Newsletter: 5-11 December 2022

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The Netherlands is reportedly considering tightening export controls on semiconductor manufacturing machinery to China

According to Bloomberg, the Dutch authorities are preparing, in consultation with the US, to introduce export controls on exports of semiconductor manufacturing machinery to China by January 2023. On 7 October, the US tightened export control rules to China for multiple technology components. The Biden administration requires Chinese companies importing these components to prove that their production is not then destined for the Chinese military industry. Since 2019, the US government has reportedly been pressuring the Dutch government to suspend the export licence of the Dutch company ASML to China for its most advanced machines (production of semiconductors of 7 nanometers and below). According to Reuters, the US administration last year opposed the export to China of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines manufactured by ASML and needed to accelerate production of the most advanced semiconductors.

Taiwanese investment growth in the US and confirmation of a 1nm TSMC plant in Taiwan

GlobalWafers has just inaugurated, on December 1st, the start of the construction of a new plant, in Sherman, Texas, dedicated to the production of 300mm wafers from 2024. The investment is estimated at USD 5 billion. For its part, TSMC made several key announcements during the inauguration, in the presence of President Joe Biden, of the first of its factories in Arizona. This first factory will produce 4nm chips (instead of 5nm) to meet the needs of its customers, and in particular Apple. TSMC then announced the construction of a second production site in Arizona, for 3nm process chips, to go into production in 2026. In total, TSMC plans to invest USD 40 billion in Arizona, “the largest FDI in Arizona’s history and one of the largest in the history of the United States”. At the same time, Taiwan did not fail to confirm, through the voice of the General Manager of the Hsinchu Science Park, Wayne Wang, the construction of a new TSMC 1nm process plant in Longtan.

Semiconductor cooperation: strengthening economic relations between Taiwan, Slovakia, Czech Republic …….. and Poland is in the running 

During the visit of Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister TSAI Ming-yen to Bratislava, Taiwan and Slovakia signed three Memoranda of Understanding to strengthen bilateral trade, start-up and development exchanges and talent training in the semiconductor sector. Taiwanese President Tsai in-wen received on 6 December a Polish parliamentary delegation visiting Taipei, led by Waldemar ANDZEL. Mr Andzel visited the Hsinchu Science Park and the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute. He was able to convey Poland’s wish to welcome Taiwanese investments in the semiconductor and new technology sector. Finally, the Foxconn group recently announced that it had increased its investment in its Czech subsidiary Foxteq CZ by almost 59 million dollars. The Taiwanese group has been present in the Czech Republic since the early 2000s and currently operates a research and development centre, a product design centre and a production base there, where Foxconn produces displays, mobile phones, wireless communication devices and cloud servers.

India’s Tata Group confirms its interest in the semiconductor industry and plans to produce in India

Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran has confirmed to an Asian news agency that the Tata Group plans to launch new businesses in emerging areas such as semiconductors and electric vehicles. For this, the group has set up a dedicated subsidiary in 2020, “Tata Electronics, under which we will set up a semiconductor testing and assembly business. “We will have discussions with several players,” added Natarajan Chandrasekaran. Partnerships with existing chipmakers (in the US, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea) are being considered. Tata has already announced a semiconductor design and development partnership with Renesas Electronics in June 2022.

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