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  • Writer's pictureDavid Harold

China = Chips

Reported in Electronics Weekly, Malcolm Penn, CEO of Future Horizons, said that China semiconductor capex is now nearly half of global semi capex. Penn apparently said this is “a serious red flag” and, knowing him, the pun was very much intended, while the point was seriously meant. With China chip production expected to be up 60% in the next three years, this is a big proof that China’s strategy to ‘home grow’ a chip industry was crucial and correct. For China. 


While the boom in fab growth is global, China is ahead with 18 new fabs this year alone. What this means is not just a control of pricing but also standards. What China supports, global players will need to support too. 


The trade war will probably get worse as the USA attempts to resist the rising red tide, especially if Trump gets in again. Meanwhile, says EW, the EU is targeting 20% share for fab, which increasingly looks unrealistic. For chip business strategy, not having a robust plan for access for China is foolhardy in the extreme and yet I hear anti China sentiment almost daily from peers. 


I’ve said before that the “Next Arm” could be Chinese and based on a combination of RISV-V CPU, and architectures for GPU either built on RISC-V or acquired from the small number of remaining western GPU players (Imagination, X-Silicon, Think Silicon etc.) 


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