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Samsung challenges the challenge from the US and China in the global chip war

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, President of the United States Joe Biden, Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission, respectively, plan to spend billions of dollars in order to reduce dependence on foreign-made computer chips At that time, the world supply chain seemed to be reformed.

But Samsung, the world’s largest producer of analysts and memory chips, does not expect the South Korean group to be replaced soon.

A senior Samsung executive told the Financial Times at a factory in southern Seoul, “I believe we can sustain our market share for the foreseeable future.”

US, China and Europe are fighting to boost investment in the sector after a pandemic Insufficient car chips Exacerbated the fear of relying on foreign manufacturers of key technologies.

Biden suggested $ 50 billion plan Xi is working on spending for chip manufacturing and research Over $ 1 trillion Focuses on the high-tech industry, especially semiconductors.

But the analyst said Samsung leadership It is unlikely that you will be challenged imminently.

“If we have a new foundry that will be online by 2025, we will practically start construction by the end of this year,” said Velu Sinha, a partner at Bain & Company. “Therefore, it’s unlikely that something will happen in the next few years and the mix will change.”

Samsung has dominated the production of drum chips and nando chips for decades. The former allows for short-term storage of graphics, mobile and server chips, and the latter allows files and data to be stored without power.

However, the company’s warnings to challengers were not based solely on past performance. Samsung also believes its position is safe, both due to advances in manufacturing technology and the high cost of manufacturing chips.

“Currently, the pace of the transition is accelerating. It’s very difficult for incumbents like Samsung to continue their research and investment,” executives said. “It’s not easier for other suppliers.”

Since 1974 — Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul and his son Lee Kun Hee Dodging skepticism from the management team, it funded the company’s first investment in semiconductors. Hordes of engineers have focused on the single task of finding a way to store more data on smaller chips. The company packed 16 billion cells into a thumbnail-sized drum chip, a significant improvement over the 64mbits of the 1990s.

The complexity and scale of manufacturing state-of-the-art chips poses a serious challenge for companies and governments trying to take control of Samsung.

Inside the intestines of an ordinary skyscraper on the company’s campus in Huacheng, southern Seoul, a mechanical arm suspended from the ceiling is a stack of wafers that are flakes of silicon extracted from sand. Pick up the plastic container that contains the and whisk it. Next destination. For about three months, the wafer goes through a series of automated steps such as etching, cleaning, and schematic drawing. Some of these processes are repeated hundreds of times.

As of the end of 2020, Samsung accounted for 15% of the world’s total production capacity for these wafers. As a result, Samsung has surpassed the world’s Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Largest producer of processor chips, And memory chip rivals Micron and SK Hynix.

Samsung also points to leadership in intellectual property and engineering experience as evidence to defend its position.

The most important of these is the use of extreme UV lithography in the manufacture of DRAM chips. EUV is a gradual change from deep UV lithography. In other words, it is possible to gradually draw minute circuits into the chip. The result is a significant increase in power and energy efficiency.

Samsung, TSMC, Intel use EUV technology To make a state-of-the-art advanced processor chip. However, the Korean company said it was ahead of its competitors by leveraging joint R & D centers for both processor chips and memory to develop drum chip technology.

Spending by Asia’s largest chipmakers is also lower than promised by Washington, Brussels and even Beijing.

Rush into Chinese chips

According to market research group IC Insights, Samsung has spent $ 93.2 billion on semiconductors over the last three years, twice as much as all semiconductor suppliers in China combined.

“Can governments like the EU, US and China catch up?” [semiconductor] Technology competition between Samsung and TSMC? Given how late they are. .. .. Governments need to spend at least $ 30 billion a year for a minimum of five years to get a reasonable chance of success, “said IC Insight.

South Korean policy makers are also planning tax cuts and other incentives for chip manufacturing champions. Analysts expected Samsung to announce increased capital investment in its processor chip business this month, including investment in the United States.

Nevertheless, the Chinese challenger is slow Make a profit..

Dan Wang, a Shanghai-based technology analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, pointed out Yangtze Memory Technologies and Changxin Memory Technologies, which are hunting down about 3% of their respective Nand and Dram markets.

“The two companies employ a large number of Korean engineers who make up the majority of the global talent in memory chips. Most of today’s industry expects YMTC to become an important global player in three to five years. “I do,” Wang wrote in a memo.

Bain’s Sinha said China’s chip sector is showing signs of a gradual departure from “western origin” technology. But he warned that he did not expect incumbents in the global industry to change in the next three to five years.

“Alternatives have emerged that will allow China’s ecosystems to continue to grow affluently,” he said.

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Samsung challenges the challenge from the US and China in the global chip war

Source link Samsung challenges the challenge from the US and China in the global chip war

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