Weekly news roundup: Huawei seeks complete independence from Android with 'Pure-Blooded Harmony'

Jerry Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


These are the most-read DIGITIMES Asia stories in the week of January 22-26:

Huawei unleashes HarmonyOS, breaks free from Android to challenge iOS

After nearly five years of refinement and external pressure from US export controls, Huawei's long-planned Hongmeng OS Galaxy Edition has officially been unveiled. This marks the complete independence of HarmonyOS NEXT, effectively severing ties with the Android system. Huawei dubbed this "the Thousand Sails Sailing" project, aiming to fully establish the Harmony ecosystem system, with official commercial use set for the fourth quarter of 2024.

China imports over 400 lithography machines from the Netherlands in past five years

According to data from the General Administration of Customs of China, excluding equipment for wafer and display manufacturing, China imported semiconductor equipment for IC manufacturing worth US$27.4 billion in 2023, up 46.48% from a year ago. Chinese imports of IC manufacturing equipment doubled every month since September, with imports in December, ahead of the month when the Netherlands' export curbs on advanced semiconductor equipment took effect, increasing by 190.27% in value terms and 29.28% in unit terms.

CXMT and YMTC to step up development pace

ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) and Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) have accelerated their development using distinct strategies. CXMT allows for commercial production of processes as small as 18.5nm, bypassing the US Department of Commerce's restrictions on processes smaller than 18nm, according to industry sources. Despite US sanctions barring China from acquiring DRAM production equipment and technology smaller than 18nm, CXMT has notified US authorities that its alleged 17nm process falls short of the actual standard, the sources indicated.

Singapore repitch incentives for TSMC to produce advanced chips there

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) recently disclosed its overseas expansion progress and plans in its earnings report conference on January 18 and expressed interest in building a second fab in Japan. Surprisingly, supply chain sources said TSMC's success in Japan has inspired Singapore to pitch even better incentives to attract investments from TSMC. Singapore's latest incentives will provide tax breaks and subsidies besides the government's all-out support for land, water, electricity, and talent supplies.

China says may retaliate against US' 'hegemonic' chip war

China will need to "respond" to the US's efforts to choke it off from chip supplies, Beijing's ambassador in The Hague said in an interview with a Dutch newspaper. But there is no need for the European Union to get swept up in the fight, he said. "If the Americans treat us in a hegemonic manner, we will respond," said Tan Jian, Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands, in an interview with NRC published Sunday. "But our relationship with the EU should not be affected."

DRAM and NAND flash prices may rise through 4Q24

DRAM and NAND flash memory prices may continue to rise until the fourth quarter of 2024 if suppliers maintain tight control over production, according to TrendForce. According to the most recent analysis by TrendForce, the eight-quarter decline in DRAM contract prices that had persisted since the fourth quarter of 2021 was ultimately halted in the fourth quarter of 2023. In the third quarter of 2023, NAND flash memory prices experienced a recovery following four quarters of decrease.

China-based semiconductor equipment suppliers expected to continue surging growth in 2024

Amid the semiconductor cycle that is nearing or has reached its bottom, the rising demands for AI and EVs, and indigenization in packaging and testing, semiconductor equipment suppliers in China are expected to benefit, winning more orders from local customers. Naura Technology, a China-based chipmaking tool giant providing various etching equipment, such as etching, PVD, and CVD, has reported record sales and profit for the past nine years.