Flagship Chinese chipmaker collapses before it makes a single chip

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  • #12294
    UK Sentinel
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    Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor’s 7nm ambitions are dust

    One of China’s next-generation chipmakers appears to have collapsed, potentially hampering the nation’s march to silicon-self-sufficiency.

    Chinese electronics industry journal Jiwei reported that Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor has contacted its staff and told them the organization won’t attempt to continue building its facilities nor develop products.

    The company aspired to offer microchips on 14nm and 7nm process nodes, and had acquired some of the equipment needed to make such products. However, the firm struggled to build its factories amid disputes with construction contractors and local authorities over development permits.

    Difficulty accessing cash was another issue.

    Those troubles led the Wuhan government to take over the outfit in November 2020, though that intervention appears not to have had a positive effect.

    China wants to become self-sufficient in silicon, because it likes the idea of having its own technology stack and as US sanctions are restricting its ability to build the chips it needs to fuel its 14th five-year plan. That plan calls for wider use of analytics and big data to fuel growth.

    China’s largest established chipmaker, SMIC, recently admitted that US sanctions on technology exports will mean it may struggle to output components on a 10nm node. Japanese outlet Nikkei yesterday reported that Chinese firms are increasingly aggressive in pursuit of second-hand chipmaking kit as they seek to evade US sanctions.

    The demise of Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor is therefore unwelcome as it will mean delays in growth of China’s production capacity.

    Jiwei’s report adds that the collapse of the company is so comprehensive that staff may not receive severance pay. ®

     

    Source: https://www.theregister.com/2021/03/02/wuhan_hongxin_semiconductor_collapse/

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #12295
    UK Sentinel
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    China’s semiconductor self-sufficiency drive slid backwards in 2020

    China-owned silicon manufacturers’ domestic market share has slipped below six percent, according to analyst firm IC Insights, suggesting the nation’s goal of silicon semi-self-sufficiency in just four years time is in strife.

    The firm’s 2021 edition of The McClean Report — A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry said China’s chip-makers supply 5.9 percent of the nation’s needs, down 0.2 percent since the May 2020 edition of the report.

    The slip comes despite China making chip production for domestic consumption and export a priority with policies like the “Made in China 2025” policy that calls for homegrown products accounting for 70 percent of domestic total semiconductor needs by 2025. Tax cuts and other initiatives commenced to accelerate the supply with larger subsidies going to chipmakers manufacturing with smaller process nodes.

    https://www.theregister.com/2021/02/22/ic_insights_china_silicon_market_share/

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    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #12400
    UK Sentinel
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    This was interesting how Chinese are recruiting semiconductor talent for China

    Two Taiwanese companies accused of recruiting semiconductor talent for China

    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Investigators are probing whether two Taiwanese companies illegally recruited hundreds of local semiconductor workers on behalf of Chinese chip design companies.

    The New Taipei District Prosecutors Office received reports that claimed WiseCore Technology Co. and IC Link Limited Co. had been helping Chinese chip design companies to recruit talent from Taiwan via Chinese-financed startups, CNA reported.

    Investigators found that the Chinese hired former R&D staff from Taiwanese IC design companies as presidents of the startups. These presidents would then recruit former colleagues to join them at the new ventures, which would set up large R&D centers in Taiwan and pay salaries twice the going rate.

    At the same time, the R&D centers also used online job banks to headhunt. In the last three years, hundreds of Taiwanese have been recruited by Chinese companies via these channels, seriously affecting Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, CNA cited investigators’ reports as saying.

    Read More: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4146306

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

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