Chinese chipmakers will stick to mature processes but not stop
Hardware

Chinese chipmakers will stick to mature processes but not stop growing

US attempts to isolate China in terms of lithographic technology development will inevitably bear fruit, widening the gap between the two countries’ companies. However, the domestic market offers considerable growth potential for Chinese manufacturers, which they can also realize using old technical processes. According to experts, the Japanese initiative to master advanced technical processes in a short time could fail.

    Image source: ASML

Image source: ASML

Analysts state that the Chinese semiconductor industry should respond to the new wave of US sanctions by both focusing on mature lithographic technologies and switching to the use of third-generation semiconductors. The final step will allow more advanced chips to be made even using ancient engineering processes, but will require certain breakthroughs in materials science. But even if no significant progress is made, the Chinese market will continue to provide stable revenue for local chipmakers for many years due to its huge capacity.

But Japan’s desire to master the production of advanced technologies to catch up with the United States and Taiwan does not look promising. Recall that recently it became known about the creation of a technology consortium by a group of Japanese companies, which, with the support of American partners, intends to master 2nm process technology by 2027 and try to start production of the corresponding chips in the country. Up to $500 million will be allocated for this need, and the state will support not only the construction of specialized enterprises, including those owned by foreign companies, but also research centers.

According to experts from the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, cited in the publication South China tomorrow post, the Japanese initiative with IBM as a “technology donor” is more conspicuous and opportunistic, as huge investments are needed to close the existing gap between the technological capabilities of Japanese companies and their competitors in the US and Taiwan. Furthermore, progress in this area can be hampered by the lack of consensus among the members of the coalition – it is too heterogeneous in its composition.

We add that when TSMC builds its first plant in Japan, it will be limited to a range of mature lithographic technologies from 28nm to 12nm, and the latter is in greater demand from a minority shareholder, namely Denso, which supplies components to the conveyor of the world’s largest automaker Toyota Motor supplies. Sony and TSMC, which will control the bulk of the joint venture capital, are interested in using the more mature 28nm technology.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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