Semiconductor News Roundup (Oct. 23, 2020)

HUAWEI BEGINS TO FACE DIFFICULTIES DUE TO U.S. CHIP BAN

Huawei released its business results today, for the first three quarters of the year reporting a 9.9% increase in revenue over the same period last year. However, it noted that its “global supply is being put under intense pressure and its production and operations face significant challenges.”

While it implied that the global pandemic was the cause, the Wall Street Journal noted that the company is “nearly six weeks into a new era in which it no longer has access to the global market for computing chips,” due to a U.S. ban and just announced what may be its last smartphone to run on chips designed by the company itself.

Although Huawei has attempted to stockpile its supply, it has yet to find a viable solution going forward as it currently remains unable to manufacture chips without U.S. technology.

SOUTH KOREA’S SK HYNIX TO ACQUIRE INTEL NAND MEMORY AND STORAGE BUSINESS

On Monday, Intel announced that it was selling its NAND memory and storage business to SK Hynix of South Korea for $9 billion, which includes the following:

  • The NAND SSD business
  • The NAND component and wafer business; and
  • The Dalian NAND memory facility in China.

Earlier this month South Korea’s ICT Ministry announced a goal to develop up to 50 types of artificial intelligence focused chips, an area that McKinsey has deemed “one of the best opportunities in decades” and the country continues to strengthen its position in semiconductors through this latest acquisition.

For its part, Intel stated that it would invest transaction proceeds to further growth in artificial intelligence and 5G networking among other areas.

Government approvals for the deal are expected to occur in late 2021.

CHINA SEEKS TO TIGHTEN COORDINATION OF SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY

Following the U.S. Ban on China’s use of its semiconductor technology, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday that the country’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) would increase supervision of new entrants in the chip industry amidst the governments efforts to increase internal chip development and manufacturing.

Amidst rising domestic investment, the NDRC plans to:

  • Work with other state departments to more closely supervise semiconductor projects
  • Work to strengthen top level design
  • Pay close attention to industrial planning and layout
  • Coordinate with banks and funds in the financial industry; and
  • Guide local governments to strengthen their awareness of the risks of major project construction


Categories: 5G, AI, Computing, Digital economy, Regional Advantage

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