Taiwan deepens squeeze on chip tech leakage to China

Taiwan, citing national security reasons, has banned exports to mainland China of know-how and raw materials that can be used to make chips smaller than 14 nanometers.

Advanced chip-making technology is now one of 22 core technologies that Taiwan does not want Beijing to obtain, according to the island’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). 

The list, which covers the defense, aerospace, agricultural, semiconductor and cybersecurity sectors, took effect immediately after its announcement on Wednesday (December 6). 

“If people have the knowhow to make chips below 14nm, they can make many other chips,” Chen Kwo-liang, director general of the NSTC’s Department of Foresight and Innovation Policies said, citing the opinion of an official advisory board formed by industry experts and academics. 

Chen said Taiwan, taking cues from other countries, would control the exports of a list of items including chip-making equipment, gas and chemical products used in making chips below 14nm. 

In July, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry imposed export regulations on 23 types of advanced chip-making equipment and raw materials. 

“The announcement of a core technologies list is aimed at protecting Taiwanese firms’ commercial secrets. Anyone who steals these technologies or illegally exports them should be punished under the national security law,” Chen said. 

Last year, Taiwan passed an amendment to its national security law in which those who steal national core technologies for overseas “hostile forces” will face fixed-term imprisonment of between five to 12 years and fines of between NT$5 million (US$158,973) and NT$100 million. 

Taiwan also amended its Cross-Strait Act in 2022 to require its national engineers with core technological skills to apply for permits if they want to work for mainland Chinese firms but have not left their previous positions for three years. 

Liang Mong-song’s case

The NSTC said it spent a year creating the core technologies list and it will unveil another extended list around March or April 2024.

The latest announcement came after Huawei Technologies launched its Mate60 Pro smartphone, which used a 7nm processor made by the Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), in late August.

Technology experts said SMIC’s chief executive Liang Mong-song and his team could have made a breakthrough in the N+2 technology, which can make high-energy 7nm processors with deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography.

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s leading chip foundry, achieved the technology seven years earlier. Liang had worked for TSMC from 1992-2009.

TSMC is the world’s leading chip producer. Image: Twitter Screengrab / Digitimes

In October 2022, the United States banned American engineers from working for Chinese chip-makers, forcing them to choose between their jobs in China and their US nationality. But that rule did not affect Liang as he is Taiwanese.

Chinese commentators said if Liang is targeted with legal action by Taiwan, he can stay on the mainland for the rest of his life and be a hero in China’s chip sector. However, younger Taiwanese chip engineers may have to rethink their career plans due to the new core technologies list.

“As the US, Japan and South Korea have in recent years strengthened their laws to protect their strategic industries and core technologies, most Taiwanese companies agree that the Taiwanese government should follow suit,” Huang Chun-chien, director of the Mainland China Affairs Division under Taiwan’s Chinese National Federation of Industries, says in an article published by the United Daily News. 

“However, some Taiwanese companies are worried that they will face problems when relocating their core technicians to mainland China,” he says.

If Taiwan keeps expanding its core technologies list, fewer and fewer Taiwanese technicians will go to work on the mainland, making it difficult for the island’s companies to operate their businesses there, Huang said. 

He adds it will be bad for Taiwan in the long run if fewer Taiwanese technicians can participate in research and development projects in mainland China. Huang’s comments were cited by Cankaoxiaoxi.com, or Reference News, and widely circulated in mainland China on Thursday and Friday. 

Wang Jin, an associate professor at China’s Northwest University, says in an article that China should not worry too much about Taiwan’s core technologies list.

China has its own defense, aerospace and semiconductor technologies and does not need to learn from Taiwan, he asserts. More technological blockages will only push China to achieve more breakthroughs, Wang said. 

Read: Raimondo calls out Nvidia for China shipments

Follow Jeff Pao on Twitter at @jeffpao3

Continue Reading

Finland’s WithSecure unveils AI-enhanced cybersecurity for businesses, partners with Malaysia’s LGMS

Reliance on global platforms, cloud services demands cybersecurity strategy
Made-in-Malaysia StarSentry solution, state-of-art, plug-and-play cybersecurity model

WithSecure Corporation, previously known as F-Secure Business, is on a mission to reshape cybersecurity approaches for modern enterprises.
The company’s President and CEO Juhani Hintikka (pic) recently emphasised the necessity for a holistic approach to cybersecurity which calls…Continue Reading

PIKOM, e-Commerce Malaysia welcome decision not to ban TikTok Shop, urge for competitive fairness

Ensure local businesses, products, enablers prioritised over foreign players
Craft policies that are both equitable and beneficial for all stakeholders involved

The National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) and e-Commerce Malaysia, a chapter of Pikom, welcomes the recent announcement by Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil that the government does not intend to…Continue Reading

Axiata names Nik Rizal Kamil as Group CFO

visit is essential to the group’s mission to grow into a long-lasting dividend company.Prior to February 2021, he served as the team CFO at RHB Bank.As of January 1st, 2024, Axiata Group Bhd will be without a group CFO, and the position has been filled by Nik Rizal Kamil Nk Ibrahim…Continue Reading

Hewlett Packard Enterprise appoints new managing director for Singapore to spearhead country operations, drive region’s long-term growth strategy

Loh may continue to lead SEA as managing director and vice president of HPE.tasked with increasing HPE’s collection, managing accounts, and improving employee effectivenessLoh Khai Peng&nbsp, ( pic ), was appointed managing director of Singapore effective 1 November 2023 by Hewlett Packard Enterprise ( HPE). He may continue to hold the…Continue Reading

Nvidia's automotive chip sales still riding high in China

The US Commerce Department has all but shut down Nvidia’s AI processor business in China, but its DRIVE Orin system-on-a-chip ( SoC ) for electric autonomous vehicles is still very popular. &nbsp,

Nvidia’s mechanical revenues, which are currently running at a rate of over US$ 1 billion per month, are boosted by more than 12 corporate users in China. &nbsp,

At the 21st Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, which took place from November 17 to 26, a number of Nvidia’s Chinese clients displayed their brand-new electric vehicles ( EVs ), including Denza, Human Horizons, Ji Yue, NIO, XPeng, Zeekr, and BYD. &nbsp,

A key system for clever vehicles called the Nvidia DRIVE Orin SoC can perform 254 trillion procedures per minute. DRIVE Orin enables instantaneous and redundant processing of data from exterior and interior cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors. It can be scaled from Level 2 advanced driving assistance systems ( ADAS ) to Level 5 fully autonomous vehicles.

Denza displayed its energy N7 SUV, which sits in the middle of the Model X and Y models made by Tesla. Denza’s custom Commuter Smart Driving system, which enables high-speed navigation, speed-limit and lane-keeping control, automatic emergency braking, top cross-traffic alert, and parking assistance, is controlled by DRIVE Orin. A joint venture between BYD and Mercedes-Benz is called Denza.

The HiPhi Y SUV from Human Horizons Technology was displayed. It has touch-free electricity doors, night vision, and street analysis. Human Horizons, with its headquarters in Shanghai, creates Batteries and autonomous driving systems. &nbsp,

It has activities facilities in Munich and Oslo in addition to an R&amp, D facility in Tokyo. Top executives of the company have experience working for automakers in China, the United States, Japan, and Europe.

Ji Yue, a collaboration between automaker Geely and Baidu, an expert in internet and artificial intelligence ( AI), unveiled its brand-new Robocar JiYue 1. It combines Geely technology with Baidu’s application technologies, including an engaging vocal help system called SIMO, and was introduced in late October. &nbsp,

The Robocar JiYue 01’s interior. Ji Yue is an picture

Its ROBO Drive Max assisted and autonomous driving features, which are offered as a monthly subscription services to facilitate technology upgrades, include street changing and cross-lane turns, on and off corridor moving, obstacle avoidance, identification of pedestrians, and voice-activated automatic parking.

Eight types with Banyan, NIO’s Smart Digital System, and Adam, a machine system with four Nvidia DRIVE Orin SoCs, were included in the show. NIO also provides technology upgrades. &nbsp,

The company’s headquarters are in Shanghai, but Nanjing, Munich, Oxford, and San Jose are home to its innovative engineering R&amp, D center, as well as its worldwide design center.

The brand-new X9 energy minivan, electric G6 car, P7i sedan, and G9 four-door were all displayed by xPeng. With its headquarters in Guangzhou, XPeng has R&amp, D locations, companies, and transportation and other support facilities in China as well as in California and California. &nbsp,

Zeekr unveiled the 007 as its first electrical coupe. Zeekr, with its headquarters in Zhejiang, also produces an electric SUV, car, and station wagon for” shooting brakes.” &nbsp,

In November, it unveiled its first European store in Stockholm. Geely Automotive Holdings, which likewise owns Volvo, is the owner of Zeeker. It was established in 2021 to rival Tesla and NIO. &nbsp,

BYD displayed its entire line-up of fresh energy vehicles, but its attention was drawn to the introduction of its e4 system, off-road SUV Yangwang U8, and” supercar,” which has a two-second acceleration time of 0 to 100 km/h. &nbsp,

A fresh advanced BYD brand is called Yangwang. The e4 Program is the first system for four-motor separate drive technology that has been mass-produced in China.

The Nvidia DRIVE Orin centralized system system may be extended by BYD to new designs in its Dynasty and Ocean electronic car line, the company announced in March. &nbsp,

The two businesses stated at the time that they” reveal the belief that coming vehicles will be customizable, evolving from being based on numerous integrated controllers to high-performance consolidated computers- with functionalities delivered and enhanced through program updates over the life of the vehicle.”

DeepRoute, a Nvidia DRIVE habitat partner. Ai was likewise present at the exhibition, showcasing its DeepRoute- Drivers 3.0 computerized driving solution for Level 4 automatic driving in challenging urban settings, inclement weather, and other conditions. Most of the time, Level 4 cars run on their own, but the vehicle can still be in charge. &nbsp,

DeepRoute- Driver 3.0 is not typically restricted to a particular operational area ( geofenced ). DeepRoute. Robotaxis and cosmopolitan logistics are ai’s areas of expertise. Its two offices are in Shenzhen and Fremont, California, respectively.

In Guangzhou, there were more than 400 electronic, hybrid, and other new energy vehicles on display, of which about 60 were initially displayed to the general public. &nbsp,

According to Canalys technology market research, China is currently the world’s top auto market and is about 50 % larger than the US market in terms of the adoption of advanced technology. In the first half of 2023, 55 % of all electric vehicles sold worldwide were sold in China. &nbsp,

In international markets, BYD’s electric cars are gaining ground. Photo: Online

At the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition next April, another Nvidia DRIVE users, such as SAIC, GAC Aion, Li Auto, IM Motors, Baidu, Desay SV, Momenta, Volvo, and Lotus, displayed their Batteries and related items. &nbsp,

SAIC, Alibaba, and the Zhangjiang Group formed the cooperative venture known as IM Motors. The Zhangjiang Group, which is situated in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area, is in charge of overseeing the development of the Shanghai Science City. &nbsp,

It serves as a hub for R&amp, D schools, facilities, colleges, and private businesses with an area of 95 square km. &nbsp,

Momenta is a Beijing-based ADAS program developer that is funded by SAIC, GM, Toyota, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and another Chinese and overseas investors. It was founded by CEO Cao Xudong, who was formerly an employee of Microsoft Research. With its main office in Huizhou, Guangdong, Saya SV manufactures in-vehicle devices.

The Arm Hercules CPU cores, heavy studying, and computer vision accelerators are all combined in the Nvidia DRIVE OrinSoC. It has grown to be an essential component of the Chinese EV industry’s assisted and intelligent driving systems. &nbsp,

It has not yet been the target of US punishment, in contrast to Nvidia’s AI chips for data centres, which were initially the A100 and H100 before being followed by an A800 and an H800. &nbsp,

Following this author on Twitter at @ScottFo83517667.

Continue Reading

95% of Malaysian companies have established sustainability goals but only half have implemented plans: Survey

44% of them are driven by an increase in business opportunities
Poor incentives/ low return on investment is key barrier to implementing sustainability

Although 95% of companies in Malaysia have established sustainability goals or targets, only half (49%) have implemented or are currently practising a comprehensive sustainability strategy. This is according to the…Continue Reading