Whitehall squabbling continues to stall the UK's eagerly anticipated chips policy
The US has gotten its wish after years of talks
Rapidus and IBM want to catch up to TSMC
Direct and collateral effects of the CHIPS act
Editor's take: Undeniably, we usually spend a lot of time talking about leading edge semiconductor manufacturing. This is a common mistake that everyone falls into when discussing semis, one which we are as guilty of as anyone. The world is rightly focused on the scarcity of companies capable of operating at the leading edge, but there is a lot more to semis.
Big quote: It's often said that there are three significant influences on global politics (and wars): oil, land, and religion. According to Intel boss Pat Gelsinger, semiconductors will join that list and become more important than the location of oil reserves for the next five decades.
But the future might not be so bright for Taiwan
Revenue was up, but not as much as analysts expected
Even Samsung is feeling the pressure
Another step towards technological self-sufficiency
There is no simple answer, but we think there are a few factors that really stand out...
The big picture: By now, we are all familiar with the fact that TSMC is, by far, the most capable semiconductor manufacturer in the world, with all the entails for the industry and geopolitics. And as this reality sets in, many people have been asking us how did they get so good?
Why it matters: An interesting article posted at WikiChip discusses the severity of SRAM shrinkage problems in the semiconductor industry. Manufacturer TSMC is reporting that its SRAM transistor scaling has completely flatlined to the point where SRAM caches are staying the same size on multiple nodes, despite logic transistor densities continuing to shrink. This is not ideal, and it will force processor SRAM caches to take up more space on a microchip die. This in turn could increase manufacturing costs of the chips and prevent certain microchip architectures from becoming as small as they could potentially be.
Chinese newspaper claims the US "tricked" TSMC into building Arizona fabs, is stealing tech from "our Taiwan"
The US is compared to a bull in a China shop
Lattice Semiconductor expands to mid-range FPGAs, goes after Intel's Arria and AMD's Xilinx offerings
Avant-E 500 tops at 5 tera operations per second
In context: The tech industry is still suffering from a microchip shortage, and Europe is getting ready to invest a lot of billions to free itself from external dependencies. The EU Council will now need to negotiate with the European Parliament to decide its final proposal.
The big picture: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) Arizona factory project has become more apparent over the last few weeks. The company intends to move some of the most advanced node processing to the United States, much of it for Apple's iPhones. The company will soon announce an upgrade to its plans.
A hot potato: Like a train leaving the station, it now seems inevitable that US companies are moving to reduce, or entirely eliminate, their reliance on China. It took a long time to get started, companies had been complaining about changing conditions in China for a decade. The 2018 trade war was the spark that really got them moving, and their progress has only been gaining momentum since then. This process will take years, maybe decades, but at this point is probably unstoppable.
The chip companies are never going to really love this business
The big picture: Earlier this year we were reviewing Analyst Day slides from leading semiconductor companies and a clear theme emerged. Large companies are all shifting in a similar direction, posing some potential challenges for their long-term positions. More and more customers are looking for special purpose chips, a coping mechanism for dealing with the slowdown in Moore's Law. And the big players are all looking to support those customers.
The plant will be operational in 2024
Ukraine produced half the world's supply before the Russian invasion
Admin and clerical staff avoid the sanctions
Cars are still less than 10% revenue for most chip companies
Why it matters: Over the past few years the semis industry has become somewhat obsessed with autos. Every major chip company now dedicates a fair amount of coverage to cars in all their investor presentations. Or at least it seems that way. In part that reflects a genuine growth in auto semis, and in part the tapering of growth in many other categories like mobile, PCs, etc.
How the mighty have fallen
What just happened? Another memory chip giant is suffering the effects of "unprecedented deterioration" in consumer demand and US sanctions against China. SK Hynix said it would slash investment after third-quarter profits fell 60%, warning that the Biden Administration's restrictions could force it to close or sell a major plant in China.
TSMC is caught between the US, Taiwan, and China