Chinese Chip Makers Seek Ways to Avoid US Sanctions

The US government targeted China in October, imposing sweeping sanctions against the semiconductor and supercomputer industries. After this step, there was a loss of 240 billion dollars in general share value in the global semiconductor industry. As the months pass, the revenue losses experienced by US-based companies become clear. There is another important detail. According to Applied Materials, a supplier of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, Chinese companies are redesigning their process technologies to circumvent the new rules. can overhaul.

The latest US export regulations focus on manufacturing logic chips with 14nm/16nm and more advanced transistors, as well as 3D NAND with 128 layers or more. We can say that all of these are highly advanced process technologies that are widely used today. The key point is that it is necessary to use tools from US companies such as Applied Materials, KLA and Lam Research to produce such chips.

To procure wafer factory equipment covered by the new rules, an export license from the US Department of Commerce is required. US companies, on the other hand, think that any shipments to key Chinese companies such as SMIC and YMTC will not be approved.

Applied Materials has stated that some of its customers may adjust their process technologies to avoid new regulations. While the company refrains from saying everything outright, we get it like this: It is said that SMIC can move to a 17nm manufacturing process, while YMTC can reduce the number of active 3D NAND layers in its chips.

For example, if SMIC transitions from 14nm to 17nm, they will need to significantly modify their current designs to meet their performance and power targets. Also, lower transistor density means larger die sizes. This will affect costs, yield and even packaging dimensions.

How Much is the Loss of Income?

Applied Materials, a major wafer equipment manufacturer, says the new sanctions imposed by the US government will cause $2.5 billion in losses in fiscal 2023. This loss of $ 2.5 billion corresponds to 10% of the company’s revenue.

Source: Technopat by

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