TSMC will open a new fab in Nanjing, China that will start production at the 16-nm node. The company also plans to start production of 7nm chips in Taiwan next year. By contrast, SMIC is still cutting its teeth on 28nm.

    With the appointment of Liang, SMIC should be able to narrow its technology gap with United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) on 14nm to as little as one year from an earlier estimated two or more years, Lu said. Earlier this year, UMC, the world’s third-largest foundry, started 14nm production.

    Likely Suspect
    Since Liang leaked TSMC’s secrets to Samsung, both TSMC and Samsung are likely to watch Liang carefully when SMIC ramps up its 28nm and 14nm in volume, Lu said. TSMC may take legal action against Liang for leaking 28nm secrets as well as SMIC, he said.

    TSMC sued SMIC in Dec. 2003 for stealing TSMC's secrets and forced SMIC to pay a $175 million settlement in Jan 2005.

    Samsung may also sue Liang and SMIC because Liang has detailed knowledge of Samsung’s 14nm development work and trade secrets, Lu said.

    SMIC’s lower yield on its 28nm node compared with TSMC and UMC has put SMIC under price pressure, according to Lu.

    The company is likely to see weak year-on-year sales growth ranging from -3 percent to 0 percent during the third quarter this year as well as a deteriorating gross margin, he said.

    “We won't see this lose-lose situation change unless SMIC can improve its 28nm yield rate to boost wafer prices or overall utilization rate back to over 90 percent from the current level of 80-85 percent,” Lu said.

    —Alan Patterson covers the semiconductor industry for EE Times. He is based in Taiwan.
     
    #229 Hendrik_2000, Jun 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  10. ZeEa5KPul
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    ZeEa5KPul Junior Member
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    These people are just mercenaries. They'll show up to China if the money's there.
     
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