When it comes to China’s ambitions in the chip manufacturing sector, the U.S. government is prepared to apply pressure. Tim Archer, CEO of Lam Research Corp., stated that the United States is expanding its prohibition on chipmaking equipment created in the country and supplied to Chinese enterprises.
Remember that the United States government currently forbids the sale of equipment that creates chips with a 10nm or smaller cadence. That prohibition now also applies to the equipment required to make semiconductors smaller than 14 nm. This most recent ban would undermine China’s aspirations to compete with TSMC, Samsung, and, to a lesser extent, Intel as a chipmaking superpower.
Tim Archer commented in a report published by Bloomberg:
“That’s the change, I think, people have been thinking might be coming and we’re prepared to fully comply. We’re working with the U.S. government.”
-CEO Tim Archer
Archer added that the new export licensing requirements appear to only apply to logic chips and have no bearing on memory chips.
Intriguingly, the US Senate and House just enacted the CHIPS Act, allocating $52 billion to support American semiconductor producers, at the same time as the US government is tightening restrictions on China. “To increase semiconductor advanced test, assembly, and packaging capabilities in the domestic ecosystem,” reads the purpose of the CHIPS Act.
With the global economies constantly on the verge of overpowering each other, China and United States are evidently in a “technology war”. When it comes to the growth of semiconductor manufacturers, the adoption of the CHIPS Act will prove to be a strong incentive.