This week the pages of the Intel corporate blog featured a post by Keyvan Esfarjani, executive vice president in charge of manufacturing operations for the corporation around the world.He tried to reassure investors that deteriorating macroeconomic conditions would not force Intel to abandon its plans to build new facilities in the U.S.and Europe, although he acknowledged that funding for these projects should be carried out in proportion to projected demand.Source image: IntelThe main idea of the message of the Intel representative was that the company should already prepare for the future growth in demand for semiconductor products.It takes three to five years to build a plant and equip it with the necessary equipment, and the company simply cannot afford to ignore future market demands.Intel's management shares the experts' optimism, predicting an average semiconductor market turnover growth rate of 5 percent a year by the end of the decade.By the end of the forecast period, the market capacity should double to $1 trillion, so the company considers it necessary to invest in the construction of new enterprises, even now, when the current situation is not favorable to it.The second important idea, which broadcasts the executive vice president of Intel - the need for geographical diversification of chip production.With 80% of capacity concentrated in one tiny region (meaning Taiwan), semiconductor manufacturing is very vulnerable, according to Intel.Reportedly, this week the company acquired ownership of a piece of land in Magdeburg where a chip packaging and testing facility will be built, and eventually a second one will appear.The company has also signed a contract with Bechtel, a construction contractor that will start building new Intel facilities in Ohio.Here, the corporation expects to master mass production of chips using Intel 18A technology by 2025, with the U.S.Defense Department mentioned among the first customers.At the first stage, Intel expects to invest at least $20 billion at this site.A management representative made it clear that the company will work closely with German and Ohio state authorities to determine when and how much funding is needed for the relevant projects.Intel in this regard is going to be guided by the needs of the market and plan its major expenditures wisely.
TSMC will build another plant in Arizona for $12 billion - 3-nm chips will be produced there
Taiwan's TSMC is preparing to implement another project with multi-billion dollar investments - the company intends to expand the chip factory under construction in Arizona (USA).In the coming months, the chipmaker plans to announce the construction of an advanced factory north of Phoenix, next to the already under construction facilities that were announced in 2020.The volume of investments, according to some reports, will be the same as 2 years ago - $ 12 billion.Image source: Maxence Pira/unsplash.comThe company began to actively develop chip production in the U.S.after Washington has promised semiconductor manufacturers all sorts of grants and incentives for the construction of enterprises on American soil.Future plant TSMC will produce chips in accordance with the 3-nm process, one of the most advanced to date.In TSMC said that the official ceremony of installation of the first batch of equipment for the manufacture of chips at the first plant in Arizona will be held in December - the beginning of construction was announced two years ago and the beginning of production is scheduled for 2024.While previously the company was going to produce 5-nm chips in Arizona, now we are talking about more advanced 4-nm variants.Mass production should begin in 2024.The timing of commissioning of the second plant is still unknown.The expansion indirectly indicates the manufacturers' optimism about the demand for semiconductors in the long term, even against the backdrop of disappointing market indicators for the current year.Demand for some chips collapsed after two years of rapid growth during the pandemic, during which demand for computer hardware and electronics skyrocketed.Many companies, including TSMC, had to go into savings mode and cut capital spending in the short term.Despite the downturn in the industry, semiconductor company executives still expect that in the next decade, global sales will exceed $1 trillion, so intensive investment in manufacturing infrastructure continues, especially since such plans in recent years are actively supported by the United States and Europe, hoping to move the \"center of power\" semiconductor industry from Asia.Intel and Micron are also trying to save money in the short term, while investing heavily in future projects based on strong demand.This year, the U.S.has distributed grants for chip production in the amount of $39 billion; the funds themselves will be allocated from next year.In addition, it also provides tax incentives for equipment for the production of semiconductors.Europe also intends to increase its production share in the global market of semiconductors up to 20% by 2030.Large plants typically take several years to build and equip, so companies must make investment decisions in advance.Image source: Robert Murray/unsplash.comThe enormous subsidies in the US and Europe for chip production are a reflection of political leaders realizing their critical importance in the military and civilian sectors.The active development of the relevant industry in China has caused deep concern in the West, after which the U.S.stopped promoting the idea of freedom of market relations and imposed tough sanctions on Chinese companies, which include a ban on both exports to the country of advanced chips and equipment for their production.In addition, the United States and its allies are concerned that the most advanced technologies of semiconductors are concentrated in Taiwan, an island that China considers part of its territory.It is known that in addition to the U.S., TSMC is considering expanding production in Japan and allows the construction of a multibillion-dollar plant in Singapore.
Samsung and TSMC are facing a ban on the sale of their components and electronics in the United States
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) intends to launch an investigation against Samsung and TSMC related to alleged infringement of the companies' patent rights related to chips and mobile devices based on them.Source image: SamsungThe USITC said the agency is launching an investigation based on a complaint filed in September by New York-based Daedalus Prime LLC.The complaint alleges a possible violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, adopted to protect U.S.businesses from foreign competitors.The complaint is reportedly related to chips manufactured by Samsung using 14nm and newer technologies as well as chips manufactured by TSMC using 16nm and smaller technology.The investigation will also cover smartphones, tablets and smart watches that use such semiconductors.In other words, there could be a huge array of cutting-edge electronics involved.In fact, the lawsuit demands to block the import and sale of all the patent-infringing products mentioned in the complaint.A separate complaint is reportedly filed by the same company against Qualcomm.According to media reports, Daedalus Prime is a classic patent troll, owning a number of rights to products or processes without any intention of manufacturing or implementing them.Such companies make money by licensing out technologies they have acquired in various ways or by filing lawsuits.The case in question is Intel technology, the rights to which Daedalus Prime acquired earlier this year.Apparently, so far, these are only a few of the investigations initiated by the USITC at Daedalus Prime's initiative.It is assumed that the company intends to make technobusinesses pay for the use of technologies, once patented by Intel - otherwise they will be threatened with a ban on the import of electronics in the United States.However, while the USITC said that it had not yet made any decisions related to these complaints.The agency intends to review the materials and evidence and establish the violation of Section 377 in the manner prescribed by law.Meanwhile, a few months ago, Intel announced the availability of another batch of about 5000 of its patents.These are technologies whose rights have not yet expired, but which are no longer cutting edge.Nevertheless, they can still bring Intel some income.
In Europe, the prices of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series graphics cards were much higher than in the U.S.- the cheapest one will cost €1099
NVIDIA before the announcement of graphics cards GeForce RTX 40-series reduced the recommended prices for previous generation graphics cards in Europe (for example, GeForce RTX 3090 became cheaper by €350).At the same time the company significantly raised the price of graphics cards GeForce RTX 40-series compared to its predecessors, and in Europe, the price increase was much more significant than in the U.S.Source image: NVIDIA The recommended prices in the U.S.for GeForce RTX 4090, RTX 4080 16GB and RTX 4080 12GB models are $1,599, $1,199 and $899 (excluding VAT).By comparison, at the launch of sales the GeForce RTX 3080 10GB video card in the U.S.was priced at $699.It turns out that the most affordable version of the GeForce RTX 4080 is $200 more expensive than its predecessor.In turn, the GeForce RTX 4080 16GB in the U.S.was $400 more expensive than the GeForce RTX 3080 12GB.And the flagship GeForce RTX 4090 is valued at $ 100 more expensive than the GeForce RTX 3090, but at the same time for $ 400 cheaper than the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti.The situation with the recommended prices in Europe is much worse.For example, in Germany the most affordable videocard of a new generation - GeForce RTX 4080 12GB - is evaluated by NVIDIA at 1099 euros (which is about the same as $1090)! In turn, GeForce RTX 4080 16GB and GeForce RTX 4090 got recommended prices of 1469 and 1949 euros respectively.Of course, German prices include VAT, which is 19%.However, in the past, European prices were not that much different from American prices.For example, the already mentioned GeForce RTX 3080 10GB got a recommended price tag of 719 euros in Germany.GeForce RTX 3080 Ti was sold in the U.S.and Germany for the same price of 1199, the only difference is that in the U.S.it was dollars, and in Germany - the euro.But now the difference has become huge - the European were more than 20% higher than the American.And this applies not only to Germany, but to all of Europe.For example in Poland the cheapest video card of new generation is valued at 5,299 zlotys or 1,117 euros according to the current exchange rate.
Intel intends to fight the U.S.semiconductor industry's staffing hunger decisively
Yesterday's announcement by Intel executives to allocate $50 million for research and training in Ohio for the current decade had good reason to be alive.The U.S.Department of Commerce estimates that there are now only 66 available workers for every 100 open jobs in the country.With the development of U.S.semiconductor industry the need for personnel will be measured by 280 thousand jobs, so Intel intends to actively fund educational programs.Image source: IntelThe allocation of $50 million to the appropriate needs of the state of Ohio is not limited to, as explained by representatives of the corporation.Another $50 million over the next ten years will be spent on developing educational initiatives around the country, and an additional $50 million will come in the form of federal grants.The package of laws supporting the semiconductor industry and science, signed by the US president recently, was designed to subsidize research and training at a cost of $13.2 billion.Intel alone is planning to hire up to 6,700 highly skilled professionals in Ohio, Arizona and New Mexico in the coming years.Thousands of jobs will appear in Oregon, and given the extensive ecosystem of partners and suppliers, the number of new jobs will run into the tens of thousands.Intel officials in this context recall a statement by former chairman Andy Grove: \"The ingredient we start with is sand.Everything else is values created by people\".Already in the coming years, Intel in cooperation with the U.S.National Science Foundation will spend $10 million to train qualified personnel for the semiconductor industry.It will cover colleges that provide two years of professional training, as well as universities with a four-year training program.Special attention, in the spirit of the times, will be given to training women and various kinds of minorities not historically represented in the industry.By 2030, Intel intends to increase the percentage of women in technical positions to 40 percent.According to the company, if nothing is done now to train the workforce, it could result in an industry-wide loss of $1 trillion at the end of the decade, and the number of unfilled jobs in the U.S.could rise to 2.1 million positions.
Intel inaugurated construction of two plants in Ohio - they will start producing advanced chips by 2025
U.S.authorities' delay in approving a $52 billion package of legislation to subsidize the construction of semiconductor facilities in the country has delayed Intel's schedule for building two facilities in Ohio somewhat, but only on a ceremonial level.The president of the United States, the governor of the state and the head of Intel attended the ceremony this week.Image source: IntelAccording to a press release on Intel's website, other officials of various levels attended the grand opening ceremony for the Ohio site.While Intel's intentions to spend $20 billion to build facilities in Ohio have long been known, this week the company emphasized a related educational initiative.As clarified, it will allocate $50 million over ten years to core educational programs in Ohio that will cover more than 80 institutions in the state.Over the next three years alone, Intel will allocate $17.7 million to support research and educational programs, which will be distributed among eight academic institutions in Ohio.Over the next three years, this program will provide training for about 9,000 graduates, and 2,300 students will become recipients of targeted scholarships.About 7,000 people will be employed directly in the construction of plants in Ohio, and in the long term, they will provide jobs for about 3,000 skilled professionals.As Intel representatives once again stressed, the company's two new facilities in Ohio will focus not only on manufacturing products for its own needs, but will also serve the interests of third-party customers.Earlier it was explained, that it will be in Ohio, where advanced lithographic scanners ASML with high value of numerical aperture, which in the future will allow to produce products with Intel 18A technology.It will allow Intel to regain technological leadership in lithography by the middle of the decade.In addition to its own products, Intel is already considering making advanced products in Ohio for several customers.Most likely, the talk is about representatives of defense industry interested in getting American-made products that meet the latest criteria.Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger thanked representatives from the U.S.Presidential Administration, Congress and state leadership for their assistance in the company's effort to \"restore the deserved U.S.position as a leader in the advanced chip manufacturing\".In the coming years, Intel will build two new facilities in Arizona, expand its production capacity in New Mexico, and improve its research center in Oregon, which will focus on developing advanced packaging techniques for semiconductor components and innovations in lithography.It will house an experimental production line that will allow advanced engineering ideas to be tested at prototype level.
MIT professor suspected of spying for China helped discover \"best material\" for semiconductor manufacturing
A team of researchers at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced the discovery that cubic boron arsenide has better characteristics for microchip production than silicon, calling it \"the best material for semiconductors ever found.Notably, the team that made the discovery included a scientist of Chinese descent, previously suspected of spying for China.Image source: Muzammil Soorma/unsplash.comIn July, scientists from MIT, University of Houston and other academic institutions have proven that cubic boron arsenide conducts both heat and electricity better than the commonly used silicon in semiconductor production.According to the study, cubic boron arsenide is 10 times more efficient conductor of heat than silicon.It is also a better conductor for both electrons and electron holes - this is especially important for semiconductor performance.Materials like boron arsenide, if they can be used commercially, could change the \"rules of the game\" in the industry.The research team included Gang Chen (Gang Chen), formerly head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT - for a year he was under investigation for suspicion of espionage, after which the U.S.Department of Justice dropped the charges for insufficient evidence.According to Fortune, during the Trump era, the Justice Department's China Initiative began investigating dozens of Chinese scientists and Chinese-American scientists, accusing them of having ties to Chinese agencies to transfer advanced technology to Beijing.It could be decades before commercial use of boron arsenide chips - if the technology is even recognized as suitable for use.Nevertheless, the material is expected to produce better, faster and more compact chips than today - results that, according to Fotrune, the U.S.could be deprived of because of pressure on specialists like Chen.Image source: Lucas Vasques/unsplash.comIt is known that authorities arrested the Chinese-born Chen (naturalized in the United States back in 2000), in January 2021.He was accused, among other things, of hiding ties to Chinese agencies in grant applications from the U.S.Department of Energy.The prosecutors stressed the allegiance to China.The scientific community, including scientists at MIT, criticized the arrest and wrote an open letter saying, \"They are all Gan Chen.Under President Joe Biden, the Justice Department dropped all charges after the Department of Energy reported that no one had ever asked for information about Gang Chen's ties to China.A month after the Chen case was dismissed, the Justice Department also terminated the China Initiative.Scientists stressed that this \"witch hunt\" discourages researchers - particularly those from China - from moving to the United States, making the United States unable to capitalize on their intellectual potential.According to one study, the U.S.would need to increase the staff of semiconductor manufacturing specialists by 50 percent in order to shift the center of chip production from Asia to North America.At the same time, talent will have to be recruited from abroad, including China.
Former president of Arm left the board of directors of Chinese SMIC
The worsening controversy between the PRC and the United States, provoked by the recent visit to Taiwan of American Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi, touched the activities of those companies that work in the segment of semiconductor components production.After nine years on the board of directors of SMIC, former Arm president Tudor Brown was forced to announce his departure from the position.Image source: Ceres Power HoldingsThis move by the industry veteran, who was president of British processor architecture developer Arm until May 2012, was reported by Bloomberg with reference to his personal comments on the social network LinkedIn.Tudor Brown admitted that he regretted leaving the board of directors of Chinese contract chip maker SMIC, where he had served for the previous nine years.He held the post of president of Arm from 1990 to 2012, but left it even before the British developer bought the Japanese corporation SoftBank.According to Tudor Brown, international controversy in recent times only intensified, which forced him to leave the board of directors of the Chinese company SMIC.It became known recently that the U.S.export control rules were tightened and now China's SMIC will not be able to receive from any supplier lithographic equipment using U.S.technology suitable for the production of chips at 14nm and coarser, although previously the border was held at 10nm.According to independent experts, this has not prevented SMIC from setting up last summer's supply of components with characteristics close to the 7nm products of Taiwan's TSMC.
AMD to unveil Radeon RX 7000 graphics cards tonight
AMD will unveil Radeon RX 7000 graphics cards on the latest RDNA 3 architecture graphics processors tonight. The start of the presentation,...