China: Getting Serious about Chips?

August 14, 2020

DarkCyber spotted a write up that suggests greater intention in chip design and fabrication. “China Hires over 100 TSMC Engineers in Push for Chip Leadership” reports:

The hirings are aimed at helping Beijing achieve its goal of fostering a domestic chip industry in order to cut China’s reliance on foreign suppliers, the sources said. Quanxin Integrated Circuit Manufacturing (Jinan), better known as QXIC, and Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., or HSMC, along with their various associate and affiliate companies, are little-known outside the industry. But in addition to employing more than 50 former TSMC employees each, both are also led by ex-TSMC executives with established reputations in the chip world. The two projects are aiming to develop 14-nanometer and 12-nanometer chip process technologies, which are two to three generations behind TSMC but still the most cutting-edge in China.

Two observations:

China’s industrialized training of electrical engineers, material scientists, and physicists is humming along. However, more is needed, and China wants that more to be supplied by hiring professionals from TSMC.

Second, the write up makes clear that China appears to be hiring those who are okay Chinese. Does that mean that employees who say one thing and do another may not realize that when a good opportunity arises, those individuals will seize upon it?

Interesting and significant action underway it seems by China’s big picture thinkers.

Stephen E Arnold, August 14, 2020

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