Race for Semiconductors Influences Taiwan Conflict 

China has blocked many of Taiwan’s exports in retaliation for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on August 2, but certain goods including semiconductors and high-tech products have been spared because of China’s reliance on those products from Taiwan, experts say.

“It is unlikely that Beijing will take serious trade actions against electronic exports from Taiwan. Doing so would be China shooting itself in its own foot,” Dexter Roberts, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told VOA.

Taiwan makes 65% of the world’s semiconductors and almost 90% of the advanced chips.

By comparison, China produces a little over 5% while the U.S. produces approximately 10%, according to market analysts. South Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands are the other sources of the product, which is at the heart of many electronic devices and machinery.

Though China produces some semiconductors, it depends heavily on supplies from Taiwan for advanced chips. Taiwan’s TSMC makes most of the advanced chips in the world and counts Advanced Micro Devices, Apple and Nvidia among its customers.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) in China, which has 5% of the global fabrication market, produces 14-nanometer chips. There is also evidence that SMIC has 7-nm technology, according to a TechInsights blog. These are considered less advanced than the 3-nm chips produced by TSMC.

Beijing may not block the flow of semiconductors even if the military confrontation escalates, analysts say.

“Taiwan-based TSMC is the biggest world producer of chips, and China and the rest of the world need TSMC semiconductors. Hence, I don’t expect China to target electronic exports,” said Lourdes Casanova, Gail and Rob Canizares director of the Emerging Markets Institute at Cornell University.

Though China’s People’s Liberation Army says it is rehearsing to impose a military blockade around Taiwan, it will be careful not to hurt semiconductor companies like TSMC, Casanova said.

“The stoppage of supply of TSMC semiconductors would be the worst scenario for China and for many other countries. TSMC’s semiconductors are used by Foxconn, another Taiwanese firm, which is the main manufacturer of the iPhone in plants based in China and elsewhere,” she said.

Fear of invasion

A military invasion of Taiwan could disrupt supplies of semiconductors and seriously hamper dozens of high-tech companies that depend on them. TSMC Chairman Mark Liu voiced that fear when he said a military invasion would make TSMC factories inoperable.

“Our interruption would create great economic turmoil in China — suddenly their most advanced component supply disappears. It is an interruption, I must say, so people will think twice on this,” Liu said.

“Nobody can control TSMC by force … because it is a sophisticated manufacturing facility that depends on the real-time connection with the outside world,” such as Europe, the U.S. and Japan, for materials, chemicals and engineering software, he said.

Even with China’s ban on certain imports from Taiwan, analysts said, Taiwan is unlikely to retaliate because it is heavily dependent on Beijing in terms of trade and investment.

“Companies like TSMC are deeply reliant simultaneously on both the U.S. and China markets. Unless the situation in the Taiwan Strait badly deteriorates and turns to outright open hostilities, Taiwan will try to avoid taking any drastic action which would be cutting off chips to China,” said Roberts, author of The Myth of Chinese Capitalism.

 

China’s domestic manufacturing

China has been pushing to boost its domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity. Beijing has pledged $150 billion to expand the industry and be more self-reliant. Plans are in place for new semiconductor factories.

Just last year, China’s chip manufacturing grew by 33.3%, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

“China’s rapid growth in semiconductor chip sales is likely to continue due in large part to the unwavering commitment from the central government and robust policy support in the face of deteriorating U.S-China relations,” the Semiconductor Industry Association said in a blog.

Much of what will be produced in China is expected to be chips containing more mature technologies, analysts say.

US action

Under President Joe Biden, the U.S. has intensified efforts to strengthen its chip-making capabilities and reduce the reliance on external sources.

On Tuesday, Biden signed the much-awaited CHIPS and Science Act, which allocates around $52 billion to promote the production of microchips, the powerful driver for high-end electronics used in a wide range of products, including smartphones, electric vehicles, aircraft and military hardware.

Biden said the legislation would help “win the economic competition in the 21st century.”

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said last month that it was necessary to reduce the dependence on supplies from Taiwan.

“Our dependence on Taiwan for chips is untenable and unsafe,” she said on July 22. “This is a Sputnik moment for America,” Raimondo said, referring to the CHIPS Act. “I mean that very sincerely. And this is a project we’re working on.”

Taiwan’s TSMC website states it is building a fabrication plant in the U.S. state of Arizona with the aim of starting production in 2024. It will produce semiconductor wafers using 5-nm technology.  During her recent controversial visit to Taiwan, Pelosi met TSMC’s Liu. TSMC is expected to be one of the beneficiaries of the $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act.

The U.S. is also countering China’s semiconductor industry in different ways. It recently broadened its ban on sales of chip-making equipment to China, according to Tim Archer, the chief executive officer of Lam Research Corp., a California supplier of silicon wafer fabrication gear.

The restriction would affect the shipment of machinery to produce 14 nm chips in China. This is an extension of the earlier ban, which prevented the supply of machinery for making advanced technology nodes of 10 nanometers. The idea is to cover a wider range of semiconductor equipment going to China.

South Korea, a U.S. ally, has indicated it would also cut off the chip supply to China in case Washington imposed global sanctions on it. Cutting off supplies would put China and Russia at a major technological disadvantage and hamper their manufacture of advanced military hardware. 


Угорщина може відмовитися від російської нафти – Лана Зеркаль розповіла, як 

За словами радниці міністра, Угорщина поводиться «як наркоман, який сидить на голці і не хоче відмовлятися від своєї залежності»


Віталій Портников заявляє, що виявив у себе вдома пристрій для прослуховування

За словами Портникова, пристрій вилучили співробітники Служби безпеки України


Instagram розблокував сторінку Асоціації родин захисників «Азовсталі»

«Чекаємо відновлення інших сторінок, повʼязаних з «Азовом», прокоментував голова Мінцифри Федоров


Нацбанк повідомив про банкрутство банку «Січ»

Вкладники банку сукупно можуть претендувати на понад 1,2 мільярда гривень компенсації їхніх вкладів


З порту під Одесою вийшло найбільше з 24 лютого судно із продовольством

На борту судна Ocean Line найбільший вантаж з усіх інших суден


Biden Signs Semiconductor Bill Boosting US Competitiveness

U.S. President Joe Biden has signed the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to boost U.S. competitiveness against China by allocating billions of dollars toward domestic semiconductor manufacturing and scientific research.

“The United States must lead the world in the production of these advanced chips. This law will do exactly that,” Biden said in remarks during the signing ceremony Tuesday. The president is recovering from COVID-19 and coughed repeatedly during his remarks.

He called the bipartisan legislation a “once in a generation investment” in the country and said it will create good jobs, grow the economy and protect U.S. national security.

Biden noted stiff competition with China in the chips industry. “It’s no wonder the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied U.S. business against this bill,” he remarked.

Biden was joined on stage for the event by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Joshua Aviv, CEO of Spark Charge, an electric vehicle charging network.

Schumer called the legislation the “largest investment in manufacturing science and innovation in decades” and thanked Republican Senator Todd Young for his partnership for over three years working on semiconductor-related legislation, beginning with what was then called the Endless Frontier Act.

The proposed act went through various iterations before it was passed as the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act on a 243-187 vote in the House of Representatives and a 64-33 vote in the Senate in July.

Last year, a semiconductor shortage affected the supply of automobiles, electronic appliances and other goods, causing higher inflation globally and pummeling Biden’s public approval rating among American voters.

Catching up in the chips race

The CHIPS Act includes $52 billion in incentives for domestic semiconductor production and research, as well as an investment tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing. Advocates say it will allow the U.S. to catch up in the global semiconductor manufacturing race currently dominated by China, Taiwan and South Korea.

Following the passage of the bill, the White House noted that Micron, a leading U.S. chip manufacturer, will announce a $40 billion plan to boost domestic chip production while Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries will unveil a $4.2 billion expansion of a chip plant in New York.

The U.S. share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity has decreased from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, largely because other governments have offered manufacturing incentives and invested in research to strengthen domestic chipmaking capabilities, according to a state of the industry report by the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Now China accounts for 24% of the world’s semiconductor production, followed by Taiwan at 21%, South Korea at 19% and Japan at 13%, the report said.

The CHIPS Act also includes $4.2 billion to fund defense initiatives and the U.S. mobile broadband market, particularly efforts to promote non-Chinese 5G equipment manufacturing.

Broadly, the legislation lays out a strategy for Washington as it aims for global technological and economic dominance – gaining production autonomy by leveraging allies, including South Korea and Japan and eliminating political dependencies on the global semiconductor supply chain.

That strategy puts the U.S. on a collision course with China, which also aims to be the global leader in semiconductors. In 2015, Beijing launched the Made in China 2025 project, which aimed to increase chip production from less than 10% of global demand at the time to 40% in 2020 and 70% in 2025.

The Taiwan factor

Taiwan — a self-governed island that Beijing claims to be its breakaway province — is the main producer of the world’s most high-tech chips. It lies at the heart of the semiconductor showdown, the latest battlefront in the increasingly tense U.S.-China strategic rivalry.

Taiwan accounts for 92% of the global production of 10 nm or smaller semiconductors, essentially creating what some observers have characterized as a “silicon shield” that ensures American support in the event of a Chinese attack, as well as a deterrence against such a move.

In a visit to Taipei that angered Beijing earlier this month, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Mark Liu, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s biggest chipmaker.

Pelosi delivered all but one Democratic vote in the House of Representatives for the CHIPS Act. “Mr. President with the stroke of your pen, America declares our economic independence,” she said in her remarks Tuesday. “We strengthen our national security, and we enhance our family’s financial future.”

Following Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, Beijing halted key communication channels with Washington and conducted live-fire military drills, raining Dongfeng ballistic missiles into the waters near Taiwan’s eastern, southern, and northern coasts.

While most experts don’t believe a war over Taiwan is imminent, many fear a conflict there would disrupt semiconductor production and have disastrous effects on global manufacturing.


Instagram заблокував сторінку Асоціації родин захисників «Азовсталі», Мінцифри оскаржує

«Instagram» та компанія «Meta» загалом давно демонструють свою неприязнь до теми війни в Україні та українських захисників», коментують у Асоціації


«Транснефть» повідомила про зупинку експорту російської нафти до Угорщини, Чехії і Словаччини через Україну

Причиною стала несплата послуг з боку Росії, – заявили в «Транснефти»


Покупець українського зерна з Razoni відмовився від нього через затримку – посольство в Лівані

Відправник наразі шукає іншого одержувача, аби продати зерно в ліванському Тріполі чи іншому місці


Журналіст Радіо Свобода отримав спеціальну відзнаку від Фундації «Суспільність»

Мар’ян Кушнір став одним із лауреатів спеціальної відзнаки за поступ в професії «Прорив!» для молодих журналістів


Australia to Permit Offshore Wind Farms 

Offshore wind farms are to be permitted for the first time in Australia. The Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen has declared part of the Victoria coast an offshore wind zone and a 60-day community consultation process will soon begin.

The Australian government has designated the country’s first offshore wind zone, which gives developers permission to increase their planning and consultation for wind farm projects.

Australia currently has no offshore wind generation, which was seen as too expensive and hard to build compared to onshore wind or solar projects.

The Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen says there is no time to lose.

“We are way behind the game, way behind the rest of the world in producing wind off our coastline. Again, we have a lot of catching up to do. Offshore wind is jobs-rich and energy-rich,” he said.

The first official offshore wind zone is off the Gippsland coast in the state of Victoria. There are plans to install up to 200 wind turbines, with the closest located 7 kilometers from the coastline. It would be one of the world’s largest wind farms. Construction could begin in 2025.

Other areas will follow off the coasts of New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Erin Coldham, the acting chief executive of the Danish-owned Star of the South wind project in the Bass Strait in Victoria, says the project will help reduce Australia’s reliance on fossil fuels.

“In the region where we are looking to put a project in Gippsland, it is a region that has been generating power for over 100 years and been working in the offshore oil and gas business. But those communities know those opportunities will not be around forever. So, there is a really strong sense of enthusiasm for technologies like offshore wind to continue that tradition into the future,” said Coldham.

Wind turbines have been identified as a key part in Australia’s plan to generate more than 80% of its energy needs with renewable sources by 2030.

In 2020, 24% of Australia’s electricity came from renewable energy, up from 21% in 2019.

Solar is Australia’s largest source of green power. A quarter of Australian homes have rooftop solar systems — the highest uptake in the world.

But despite this, Australia has been one of the world’s worst per capita emitters of greenhouse pollution. Coal and gas still generate most of its electricity. Analysts have said that for years it has been regarded as a climate laggard.

But that perception is now changing.

For the first time, Australia has a legislated target to cut greenhouse gas output.

Last week, new laws were passed by the federal parliament in Canberra that will cut carbon emissions by 43% by 2030.

 


Шмигаль заявив про рішення конфіскувати понад 900 об’єктів, які належать Росії

Конфісковані активи конвертуватимуться в кошти на оборону та відновлення України


Президент Радіо Свобода виступив на підтримку журналістки Крим.Реалії

«Ми підтримуємо Олену Юрченко в момент, коли вона стикається з черговою спробою Кремля змусити замовкнути і залякати тих, хто каже правду владі»


Влада України хоче залучити порт Миколаєва до угоди з експорту зерна 

Порт Миколаєва є важливим транспортним хабом, до повномасштабної війни він забезпечував експорт близько 25% аграрної продукції


Майже 700 підприємств змінили свою локацію через війну – Мінекономіки

За даними Мінекономіки, загалом українські підприємці подали 1769 заявок на переміщення виробничих потужностей


Biden Celebrates Semiconductor Legislation to Boost US Competitiveness Against China

President Joe Biden virtually joined Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Tuesday to celebrate the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to boost U.S. competitiveness against China by allocating billions of dollars toward domestic semiconductor manufacturing and scientific research.

“This bill makes it clear the world’s leading innovation will happen in America. We will both invent in America and make it in America,” Biden said. He was scheduled to join the event in person but had to remain in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 again on Saturday in what his physician described as a “rebound” case.

In the coming days, Biden is expected to sign the legislation, which passed in a 243-187 vote in the House of Representatives and 64-33 vote in the Senate last week.

The $280 billion act includes $52 billion in incentives for domestic semiconductor production and research, as well as an investment tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing. Advocates say it will allow the U.S. to catch up in the global semiconductor manufacturing race currently dominated by China, Taiwan and South Korea.

Last year, a semiconductor shortage affected the supply of automobiles, electronic appliances and other goods, causing higher inflation globally and pummeling Biden’s public approval among American voters.

Michigan, a major hub for the American auto industry, has been one of the states hardest hit by the semiconductor shortage.

“This bill will mean humming factories and lower costs on electronics, medical devices, farm equipment and cars for working families,” Whitmer said.

The act includes $4.2 billion to fund defense initiatives and the U.S. mobile broadband market, particularly efforts to promote non-Chinese 5G equipment manufacturing.

Catching up with China

The U.S. share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity has decreased from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, largely because other governments have offered manufacturing incentives and invested in research to strengthen domestic chipmaking capabilities, according to a state of the industry report by the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Now China accounts for 24% of the world’s semiconductor production, followed by Taiwan at 21%, South Korea at 19% and Japan at 13%, the report said.

With the CHIPS Act, the administration hopes to bring as much semiconductor manufacturing to the U.S. as practically possible, said Bonnie Glick, director of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University.

“And what can’t be reasonably onshore, either because it’s cost prohibitive or other allied countries simply do it better, we can ally-shore manufacturing and support that,” she told VOA.

The two allies the administration has leveraged are South Korea and Japan, both of which Biden visited in May. In Seoul, he toured a Samsung computer chip factory that is the model for a $17 billion facility that the South Korean technology giant is setting up in the U.S. state of Texas.

Last week, the U.S. and Japan launched a new joint international semiconductor research hub under a “bilateral chip technology partnership” to bolster manufacturing for 2-nanometer chips as early as 2025.

Washington has also persuaded Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. (TSMC) to open a U.S. foundry to produce advanced semiconductors. The $12 billion facility in the state of Arizona was completed last month and is scheduled to start production of 5 nm chips by 2024. TMSC also has plants in China.

“We’re back in the game,” Biden said Tuesday. “Remember, we invented these chips, we modernized these chips, we made them work, and there’s a lot more we can get done.”

The CHIPS Act has laid out a clear strategy for Washington, said Volker Sorger, director of the Devices & Intelligent Systems Laboratory at the George Washington University.

“Gain autonomy and eliminate political dependencies on these global supply chain values,” Sorger told VOA.

That strategy puts the U.S. on a collision course with China, which also aims to be the global leader in semiconductors. In 2015, Beijing launched the Made in China 2025 project, which aimed to increase chip production from less than 10% of global demand at the time to 40% in 2020 and 70% in 2025.

The Made in China 2025 program and the People’s Liberation Army’s goal of military-civil fusion make it “overtly clear that Beijing is seeking to dominate global technology and supply chains through anti-competitive trade practices and infiltration of dual-use technology research,” Glick said.

The U.S. government has been pushing for stricter export regulations to China by prohibiting export of equipment needed for manufacturing chips at 14 nm and below. “That would mark an escalation from the previous ban covering 10 nm and below,” Glick added.

Taiwan’s strategic importance

Taiwan — a self-governed island that Beijing claims to be its breakaway province — lies at the heart of the increasingly tense U.S.-China rivalry.

Taipei has dominated manufacture of the world’s most high-tech chips, accounting for 92% of the global production of 10 nm or smaller semiconductors, essentially creating what some observers have characterized as a “silicon shield” that ensures American support in the event of a Chinese attack, as well as a deterrence to such a move.

A military conflict over Taiwan could disrupt TMSC’s semiconductor production and have disastrous effects on global manufacturing.

U.S.-China tensions are already spooking technology investors. TSMC shares fell nearly 3% on Tuesday as U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei in a visit she said demonstrated American solidarity with the Taiwanese people.

Beijing has condemned the visit, the first by a U.S. House speaker in 25 years, as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Rare earths

The CHIPS Act does not include provisions to secure supply chains of rare earths — and other critical minerals used in semiconductors and other high-tech elements — to reduce the nation’s dependence on China, a major producer of these elements.

“I don’t know that we have developed a coherent strategy on accessing both rare and nonrare elements,” Glick said.

Last June, following Biden’s executive order to improve supply chains, the administration released a report concluding that the U.S. was overly reliant on China for critical minerals. Currently, China controls 87% of the global permanent magnet market, 55% of rare earths mining capacity and 85% of rare earths refining.

Earlier this year, the administration announced actions it said would bolster the supply chain of these elements, including a contract for U.S. company MP Materials to process heavy rare earth elements at its California production site — the first processing and separation facility of its kind in the nation.  


Biden Celebrates Semiconductor Legislation to Boost US Competitiveness Against China

US President Joe Biden virtually joined Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday to celebrate the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to boost US competitiveness against China by allocating billions of dollars toward domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara has this report.