A resilient semiconductor supply chain is pivotal to the global economy, and the world has learned it the hard way over the past two years. Industry leaders who spoke on the US-Taiwan High-Tech Forum (UTHTF) hosted by the North America Taiwanese Engineering Association (NATEA) contributed their experience and wisdom on how to create a sound and resilient supply chain amid opportunities and challenges in the post-pandemic era.
Under the impact of 5G, COVID-19, EV and US-China trade war, decentralized production mechanism coupled with the local demand of regional markets is to forge new industrial ecosystems. The mass production mechanism that we know well has brought tremendous business opportunities, but it is faced with strong threats of disintegration. The top-down decision-making normality is subject to change as a result of multiple interlaced needs. Many business leaders are learning how to find the best decision-making model with a broader vision.
From government to businesses, India is accelerating its pace to keep up with the wave of global vehicle electrification. India hopes to rid itself of uneasiness caused by the mass amount of energy it has imported during the petroleum age, but the age of electrification may bring even more instability to India's energy security.
We understand that the semiconductor processes upgrade from 90nm to 28nm relies on "copper interconnect" technology. Low dielectric insulators and high dielectric metal gate materials have received much attention. From 28nm to 16/14nm and 10nm, the focus is on structural innovation. Everyone refers to FD-SOI, FinFET architecture. Progressing to the cutting-edge process of 7nm and below, industrial players of course hope to gain the advantages of both to achieve a breakthrough in the node process technology. Therefore, besides EUV lithography, it is essential to explore structure innovation on GAAFET and make a breakthrough in the material innovation of boron nitride (hBN) and transition metal dichalcogenides. This is what we understand the innovation path of the node process technology.
From 5G wireless communications to electrical vehicles (EV), open architectures, such as open radio access network (O-RAN) and MIH open EV development platform, are serving as an increasingly crucial gateway for more tech players to enter the relatively closed telecom and carmaking sectors.
During a recent radio interview I was asked to comment on the US government's request for customer information from leading semiconductor companies. We are all aware that Americans are very good at asking questions, and Taiwanese and Koreans know well how to answer the questions. We can feedback properly on all product specifications defined by the Americans. But this time the Americans may be asking the wrong questions and Taiwanese and Koreans are likely to get them wrong or even give irrelevant answers.
Third-generation gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors are competing for use in power devices in future cars. Efficiency in using GaN devices depends on design in circuit boards and matched use of collaborative devices. Bosch announced that the company would invest more than EUR 400 million (approximately US$464 million) at its factories in Germany and Malaysia, as the chip shortages continue hobbling the automotive industry.
The rapid growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market is driving the growth of power semiconductors. It has also increased the introduction of third-generation silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors in mid-to-high voltage EVs, particularly in the main inverter and onboard charger (OBC) due to their high-power usage. The high-voltage resistance, high-temperature resistance and high-frequency features will make SiC power components the first choice.
Third-generation gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors are competing for use in power devices in future cars. While SiC has taken the lead thanks to Tesla, GaN is not too far behind.
Samsung Electronics has made a bold plan to triple its foundry production capacity by 2026. However, the global chip shortage remains serious in many industries, and lacking client support may bring more risks to the company. Overall, semiconductors will remain a seller's market in the fourth quarter of 2021 through the first half of 2022. Networking chip supplier, Realtek Semiconductor expects its shipment growth momentum to persist into the first half of 2022.
Mark Zuckerberg officially announced Facebook has changed its company name to Meta. During the Facebook Connect 2021 conference, Zuckerberg said the new name would better encompass the company's focus on the "metaverse." In the future, the company will view and report performance based on different business natures, one being its application business and the other dedicated to future platform business development.
Recent messages from friends in IT industry indicate that: commercial notebook sales continue to grow; consumer notebook sales are declining; high-end gaming PC demand remains on a growth track; server demand still strong; and everybody is upbeat about EV's business potential.
The sustainability of Moore's Law, an observation made by Gordon Moore in 1965 that the number of transistors on a chip would double every 18 months, has been in the center of debate for ages. The debate has become even more heated as the foundry process enters the 2-nanometer node. However, industry experts are seeing the complexity of systems driving new directions of technology evolutions.