The Source – Top 5 News 8th September 2023

The Source is our latest offering to support our clients and visitors. You can read our Top 5 news for week commencing 28th August 2023 below.

  1. U.S. to Continue Selling Semiconductor Chips to China, but Not Advanced Military AI Chips, Says Commerce Secretary
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced that the United States will continue selling semiconductor computer chips to China, except for the most powerful artificial intelligence (AI) chips desired for military purposes. Raimondo disclosed her stance during various talk show interviews, revealing that she had confronted Chinese officials about hacking her email before her trip to Beijing in August.
She emphasized the need for a predictable and level playing field for American businesses in China, expressing concerns about fines, business raids, and changes to counterespionage laws faced by U.S. firms operating there. Despite the complex U.S.-China relationship, Raimondo highlighted the importance of managing competition responsibly to maintain stability and benefit the American people.
2. India’s Semiconductor Industry Set to Create 1.2 Million Jobs as it Grows

India is aiming to become a semiconductor manufacturing hub, and this endeavor is expected to generate demand for approximately 1.2 million jobs throughout the sector, according to Jaya Jagadish, Country Head of AMD India and Chairperson of the Semicon Talent Building Committee (TBC). The talent requirements span various roles, including engineers, operators, technicians, and more. In particular, the chip design sector alone necessitates 275,000 professionals, ranging from undergraduates to postdoctorals.

India’s wealth of engineering graduates provides a unique advantage, although efforts are underway to bridge skill gaps and enhance job readiness through initiatives such as curriculum changes in engineering colleges, driven by recommendations from the TBC.

3. Samsung Aims to Achieve Labor-Free Semiconductor Packaging by 2030

Samsung Electronics has become the first company globally to introduce a labor-free semiconductor packaging line and has committed to transitioning all of its packaging plants to be human labor-free by 2030. This transformation has led to an 85% reduction in manufacturing manpower, a 90% decrease in equipment failures, and a doubling or more in overall equipment efficiency.

Traditional semiconductor packaging lines typically require significant human labor, but Samsung is pioneering unmanned production lines in its packaging factories in Cheonan and Wonyang, South Korea, with plans to expand these to cover the entire packaging process by 2030. The achievement of complete automation through advanced equipment has notably improved production efficiency, with operators now overseeing operations from an integrated control center outside the production line.

4. Intel Implements Software-Defined Networking (SDN) for Automation in Chip Manufacturing

Intel, a leading semiconductor manufacturer, is revolutionizing its chip manufacturing process by adopting Software-Defined Networking (SDN) in its semiconductor manufacturing plants. This strategic move, part of Intel’s 2021 Integrated Device Manufacturing (IDM) 2.0 blueprint, aims to enhance efficiency and security within its chip-making factories.

SDN separates control and data planes in networking equipment, facilitating automation and reducing the risk of manual configuration errors. This shift to SDN has enabled Intel to build new factory networks with significantly fewer human resources and quicker deployment times, while also improving security through micro-segmentation. CEO Pat Gelsinger sees this innovation as crucial for meeting the growing demand for semiconductors and embracing new manufacturing methods.

5. Micron Technology Chooses Taiwan for Advanced DRAM Chip Production

Micron Technology Inc. is set to produce its most advanced dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips in Taiwan, capitalizing on the country’s well-established semiconductor ecosystem. Micron’s Taiwan head, Donghui Lu, revealed in an exclusive interview that the company plans to mass-produce DRAM chips using its cutting-edge 1-gamma node technology in Taichung by 2025, making it the first worldwide to do so.

Despite ongoing discussions about geopolitical risks and “de-Taiwanization” in chip-making, Lu remains confident in Taiwan’s industry prospects, emphasizing that product quality and performance will ultimately determine success in the semiconductor market.

6. TMicroelectronics Collaborates with Sindcon to Enhance Smart Metering in Jakarta with LoRaWAN Technology

ST Microelectronics, a global semiconductor leader, has announced a strategic partnership with Sindcon (Singapore) IoT Technology Pte Ltd, a prominent smart meter provider in Singapore, to revolutionize the utility metering landscape in Jakarta, Indonesia. The project involves the integration of STM32WLE5 LoRaWAN® wireless microcontrollers from ST into Sindcon’s extensive network of over 50,000 water, gas, and energy meters in Jakarta.

These innovative STM32WLE5 microcontrollers utilize long-range, low-power wireless radio technology to facilitate remote meter reading, addressing the challenges posed by Jakarta’s diverse urban and forested terrain. This small system-on-chip (SoC) solution allows Sindcon to enhance the features of their smart meters without increasing their size, providing an efficient and cost-effective solution for meter-reading. Sindcon’s smart meters will now offer advanced battery management, enabling accurate remote readings for up to 10 years. The project is set to be completed by the end of 2023, with a live demonstration at Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP) in October 2023.

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