Weekly news roundup: CSIA executive advises China's chip industry to prioritize practical wins over advanced node pursuits

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


These are the most-read DIGITIMES Asia stories in the week of May 20 – May 24.

CSIA executive urges China chip industry to forget about advanced nodes and focus on tangible victory

At China's IC Manufacturing Annual Conference and Supply Chain Innovation Forum on May 22, Ye Tianchun, president of the Integrated Circuit Branch of the China Semiconductor Industry Association, emphasized the importance of upgrading technologies at the mature nodes. He also listed five major blind spots in China's semiconductor industry and said Chinese chips might regress to mid-to-low-end levels within three to five years.

Qualcomm confirms license to sell to Huawei has been revoked; patent licensing business unaffected

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) confirmed that it had revoked certain licenses after the agency reportedly retracted the licenses of Intel and Qualcomm to sell notebook and smartphone chips to Huawei. Intel has downgraded its revenue forecast for the second quarter of 2024. Qualcomm confirmed in a government filing that the DOC had revoked the company's licenses to export 4G and some other IC products, including Wi-Fi products, to Huawei and related entities.

TSMC mass produces Tesla's Dojo AI training tiles, eying 40x power boost by 2027

At its 2024 North America Technology Symposium, TSMC said the company has begun making Tesla's next-generation Dojo AI training tiles with its InFO_SoW (Integrated Fan-Out System-on-Wafer) technology, aiming for a 40x increase in computing power by 2027 with a more complex wafer-level system. The foundry also disclosed its latest roadmaps for chip manufacturing and packaging advancements, paving the way for ultra-high-performance systems built on entire wafers.

PCB suppliers optimistic about iPhone's AI benefits; Huawei's flagship smartphone chips face supply shortage

While some reports suggested that Apple's lack of innovative momentum would affect its outlook, companies on the PCB supply chain that are also long-time iPhone suppliers said the rapid development of AI could be a significant boon for Apple. They expected Apple's first AI smartphone to be the iPhone 17, which is scheduled to be announced in 2025. The tech giant will likely release two new foldable devices in each half of 2026.

TSMC 3nm chip output to rise over 300% in 2024, says fab director

K. Hwang, TSMC's senior director for Fab 18B, said the company is ramping up 3nm chip production, which in 2024 will surpass three times that of 2023. Hwang made the remark and shared other details on the foundry's capacity development strategy and future fab projects at the Taiwan session of TSMC's annual technology symposium. The director said that while TSMC is expanding its production capacity for 3nm technology, the shortage continues.

Despite increased EV tariffs, BYD makes its way into US 'backyard'

Leading China-based EV maker BYD launched its first pickup truck in Mexico at a high-profile event as the US announced a tariff hike on seven categories of Chinese imports, including a 100% tariff on EVs. However, Chinese EV companies do not seem to be deterred by the move. They continue to expand primarily to the Latin American and European markets. The tariff increase on Chinese EVs will be symbolic because they do not rely on sales in America.

Lead times for Nvidia chips shortened

Industry sources said the lead time for Nvidia's H100 datacenter GPU has been shortened from a year to 20 weeks. However, demand for the chip and the other high-end AI chips from the GPU vendor, such as the GH200, is still high. Sources said primary customers like cloud service providers have begun placing orders for Nvidia's B200 and GB200, which will be released in September and are expected to be the most potent AI processors in history.