China's semiconductor self-sufficiency drive slid backwards in 2020

5.9 percent of silicon made at home now, goal is 70 percent in 2025 and the USA's sanctions seem to be biting


China-owned silicon manufacturers' domestic market share has slipped below six percent, according to analyst firm IC Insights, suggesting the nation's goal of silicon semi-self-sufficiency in just four years time is in strife.

The firm's 2021 edition of The McClean Report — A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry said China's chip-makers supply 5.9 percent of the nation's needs, down 0.2 percent since the May 2020 edition of the report.

The slip comes despite China making chip production for domestic consumption and export a priority with policies like the “Made in China 2025” policy that calls for homegrown products accounting for 70 percent of domestic total semiconductor needs by 2025. Tax cuts and other initiatives commenced to accelerate the supply with larger subsidies going to chipmakers manufacturing with smaller process nodes.

Cisco reveals a probe of 'self-enrichment scheme' involving ex-employees in China

READ MORE

One project aimed at helping China to reach its goal, a Chinese-owned 7nm foundry in Wuhan called the Wuhan Hongxin Project, was inhibited by both the COVID-19 pandemic and funding issues. Ninety percent of a promised $20bn never materialised, while problems gaining permits, supplies and even land meant the project has not gone ahead.

The uphill battle comes amid technology bans from the US that have hindered the Middle Kingdom’s efforts.

In August of last year, The US Commerce Department further narrowed Huawei access to American chip-making technology in retaliation for the company not taking America's trade restrictions seriously. The supply chain was further choked by the USA's Clean Networks plan.

Another US tactic to production came in December 2020, when China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), was added to a Treasury Department entity list that prevents acquisition of some US technologies and requires business exporting to SMIC have a specific license. SMIC told investors in December 2020 that US sanctions were a long-term hassle but claimed they wouldn’t impact operations. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022