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Dmitry Orlov: Will Microchip Crisis Take Down US Empire?
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Writer, engineer, and collapse expert Dmitry Orlov has been arguing for 25 years that the USA is heading for a disaster worse than the one Russia suffered after the implosion of the USSR. His new article “The Technosphere chokes on a chip” suggests that a shortage of microchips could set off a cascade of disasters that would greatly degrade, if not eliminate, the US empire…and maybe even technological civilization:

“When looking around for a first casualty of collapse, the global semiconductor industry makes a strong candidate. It is very energy-hungry and extremely capital-intensive. It relies on a steady, reliable energy supply—wind and solar won’t cut it because of their intermittency. It relies on the availability of highest-purity crystalline silicon and rare earth elements that are sourced from just a few places in the world, the main one being China. And it requires a highly disciplined and skilled workforce. The largest exporter of integrated circuits by far is China (Hong Kong and Taiwan included) followed by South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. The US is only the first in a long list of minor players in niche markets.”

Other questions raised in this interview include:

Are the COVID lockdowns really about suppressing consumption? If so, will they have a significant long-term impact? And if not, will those responsible for COVID and the lockdowns unleash something worse?

What aboiut those who, like Kevin Galalae, view COVID as just the latest depopulation measure? https://www.patreon.com/posts/46142817

What’s Dmitry’s take on Ron Unz’s thesis of COVID as neocon biowar on China and Iran?

Since civilization (at least material civilization) hasn’t collapsed as fast as Peak Oil advocates thought it would, what might be a plausible collapse timeline?

Can we compare the ethnic issues that contributed to the break-up of the USSR with those currently afflicting the USA?

Since Dmitry Orlov and Vladimir Putin agree on some things (like US collapse) do they also agree that whoever gets true AI first will rule the world?

Finally…Is the Quidnon houseboat project still afloat?

(Republished from Truth Jihad by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: Collapse Party, Computers 
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  1. RSDB says:

    China (… Taiwan included)

    [emphasis added]

    That’s a bit of a leap to make in context.

  2. Predicting a US collapse based on a microchip shortage seems rather mistaken. It is Asia, not the United States, whose economies depend more on the manufacture of high tech gizmos with microchips. A microchip shortage is going to hurt Asian economies far more so than the West. The West would love nothing more than the complete collapse of the microchip industry and the strategic nightmare it represents. Once the microchip industry dies, Asia is impoverished and purposeless, the saber rattling over Taiwan ends, and the videogame/cellphone industries, long responsible for a host of physical and mental ailments among young people, collapse. You might even want to investigate whether or not the USA is actively trying to kill the microchip industry, as it would have made a more convincing story.

    • Agree: Rubicon
  3. Rahan says:

    For want of chip…

  4. Rahan says:
    @JohnPlywood

    The West would love nothing more than the complete collapse of the microchip industry and the strategic nightmare it represents. Once the microchip industry dies, Asia is impoverished and purposeless, the saber rattling over Taiwan ends, and the videogame/cellphone industries, long responsible for a host of physical and mental ailments among young people, collapse.

    I do not quite agree.

    This:

    Once the microchip industry dies, /…/and the videogame/cellphone industries, long responsible for a host of physical and mental ailments among young people, collapse.

    Does not quite automatically to follow from this:

    The West would love nothing more than the complete collapse of the microchip industry

    Because it appears to stand on the premise that “the West” does not want young people to be mental wrecks addicted to suitcases of pills. It does. It does. If we mean by “the West”–“those who run it”.

  5. @Rahan

    Strong schizophrenic comment.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    , @glib
  6. nickels says:

    I’ve been buying microprocessors by the hundreds.
    The rest of you poor suckers are not even going to be able to flush your toilets without coming to beg from me.

  7. No. Only revolution and secession from within the US can take it down. American geography is such that its near impossible to conquer it militarily or break it economically.

    And the only groups that can secede and break America are white nationalists or disaffected whites in general. They are the only groups that are actually oppressed in the US and have a real reason to want to separate.

    Shame Russia and its propaganda outlets like RT villify whites and lionize BLM though. The “oppressed” blacks they champion are basically the new nobility in the US with special legal privileges.

    Makes me wonder if the Russian elites are just clueless boomers, feckless cowards scared of the US or are drinking from Shomo’s trough?

    • Agree: Joe Levantine
    • Disagree: Tom Marvolo Riddle
    • Thanks: Irish Savant
    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
  8. It relies on the availability of highest-purity crystalline silicon and rare earth elements that are sourced from just a few places in the world, the main one being China.

    For the former I’d like a citation, “highest-purity” and the PRC are generally not words you see together. The latter betrays a complete lack of understanding of the market, rare earths aren’t really very rare, what is, and there’s no reason this won’t continue, is the willingness to tolerate refining them which is dirty, has been roughly described as “boiling them in acid a thousand times.” As long as the PRC is allowed to export them cheap the existing outside of the PRC mines and facilities don’t make economic sense, but that can quickly change.

    The largest exporter of integrated circuits by far is China (Hong Kong and Taiwan included) followed by South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. The US is only the first in a long list of minor players in niche markets.”

    Like DRAM, flash memory, high performance CPUs (Intel is fixing that with diversity, but it’s possible they’ll get their “7 nm” node to work, meanwhile they’re shipping every 14nm++++++ CPU they can make), and the minor detail of the embedded market.

    Some points made are correct and not good for the long term, but see where TSMC has decided to set up shop now that Taiwan is running out of electrical power.

  9. @Rahan

    The real nail in America’s coffin is going to be the sudden and catastrophic collapse of it’s native frog populations. Glad someone else besides me has the wherewithal to see it.

    The sheeple will wake up eventually brother.

    • LOL: Rahan
  10. @Caspar von Everec

    Russians don’t speak english. RT is in english. Russia doesn’t have any blacks. Putin just made fun of Biden for BLM riots and capitol takeover. Connect the dots. RT is exploiting it’s enemies weaknesses. BLM makes america weak, capitol protests make gov’t look weak.

    America is weak, sociologically and demographically fragile af. Half it’s pop hates the other half. Ofc the country our gov’t is hostile to is going to twist the knife. This one aint about jews. Jews facilitate BLM, but russia is doing realpolitik.

    Putin, probably not a jew sock. But also, not your ally. We are sanctioning them right now. If you want putin to be your ally, go get russian citizenship.

  11. Ustus says:
    @JohnPlywood

    GM and Ford are laying off workers Chrysler are not far behind , Deere are still building but stockpiling waiting for chips , that’s new stuff what about older stuff with failed chips , six months without chips will look like a EMP went off

  12. @Ustus

    GM and Ford are laying off workers Chrysler are not far behind , Deere are still building but stockpiling waiting for chips , that’s new stuff what about older stuff with failed chips

    There are three big chip supply problems I know about, beside the usual overlay of disruptions like when an embedded fab line caught on fire in Japan.

    Car companies went all in on predictions COVID-19 would crash demand, and with few exceptions canceled part and sub-assembly orders across the board. Problem with chips? Car companies are not quasi-monopsonies like I assume they are for a bunch of their metal bending suppliers, and their fabless chip suppliers had to give up their production slots, and see below, the ones with fabs I assume used cenceled car company reserved wafers for other things. It also takes weeks to months to go from blank silicon wafer to tested, packaged chip.

    COVID-19 resulted in demand for a bunch of chips of all types due to work and lifestyle changes, plus it became massively less attractive to share transportation with others so car demand went up. Car companies could not get their chip production restarted any time soon, other customers had booked the capacity they surrendered. They’re not the only companies hit by chip shortages, but their initial stupidity including not realizing the implications of canceling chip orders appears to have them worse off.

    Absolutely nothing can fix this in the short to medium term, the latter being new fab lines which take well more than a year to build and get running. Except maybe someone has some spare capacity like Intel in older process nodes?? But that’s also not a short term solution, new parts take time for redesigns, and that’s assuming Intel still knows how to make automotive grade chips, a bit like MILSPEC in temperature extremes in which they’re expected to continue working.

    The deep chill this winter in Texas trashed a lot of factories, from ones that make raw plastics, to one of Campbell’s they just mentioned in their most recent quarterly report, to some number of fab lines. Bad things happen when there’s no electricity to run the air pumps that keep fab lines clean, and much worse can happen when water pipes burst. That probably took a fair amount of embedded chip capacity out of service for a while or perhaps forever.

    Aside from the last factor, nothing should have changed for spares for already sold machines, no reason the companies should have expected demand for those would drop and their usual ordering and stockpiling schemes should have continued.

    • Agree: Houston 1992
  13. @Ustus

    Terrible news for Asia. All these companies have to do is go back to the simpler, more user friendly versions of their vehicles that existed before microchips were incorporated in their designs for some odd reason. Most farmers already wanted their combines and tractors de-computerized anyway.

    • Replies: @Hyper Bole
  14. @Rahan

    The global economy is interconnected and relies on complex supply chains and just-in-time delivery. what lies ahead will not be pretty or enjoyable. “You will own nothing and be really miserable.”

    • Replies: @flashlight joe
  15. You bozos and your tendentious fallacious just plain dumb/and/or disingenuous “wind and solar are intermittent.”

    You will never understand this. But wind and solar and coal with scrubbers in the stacks and natural gas and efficiency/conservation above all (which you people never mention, because it kiboshes everything you stand for), in other words, everything, all contributing to the grid, are not, repeat not, intermittent.

    You know nothing about energy and neither does this Collapse Shill.

  16. I see no interview. Are we supposed to LISTEN to it?!
    How pedestrian!

    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
  17. @obwandiyag

    Wind and solar provide neither of the two required types of reliable power without storage, baseline and peaking power. Without a buffer they can make running a grid very challenging as Germany has demonstrated. While rising its consumer prices for a kilowatt hour to 0.30 USD.

    Everything else you mention provides reliable/predicable changes in either supply or demand. As for our “Collapse Shill,” you only have to look at or remember the insane US energy policies of the 1970s, and our post-Three Mile Island ones for nuclear power, to realize our ruling trash is entirely capable of making the US electrical grids Third World in quality and reliability. For them, doing that to most of the country is a feature, not a bug.

  18. TG says:

    Many interesting points here, but I do point out that because the corporate press is a totally corrupt top-down scripted propaganda machine, it’s very hard to parse if there really is a ‘chip shortage’ or not. Alternative sites such as this one are useful, but can only read between the lines of what the established news outlets are saying, not actually put together new investigations. So on that note:

    – Perhaps this is just the semiconductor industry limiting supply to push up prices? And also, in the United States, the ‘chip shortage’ is being used by some very rich people to get the public to pay from some very expensive private factories (the idea that the rich should actually invest in real physical plants rather than stock buybacks is apparently too old fashioned).

    – Perhaps the ‘chip shortage’ is being used as an excuse for all sorts of other things, like closing a factory in the United States and moving it overseas.

    – Perhaps this is really just another aspect of the ‘free trade’ scam where American industry was shipped abroad – mostly t0 China – so the rich could get massive short-term profits from all that lovely cheap labor. The question here: is the ‘shortage’ really that bad in China? Maybe it’s just that the United States now relies on a supply line that originates on the other side of the world in a country that has its own agenda. Maybe the leadership that made America a major industrial power because of protectionism were not wrong after all…

    – As populations are forced upwards, all sorts of supply lines will get stressed. There are always substitutes that can be developed, of course, the issue is how quickly and at what cost. If the global population had been allowed to stabilize at about 2-3 billion a century ago, we could get basically all of our electricity from hydropower, stable baseline with surge capacity and multi-year energy storage no pollution and low cost, the energy problem solved forever – but there are only so many viable hydro sites, and as the population is forced up to ten billion and beyond, it gets more and more expensive, and dealing with the side effects gets more and more involved…

    • Replies: @Thomasina
  19. R2b says:

    Very interesting!
    Good show.
    I think though, Europe still faces Scwabian measures.
    They are really implemented as I write these syllables.

  20. @obwandiyag

    I do point out that because the corporate press is a totally corrupt top-down scripted propaganda machine, it’s very hard to parse if there really is a ‘chip shortage’ or not.

    There’s a zillion sources out there all saying the same things. While I haven’t visited it for some time, I’m just putting off this year dabbling with new embedded processors, I’d start with SemiWiki.com. At the other end, if you look in the right forums starting with the not really focused on this Hacker News, you’ll find a bunch of front line engineers talking about the effects of this, like being asked to redesign boards and modify software to use a different embedded microcontroller. It’s said to be one of the best times ever to be a consultant in this fairly difficult field.

    If you don’t know what a microcontroller is, then start with that word and move up and down in the value chain, lots of less glorified chips that aren’t basic glue ones are also in very short supply. And never forget that this domain is particularly unforgiving, not being able to source one tiny cheap part means you can’t build a board at all. Might also check distributors like Mouser, and embedded chip providers like Microchip Technology, Renesas (they were the one that suffered a fire), STMicroelectronics, NPX, and Texas Instruments. Also the maker community, they should also be getting hit, I’d start with the AdaFruit and Sparkfun companies.

    TL;DR it’s very real.

    Perhaps the ‘chip shortage’ is being used as an excuse for all sorts of other things, like closing a factory in the United States and moving it overseas.

    It makes absolutely no sense to do that with a fab line, a great deal of the cost is in the infrastructure that creates the necessary clean rooms in which chips are being made. A bunch of these for embedded chips are fully depreciated older technology ones, continuing to operate them where they are is the only thing that makes sense, otherwise you’d just shut them down and maybe sell the machines. Some of the parts of the process like packaging moved outside of the US decades ago. Maybe also see where wafer scale testing is done (that’s testing individual dies before you cut up the wafer and package the ones that work).

    Perhaps this is really just another aspect of the ‘free trade’ scam where American industry was shipped abroad – mostly t0 China – so the rich could get massive short-term profits from all that lovely cheap labor.

    Labor at the factory level is not a huge component of the cost of making chips. Not insignificant, but you need some highly trained people in the system to keep your yields profitable (the fraction of chips that work vs. the total you’re trying to make), and to diagnose what went wrong when something like a change in your water supply makes the yields go to hell. I’m pretty sure the PRC does not have an abundance of skilled people due to supply and demand issues, the latter in part because the PRC is trying to build its own chip making infrastructure under increasingly difficult conditions as they get more and more embargoed.

    For example, they’re years, more likely decades away from being able to move to the most advance nodes because they can’t buy ASML EUV lithography machines. And maybe never, they can’t copy a lot of stuff they want to, like competitive fighter jet engines, aren’t even up to Russian levels let alone Western.

    The EUV machines are really insane. To make light at significantly shorter wavelengths than the UV limit of 193 nm due to water blocking smaller ones, droplets of molten tin are hit by a laser (the latter tech from the US) which when their electrons drop back to their normal levels causes emission of the desired near soft X-ray wavelengths. No lenses work at these wavelengths, so the photons go through a series of mirrors losing a lot of them in the process. I also don’t know how they keep the tin from contaminating the wafer, that’s got to be an interesting trick since this all has to happen in a vacuum!

    TSMC really knows how to make these machines and the rest of the process sing. Samsung not so much, and is not an honest or trustworthy partner plus is a competitor for a lot of companies that (might) use their foundry services. Samsung gets foundry business mostly so companies aren’t totally dependent on TSMC, which the CCP/PLA could end overnight in an attempted invasion. Intel is not able to get their “7 nm” node using EUV to work, and there’s no reason to believe they ever will after their still ongoing “10 nm” debacle. And Global Foundries dropped out of the race and funder IBM is now suing them for that, at first glance legitimately.

    In TSMC terms very rough equivalent nodes are one increment smaller, and the roadmaps of each have TSMC “3 nm” made in quantity before Intel can in theory do that with their “7 nm”, which is equivalent to TSMC’s “5 nm” chips which they’re already making a lot of. This highest end stuff is another cause for chip shortages, Intel’s greatest advantage after they gave up on memory chips has been being 1-3 generations ahead of the competition in chip fabrication.

    I’ll repeat that Dmitry Orlov is right in one point, diversity ruined Intel’s 10 nm node, a very aggressive one targeted between TSMC’s 7 nm node, both of those using 193 nm lithography, and the latter’s 7+ nm node where they added EUV lithography years ago. So a great deal of industry planned high end CPU production from Intel, from server to mobile chips simply hasn’t happened, and this is now going into Intel’s next generation. It’s literally an existential threat to the company, one at this time I’m doubting they’ll survive, unless you hear their CEO is sacking huge swathes of managers. And not just more of the ones responsible for this mess, but the ones that need to go for the complete change in company culture that’s required by his cunning plan. They’d also have to drastically change their HR policies, from hiring to probably completely abandoning stack ranking.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  21. @That Would Be Telling

    See. You are a nuclear troll. Just like I said. You just ignore what I said and copy and paste your pro-nuke asshole boilerplate.

    Any time this topic comes up, ANY TIME, EVERY . . . SINGLE . . . TIME, you pro-nuclear trolls climb out of the woodwork and start copying and pasting like a house afire.

    I think you have an app that searches for nuke subject terms so that you never ever miss responding to so much as one single anti-nuke post, no matter how short or innocuous, no matter how late you are in responding.

    One way I can tell is that you are late in responding. Shills are always late. It takes the app a while to warm up.

    I doubt that you don’t understand what I said. You are just paid not to address it. I hope you enjoy the quarter you get for engendering a response.

    Asshole lying shill.

  22. anonymous[197] • Disclaimer says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    “diversity ruined Intel’s 10 nm node”
    Provide evidence that it was “diversity” that ruined it.

    • Agree: Houston 1992
    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  23. @anonymous

    “diversity ruined Intel’s 10 nm node”
    Provide evidence that it was “diversity” that ruined it.

    Obviously you won’t find anyone in the major and speciality media saying this because it would be career ending, unless it’s parroting their periodic diversity reports. The case is made from a variety of observations mostly made by anonymous people on forums, but there are some well documented inflection points, mostly from memory:

    Intel made a couple of catastrophic > 10% RIFs, apparently called “Accelerated Change and Transition” (ACT) actionsm not just firing “the bottom 10%” (which is usually in internal politics, not what they can do for the company) but also buyouts of their most experienced and therefore highest salary employees. So who replaced the competent people? It is claimed the 2016 ACT has a lot to do with their failing so far in their following “7 nm” node, the first to use EUV and thus needing the very best talent they could muster.

    Intel lost a discrimination lawsuit, in 2004 per one unreliable source, and made it internal policy afterwords to hire as few white men as possible except as contractors. You can of course see them talking a lot about diversity, see below.

    One thing you always look for is subcontinent Indians as managers; I should not have to explain the implications of them having a role in hiring.

    You’ll also find it’s common knowledge Intel does not pay well, and is filled with people from the Third World who don’t mind this so much for “turning the crank” work in design and verification.

    Something I didn’t save a clipping of but that can be independently verified is that the Indian responsible for fabrication during the 10 nm debacle was fired, and I think his organization was split into two parts. It was said at the rumor level his only talent was sucking up to his superiors.

    See also this, “The company’s 2016 diversity report said that Asians comprised 40 percent of the technical staff, up five points from 35 percent in 2014.” Although that doesn’t tell us how many of those “Asians” are in fabrication, and properly managed TSMC and to a lessor extent Samsung shows that Northeast Asians are more than capable of doing that work. A quote from that report says “Last year, Intel set an ambitious goal to be the first high technology company to reach full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in our U.S. workforce by 2020. We committed $300M to support this goal and accelerate diversity and inclusion.”

    One thing I do not have insight into is why their highest level engineering management outside of fabrication was so bad for so long. At least two cycles of freaking out over how many DIMMs could be put on a memory bus, RDRAM the infamous example resulting in two million part recalls from customers, Itanium, Netburst just when they hit the brick wall of the end of Dennard scaling, and clinging to a single front side bus with all DRAM on one side and too many CPUs on the other. The latter three were fixed by outright copying AMD, although AMD was copying the Intel Pentium Pro microarchitecture approach, which itself was copying IBM from the 1960s, and was dependent on getting high enough transistor counts to spend on pervasive out-of-order execution.

  24. anon[246] • Disclaimer says:

    Microchip crisis.

    GOOD.

    Maybe we can get real cars back.
    K*ll the I-phones and smart this, smart that. Smart humans are what’s needed.

    …whoever gets true AI first will rule the world?

    Secret society needs to be formed to strangle AI and giddy-brainless engineers.

    bjondo/5ds

    • Replies: @Miro23
  25. Anonymous[197] • Disclaimer says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    I think you are far from establishing your thesis with any degree of credibility. What are you are offering is basically a weaving of different pieces of heresy and supposition. I’m not sure, for example, whether who the high-level head of a giant multi-function organization is has any impact on yield in the fabs. In addition, I don’t think some supposed incompetence in “fabrication” can cause problems of such persistence. Fabrication is usually highly automated, and when it is not, it is fairly simple work done by people who are barely technical. Problems in fabrication are usually quickly identified and fixed.
    Persistent yield problems usually arise from a poorly developed process technology, one that is not sufficiently robust against the best process variation possible with available tools, and all that is developed before the process is transferred to fabs.
    What is generally said in the industry about this is more credible than your thesis. They became too aggressive, aimed too far too fast, took too many risks with undue confidence to once again beat their rivals, but this time even more dramatically. They developed a highly complex process with too many multiple patterning steps and other aggressive features. And we can see this when we compare the technical features and timing of the process they aimed for against what their rivals aimed for, they pushed harder than what their competitors rightly thought feasible. And looking for more and more cores, they designed chips that were too large for the defect levels their process technology could support.
    Other semiconductor companies have failed multiple times at different nodes before, for decades, before there was much “diversity”, for exactly the same reasons. Many of them failed, for example, when they switched to binary phase shift.
    In short, I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

  26. @JohnPlywood

    The depth of ignorance and stupidity displayed by the Yankee Exceptionalists in the throes of their terror and fury at China’s rise is always amusing. Even better is the self-deception.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
  27. @That Would Be Telling

    Intel, like Boeing et al, spent billions more on share buy-backs than on investment in technology and engineering. That won’t happen in China. The Wall Street blood-suckers rule in the USA, hence its accelerating degeneracy.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  28. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Strongly disagree. China is stumbling on its way down the staricase to oblivion, and you fools are still rooting for it like the perpetual underdog that it is. This is a humorous thing to witness, like Orlov’s 25-year strong prediction that the United States will “collapse”. Somebody try to get him some help.

    • Replies: @notbe
  29. @Badger Down

    Yeah, that’s the problem I have with Barrett’s articles. This microchip thing sounds interesting, but I don’t have to time to sort through an hour interview to find it.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  30. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Intel, like Boeing et al, spent billions more on share buy-backs than on investment in technology and engineering. That won’t happen in China.

    You prompted me to find this page on Intel dividends and share buybacks and it’s consistent with more rumor level information that financial engineering occupies too much of Intel’s attention and money. And it didn’t help that they kept a placeholder former CFO of the company in the CEO position for two years, I and many others take that as a sign of just how screwed they became, and thus how difficult it was to recruit a competent CEO with engineering experience. Also see Jim Keller’s completely uncharacteristic rage quit.

    It’s certainly a debatable point how US companies should reward their shareholders given our tax system etc. vs. PRC companies, and one should also factor in how much money Intel wasted in acquisitions which had neither cultural nor existing product fit, I vaguely remember it was on the same order of magnitude. The cultural fit was also crippling in their recent never properly supported and too quickly canceled embedded non-Atom attempts, and could have been a part of their cellular modem debacle, both of these don’t fit because cost is critical. See their earlier purchase of a not so successful FPGA company and continuing to have TSMC make the lowest cost parts because their fab lines are focused on performance much more than cost, which is fine for their normal CPU markets.

    But except for Intel’s massive RIFs of experienced people, I don’t think money is a factor in Intel and the PRC’s chip making failures, have never heard the former wasn’t investing enough money in their 10 or 7 nm nodes. Although I’ve come across a guess they hadn’t built out their testing and analysis infrastructure to deal with one of the major changes made in their 10 nm node, using cobalt for metal interconnects. Which Intel has publicly insisted wasn’t one of their 10 nm problems, although if that guess were correct they might be mistaken about it. The cause there was guessed to be a loss of experienced men who’d have known they would likely need it, as it sure appears to have been the case.

    It’s a competence problem when they couldn’t get even their first 10 nm fab line working for so long—in a sense, the issues are yield as in being able to economically make chips, and large chips, and the sorts of performance needed for their major sectors. Just looked up their current progress on Wikipedia which is good for this, after the single SKU political stunt for their first generation 10 nm Cannon Lake, their 2nd generation 10 nm Ice Lake processors are with four Xeon Silver exceptions either mobile or very expensive and hot >= 150 watts Xeon server chips. Their current third generation 10 nm Tiger Lake parts are mobile and four no socket ball grid array Core i3-9 parts for system integrators, as in the CPU has to be assembled on the motherboard at the same time as the rest of the soldered on parts.

    Not a good showing, especially how late they are, and again they’re currently really missing it with their 7 nm node, their first to use EUV, where again this kind of money is not the issue in overcoming technical hurdles which Samsung and TSMC started doing long ago.

    In a different way, no amount of money will allow the PRC to procure ASML EUV machines except perhaps as bribes to remove the embargo, and given how very very hard it was to make this technology just barely work there’s no reason to believe the PRC will be able to spend lots of money and make their own in the foreseeable future, although they’re trying. As they have done for fighter jet engines.

    Now, if Intel could actually make their newest nodes sing and then refused to spend the money to make more fab lines run them their share buyback program would be an issue, but they’re not necessarily at that point for their 7 nm node, maybe they’ll make it work in 2023 but in the meantime after getting burned by shutting down too much 14 nm production for a while I wonder when they’ll pull the trigger on making more 7 nm lines without knowing if and when they’ll work. And I’d like to know more about the viability of their 10 nm nodes and parts to know if they are fab line constrained today.

  31. @JohnPlywood

    Diesel Particulate Filter on tractors are a pain in the ass too

  32. Thomasina says:
    @TG

    Absolutely agree with everything you said.

    “Perhaps this is just the semiconductor industry limiting supply to push up prices?”

    I suspect this (and similar shenanigans) are going on in all sorts of industries. I remember after the 2008 crash, big banks like Goldman Sachs were hoarding aluminum in warehouses all around Detroit (if I remember correctly). They’d move this inventory from warehouse to warehouse, just to make it look like it was moving, but this served to increases prices across the board. This goes on everywhere. Cheap money and big players can wreak havoc.

    They are lying about everything, so your question is very reasonable.

    • Replies: @TG
  33. Miro23 says:
    @anon

    Microchip crisis.

    GOOD.

    Maybe we can get real cars back.

    K*ll the I-phones and smart this, smart that. Smart humans are what’s needed.

    …whoever gets true AI first will rule the world?

    Secret society needs to be formed to strangle AI and giddy-brainless engineers.

    bjondo/5ds

    AI is going to come whether we like it or not – and whoever gets it first isn’t going to rule the world. An independent artificial intelligence will presumably have its own motivations and opinions. Why should it help some group of humans rule the world?

    Smart phones are really useful. Navigation, messaging, photography, address books etc. but I’m not so sure about electronics in cars. For example, I have a normal new car (2021) full of electronics, a normal old car (1996) with almost no electronics, and a luxury German car (2007) full of electronics that continuously fail.

    Day to day my preference is for the old car (easy to park, reliable, no seat belt warning, light weight and simple engine – easy and cheap to repair, good visibility, comfortable high profile tires. One button or dial for most functions.

    The German car has endless expensive visits to the garage, such that it now feels like a gamble to drive it.

    The new car feels reliable and well made. However, also over heavy, not so great visibility, a hard ride (low profile tires), also with tiresome instructions, warnings and beeps + far too much complexity (endless options for everything) with probably hundreds of electronic sensors, circuits and motors all waiting to fail.

    Conclusion that some microchips are extremely useful but it’s not necessary to stuff them in everywhere.

    • Replies: @Kevin Barrett
  34. @Miro23

    I liked cars better back when I could work on them with a cheap, simple set of tools. I drove a 1970 VW microbus from 1975 through the late 1980s. Pulled the engine twice, once to replace the air cooler. I could fix just about anything that went wrong without much trouble.

    Even easier to work on was the 1955 Chevy converted half-size school bus I lived in during much of that period. I had a tow rig on the microbus and hauled it around with me, often back and forth between San Francisco and Seattle. The big bus had an engine compartment so vast and spacious you could have crammed a whole Mexican midget basketball team in there and smuggled them across the border. I could climb into that engine compartment and easily access most parts. The rest, like the starter, were just as easy to reach from underneath, where there was so much headroom that those Mexican midget basketball players could have just walked right under there.

    Today’s computerized cars, with inaccessible parts that require specialized tools, are a symptom of civilizational decline.

  35. Miro23 says:
    @Kevin Barrett

    Today’s computerized cars, with inaccessible parts that require specialized tools, are a symptom of civilizational decline.

    Agree with that. Electronics don’t seem to last more than 10 years and these cars have so much of it that that’s realistically the end of their designed life. There’s also all that unnecessary complexity and compulsory health and safety (Covid-19 on wheels) – seat belt warnings, safety messages, traffic monitoring, air bags, air quality filters, lane control, on board radar, parking beepers etc.

    Also, in the 1950’s most people didn’t have a car at all (at least in the UK) and so they were obliged to do a lot of healthy walking and cycling. They ate less and better food (rationing only stopped in 1954). Food was expensive (especially meat) with nothing of the vast choice of supermarket processed foods . Fast food didn’t exist. Look at street scenes in films from the 1950’s. Where are all the obese people?

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  36. SafeNow says:
    @Kevin Barrett

    A recent study found it takes 8 times longer to change the radio station on a touchscreen compared to pushing a button. This is a safety issue, in addition to everything else. Eyes on the road. I’ll take sliders, buttons, and knobs. The auto designers seem to follow the same template as lawyers: Make it complex, drawn-out, expensive, and hostile.

  37. Biff says:
    @Kevin Barrett

    Today’s computerized cars, with inaccessible parts that require specialized tools, are a symptom of civilizational decline.

    Disagree! As I sit here while my brand new modern car sits in the shop at the dealer. Rats! – they got in under the hood and chewed up some sensitive wiring. Had an old Dodge truck with a rats nest in the air cleaner that drove around for months in the winter before I discovered it.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  38. @That Would Be Telling

    I’m all for a ‘stable grid’ on a planet uninhabitable for our species, too. How did you get so clever?

  39. @Miro23

    The skinny ones ate them. You a carmnist or sumpin?

  40. glib says:
    @JohnPlywood

    Strong schizophrenic comment.

    and yet correct. There is little doubt that the West prioritizes the internal front, at least in the last year.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
  41. glib says:

    Orlov’s comment about heavy oil is not totally correct. If you have fracking oil, you don’t go all the way to the Urals ls to mix it with something heavy. Conquering Venezuela, in the minds of the elites, would be good for moral, but there is a near infinite supply of very heavy stuff coming from the Tar Sands of Alberta. Yes, Tar Sands are overall more energy expensive that Ural oil, but at least the money stays in North America.

  42. Dumbo says:

    The US will collapse, or fragment, probably due to racial and political issues, not due to some tech issue.

    The fact is that microchips and a lot of technology are massively overvalued.

    The “singularity” is a stupid dream.

    While some digital tech stuff has been useful, it’s not as if we can live without it. Remove all microchips and digital stuff from cars, you still can drive them.

    The Internet? People used to read newspapers and magazines on print until not too long ago.

    Lots of things are not really that necessary.

    China’s advantage is not so much technological, but that it is mostly peopled by Chinese, and that it has a less demented leadership than current Western countries.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
  43. @glib

    Yes because intelligent people want to make their citizens less productive and more expensive for… Reasons unknown to non-schizophrenics.

    A more likely explanation involves personal failure and innate human laziness, rather than unfounded conspiratorial allegations. But this is also frightening to ponder, because you actually need to believe that anyone in control of society — even if they have bad intentions. But no one is in control. And that scares you.

    I’d like to offer you the same age-old conservative wisdom you were dishing on to black people for decades: have your race accept personal responsibility for its own shortcomings. Nobody forced you people to look at your cell phones or play your video games all day long, and if someone is mentally ill it’s probably because of a behavioral defective family member (almost invariably female in the case of the white race).

    Or do you lack the personal fortitude to rise above blaming an invisible empire for your people’s failures?

  44. @Dumbo

    The US will collapse, or fragment, probably due to racial and political issues, not due to some tech issue

    Highly doubtful. The recent riots were expensive, but most of America remains segregated already, and non-blacks generally get along and won’t riot or conflict in any damaging way. A declining national police presence will greatly help (remember, it was a dumbfuck group of cops who thought stolen cigarettes were worth investigating, who got those stupid riots kicked off. Just like with Rodney King.)

    Otherwise, agree with most of the rest of your comment, with the exception that China’s leadership is no less demented or incompetent than the West’s.

  45. glib says:

    The US will collapse, or fragment, probably due to racial and political issues, not due to some tech issue.

    The US will collapse due to declining oil supplies, coupled with the end of the petro-dollar. No other country is so dependent on oil as the US. Racial and political issues are whipped into a frenzy to allow other processes to start or continue.

  46. notbe says:
    @JohnPlywood

    the level of delusion of mr plywood is off-scale multiple personality level

  47. glib says:

    Yes because intelligent people want to make their citizens less productive and more expensive for… Reasons unknown to non-schizophrenics.

    Just regular power, John. Empires have done that for about 4000 years. Nowadays the techniques are far more refined. In particular for the LGBT thing, it is a useful depopulation tool, to keep pace with the decline in oil production. Ideology is a lot of fun, but resource depletion is what drives collapses.

  48. @Tsar Nicholas

    A year ago I was shopping at a walmart and saw a nice-looking kitschy birdhouse for sale. Turning it over, I saw it was made in china.

    Now, I gotta wonder. Is it really cheaper to build this birdhouse overseas and ship it across the ocean? Don’t we have anyone in America who can build a bird house?

    Or is there just confusion in the money value where everything is mispriced and so it only “looks” cheaper.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  49. @flashlight joe

    Containers have made it really, really cheap to ship stuff across oceans which was already a particularly cheap way to ship things and land; if you’re interested in this sort of thing, I highly recommend The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger. Another part of the puzzle is addressed in the much more technical MIT Press book Prime Movers of Globalization: The History and Impact of Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines.

    Rudolf Diesel used SCIENCE!!! to try to make the very most thermodynamically efficient engine he could, and it’s been wildly successful. You probably know that about truck and locomotive engines, and pretty much all cargo ships also use huge Diesel engines, which except for LNG carriers burn the cheapest, heaviest bunker fuel available, sometimes so thick is needs to be heated to flow.

    So, yeah, us STEM types are also to blame for putting many tools of globalization in the hands of our enemies. Sorry….

    • Replies: @Houston 1992
  50. I love the intro blurb,Orlov the ” expert” has been predicting the demise of the USA for 25 years!!!!!

    FFS and he’s put forward as some sort of expert,whats he gonna do in another 25 years??? I’m sure his fan club will still help Orlovs bank balance buying into this blather

    If he was talking about the USSR I’d pay more attention,unfortunately he’s just another chancer making money selling BS about so called collapse scenarios

    I remember once watching him on The Max Kaiser show and thought what a total weirdo he was,I’m not referring to Max Kaiser incidentally

  51. @JohnPlywood

    However, what if China is able to produce enough chips for Asian markets and its BRI partners, but finds itself tragically unable to supply the US and its vassal states? What happens then?

  52. TG says:
    @Thomasina

    Thank you!

    We are probably all screwed, but a kind word is still appreciated.

  53. Anon[380] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buck Ransom

    You’re getting way ahead of yourself — China can’t produce any 7nm wafers and TSMC depends on lithography equipment that comes from the Netherlands (ASML) to make their wafers. The entire industry is basically dependent on a Western European vassal state of America’s. America owns the global chip industry.

    • Replies: @Houston 1992
  54. @Kevin Barrett

    This over-engineering was a make work, stimulus program for industry driven by govt, usually Ca., re:emissions.
    A 1965 ford was no less fuel efficient than a 2005 xyz. The real deal was driving smaller cars because most of us onlly need 4 cyl for a to b.
    New cars are expensive, horrid to fix, built for ten yrs.
    An engine should do 750k miles and 2 million if diesel but if you put 10k worth of retail cost electronics in then forget about it ater 10 years.
    The period of 1965 to the present was about one thing: brainwashing the first tv kids and then pushing really hard to dunb down the next gens. Now we have absolute idiots who will take a needle, rat out their family, betray their race and kill you for ‘white privilege’.
    A lot of people are going straight to hell at death.

    • Thanks: Malla
  55. @Anon

    Yes, US and its NATO partners are essential for the semi business.

    ASML and ASMI are Dutch based with US facilities

    Japan makes coaters–see TEL; leading edge photoresists, leading edge DRAM raw silicon wafers, and many key subcomponents

    So China has a much catching up to do and it may not be surmountable. They can make 28 nm chips which although a remarkable achievement is approx 2009 litho level tech.

    Will China start hiring Western engineers, and luring back overseas Han to bridge the gap?

    • Replies: @Malla
  56. @Buck Ransom

    China can produce 28 nm chips. Even that relies on Japanese photo resist chemicals, Nikon litho or Dutch-based ASML. Other key inputs are also imported including design software.

    • Replies: @Buck Ransom
  57. @Biff

    Is that new car a Honda? They’re in deep shit right now in that they went all-in on recycling. The electrical system wiring is insulated with a soy based formula that is considered to be delicious to rodents. Insulation, made of soy. Initially in the Boston region, the dealers were blaming the critters and negligence on the part of the owner. But now it’s out about how delicious is the wiring.

    Ok, corporate experts around here: HOW did this one get started, the idea that this was a good idea? Also, how does Honda fix this? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to replace the cars with right and proper insulation, ship them without brains and move the chips from the bad cars to the new? Or will they go on blaming the customer’s critters?

    • Replies: @Biff
  58. Malla says:
    @Houston 1992

    Will China start hiring Western engineers, and luring back overseas Han to bridge the gap?

    China has a Thousand Talents Plan or Thousand Talents Program (TTP) to recognize and recruit leading international experts in scientific research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Thousand Talents program primarily targets Chinese citizens who were educated in elite programs overseas and who have been successful as entrepreneurs, professionals, and researchers. The program also recognizes a small number of elite foreign-born experts with skills that are critical to China’s international competitiveness in science and innovation. International experts in the latter category are typically winners of major prizes such as the Nobel Prize and the Fields Medal, and are expected first to have made internationally renowned contributions to a field of technological importance to China, and secondly to hold either a tenured position at one of the world’s top universities or a senior role in an internationally important research organization. The program grew out of the “Talent Superpower Strategy” of the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2007. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and State Council of the People’s Republic of China elevated the program in 2010 to become the top-level award given through China’s National Talent Development Plan to strengthen innovation and international competitiveness within China. In 2019, the program was re-branded as the “National High-end Foreign Experts Recruitment Plan.” 1000 Talent Plan professorship is the highest academic honor awarded by the State Council, analogous to the top-level award given by the Ministry of Education.
    There have been some international names in the program already
    Prof. Keith M. Kendrick, Prof. Fraser Stoddart, Prof. Mario Lanza, Prof. Tim Byrnes, Prof. Aart Kleijn, Prof. Bernd Wunnemannm, Prof. Marc Battier, Prof. Alexey Guryev, Prof. Dieter H Hoffmann.

    • Thanks: Houston 1992
  59. @Houston 1992

    Honest question: Does Taiwan have this same limitation?

  60. @Buck Ransom

    Yes, all the major players rely upon far flung supply chains for chemicals , tools, design software. The market has consolidated to just a few major players who can make leading edge tech. These suppliers make their products in Europe, USA, Japan even some in Israel. No country is self sufficient.

    Litho is the most extreme example with ASML far ahead of Nikon who are far ahead Canon. But the semi industry relies upon single suppliers for many steps such as Japanese photo resist, Japanese wafers for DRAM and perhaps other devices.

    It would be foolish of China to invade Taiwan because the US /Japan would cut off supplies from ASML, AMAT etc as well as chemical supplies. Their captured TSMC fabs would be worth nothing and the Chinese know that. Far better to have IP leak into China from Taiwan and have their brighter youth earn PhD in STEM at US universities. An invasion would end these IP transfers.

    I think the Apple BoD will order TSMC and Foxxconn to build factories in USA or Europe. Apple has to be worried about supply disruptions. TSMC would prefer not to build in the West, but there is free fiat $ avail to get a free fab, so get it while the freebies are avail. Plus , Apple could threaten to enter the semi business e.g. buy Intel and Micron and fix the supply chain problem themselves by insourcing, Apple has the cash and enough ruthlessness to do that. So TSMC will build stateside imo

    Apple insourcing example: the new M1 chip is designed in Apple although made in TSMC. If TSMC does not cooperate then Apple could buy out Intel, fix its issues with or without Federal handouts, and make the processor chip in its new semi division and TSMC would lose that order

    • Thanks: Buck Ransom
  61. @Buck Ransom

    Not Houston 1992, but Taiwan is of course also part of the worldwide ecosystem for manufacturing chips, but without those embargoes the PRC is being subjected to now. TSMC gets their ASML EUV lithography machines from the Netherlands like everyone else including Intel and Samsung, same with specialty chemicals (there’s been some ugliness between Japan and Korea where the latter is trying to re-litigate the payments for Imperial Japan’s occupation of it, the former is putting something of a squeeze on export licensing of very pure HF, photoresists, etc.), validation tools, a whole bunch more types of machines, etc.

    TSMC’s “magic,” besides being able to pay lower salaries than the West, comes from their doing a better job at making their state of the art logic fab lines sing, in fact they’re currently defining what the start of the art is (note memory is a different game, two in fact, DRAM and flash). I’ve read this is in part because of good business practices, like not taking excessive advantage of customers when demand/supply mismatches are high, and in general creating the world’s highest trust ecosystem for this. Samsung significantly fails in the latter, lies too much, and Intel is a snakepit that now lies incessantly, and I’m pretty sure that’s also an internal problem. Another advantage they have is that they’re more of a pure play foundry than Samsung, which makes a tremendous quantity of chips for their own products like cell phones.

    • Replies: @Buck Ransom
  62. Biff says:
    @Jim Christian

    Hi Jim

    Actually I have a Toyota CH-R hybrid. Here in Thailand rats are a constant problem for vehicles – including scooters.

    Funny Honda story though ;^).

  63. @Buck Ransom

    keep asking, and I will try to answer.

  64. dimples says:
    @Kevin Barrett

    I’m not sure about this, some computerization is good. I’ve recently moved from a long series of carburettor cars to my first fuel-injected vehicle with a computer and I like it. Very easy starting! The main problem with modern cars is that they never stop bleeping at you every which way.

  65. d dan says:

    US embargo of lithography machines (not even manufactured by US) to China is such a short-sighted move. It is forcing China to develop lithography machines on its own. Sure it will take a while, but eventually, it will definitely succeed. History has shown repeatedly that the more China was sanctioned, the faster it developed its own technologies. For example:

    1. US forbids China participation in the International Space Station – China went ahead to launch its space station.

    2. Obama stopped sales of Intel CPU chips to China supercomputer project – China went ahead to develop its own CPU for its Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer.

    3. Europe stopped China participation in the technical development of Galileo project – China went ahead to launch its Beidou faster than Galileo, and has even better features and precision than GPS.

    4. Soviet withdrew its support for China atomic bomb program in 1960. China went ahead to develop its own atomic bomb, and then even detonated its H-bomb (nuclear fusion) one year earlier than France.

    And more, and more…

    The most recent example of course is the unprecedental full spectrum campaign – commercially, legally, politically, diplomatically, technologically, ideologically – unseen in human history by a superpower to kill a single company called Huawei. They even tried to kidnapped the founder’s daughter. A few months ago, I was debating against a commenter in this thread who was happily celebrating and predicting the demise of Huawei. However today, we have:

    “Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE leads global 5G market in Q1 2021”

    https://www.gizmochina.com/2021/06/15/huawei-zte-leads-5g-market-q1-2021/

    After so many examples, it would seem like common sense for people to see the pattern and realize that China is a very technically competent country with extremely patient, focused and determined political and technological leaders. It will be much better for the West to continue to sell gadgets (when they have an edge, e.g. ASML machines) to China, and China would certainly be happy to continue purchasing them. This will allow the West to retain at least some high end market for a long time. Instead, due to combination of myopic short-term interests, jealousy of China’s rise and insecurity, US and the West foolishly try to leverage their diminishing leads to fleece, suppress or even blackmail China, poking the dragon to go all out to develop everything from 5G, to new OS (Huawei’s Harmony OS), to nuclear reactors, to lithography machines, to passenger aircraft (C919)…

    Stupidity and arrogance are the reasons for these unforced error.

  66. US embargo of lithography machines (not even manufactured by US) to China is such a short-sighted move. It is forcing China to develop lithography machines on its own. Sure it will take a while, but eventually, it will definitely succeed. History has shown repeatedly that the more China was sanctioned, the faster it developed its own technologies. For example:

    No matter how much they’ve tried, they still can’t make fighter jet engines that equal Russian ones, let alone rest of the West ones. It’s probably an economic factoid, but they don’t make the 32 billion at last count ball bearings for the ball point pens they manufacture the rest of. There’s absolutely no “will definitely succeed” in making state of the art chips, Samsung for the moment can’t, and that’s with it having access to the world’s ecosystem for this. Note also the ASML supply chain is worldwide, for example the laser which blasts those droplets of tin comes from California.

    1. US forbids China participation in the International Space Station – China went ahead to launch its space station.

    They’re really not very good with rockets, although they’re good enough for their purposes. And of course no one is beating SpaceX today or for the foreseeable future, but that’s an outlier.

    2. Obama stopped sales of Intel CPU chips to China supercomputer project – China went ahead to develop its own CPU for its Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer.

    A 28 nm CPU, which in this discussion has been claimed to be the limit for their mainland logic fab lines. Although Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) claims better today, maybe down to around Intel’s real/economical best (the low numbers have gotten to be more marketing than reality, or at least measuring different things), and per Wikipedia they’re going to start risk production at the end of this year for a node that’s equivalent to Samsung’s 8 nm, “which is slightly better than TSMC’s 10 nm.” They did also score one ASML EUV machine; they won’t be able to continue to run it without support from ASML, but it can certainly be taken apart….

    I find it credible they’ll be able to achieve normal 193 nm UV lithography nodes, and avoid Intel’s mistake with it’s too aggressive “10 nm” node which only uses that, deferring when they started using EUV. But EUV remains to be seen, and when. One bottom line from the TaihuLight is that if they’re not trying to compete with the rest of the world, in for example mobile chips where power usage is a premium, they will be able to make quite good enough chips for their own purposes.

    3. [No knowledge of the European or PRC GPS like system, and they certainly needed to make their own for military reasons.]

    4. Soviet withdrew its support for China atomic bomb program in 1960. China went ahead to develop its own atomic bomb, and then even detonated its H-bomb (nuclear fusion) one year earlier than France.

    Achieving US mid-1940s technology in 1964, and 1954 in 1967 is not exactly remarkable, more like expected for a nation state with their determination. Although doing the latter after the Cultural Revolution started was a major accomplishment, recently came across some stories about that….

    PRC advancements, US decay, it’s hard to know when they might intersect and to what degree that’ll happen, we don’t know the paths of either, if US decay can be fought and stopped in certain or general areas, for example watch world leading SpaceX to see if our ruling trash trashes it. And Xi certainly has set up several unstable situations that could go very wrong for the country, starting with his trying to become the second Mao, and it is rumored, no doubt by his enemies, that he’s trying to set up his daughter as his successor. Or look at what would happen to the PRC if the iffy Three Gorges Dam fails while it has a lot of water behind it….

    • Replies: @Houston 1992
  67. @That Would Be Telling

    I will review. I recall in 2005 my gym’s weights were made in China. Not Mexico, or USA. How could they be shipped so far and handled multiple times, I used to wonder….. I still suspect that China subsidies manufacturing to stave off rebellion whereas we subsidize other matters.

  68. @That Would Be Telling

    thanks for perspective. Keep us updated on the extent to which ASML ships parts, provides support to China’s EUV.

    I agree that China will struggle to determine how the EUV tool works. Even Japan’s Nikon and Canon have struggled with litho.

    Is Huawei in turmoil now struggling to get parts?

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  69. @Houston 1992

    thanks for perspective. Keep us updated on the extent to which ASML ships parts, provides support to China’s EUV.

    Will do, but I’m not currently following the field that closely, and remember hearing about that extremely minor reactor incident? It was because the reactor operator is also under a ban, but companies supporting it can get a standard waiver for safety related stuff (in this case it appears to be an example of a standard problem, a fuel rod leaking, called “fuel failure” in the industry). So the embargo should be really tight.

    I agree that China will struggle to determine how the EUV tool works. Even Japan’s Nikon and Canon have struggled with litho.

    As in, so far they’ve completely failed to get beyond 193 nm UV?

    Is Huawei in turmoil now struggling to get parts?

    That’s my understanding, at least for competitive cell phones, being cut off from TSMC (and Samsung) is very bad in that domain. Might also cut you off from the best modem vendors. I doubt, especially in the long term, their base station line of business is in trouble (except take a gander at the U.K. security audit; they’re shipped insecure because like almost all hardware companies, they suck at software, in this case, really suck).

  70. @Buck Ransom

    this website often seems to fawn over TSMC business model, their lead, cost advantages etc
    This link argues that TSMC may have a near insurmountable lead that perhaps Intel can only close with massive USG aid, and a change in Intel business practices

    https://semiwiki.com/forum/index.php?threads/three-reasons-samsung-electronics-cant-catch-up-with-tsmc.14372/

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  71. @Houston 1992

    Note in particular the Likes by Daniel Nenni, he’s the maestro of Semiwiki and you can take what he says and endorses to the bank; Arthur Hansen is also pretty good. This forum topic is completely consistent with what I was seeing when I stopped following Semiwiki and this topic in general to focus on another domain of things with very small features. If Nvidia is truly moving back to TSMC after pissing on it for years, that’s big.

    TSMC of course did have some nodes that had problems, I think it was Semiaccurate that explained how one iffy TSMC node was negotiated by AMD for graphics chips, vias, that is horizontal connections between metal traces on different levels were iffy, so they laid their circuits out with two vias for every connection needed. Working closely and productively with your fab people, internal and/or external is critical to success at the bleeding edge. And could be one reason Intel is so messed up now, it’s said to have internal fiefdoms who’s leaders are now working hardest to avoid taking blame for messing up two nodes in succession and placing Intel in existential risk. And lying just doesn’t work in engineering.

    • Replies: @Houston 1992
  72. @That Would Be Telling

    Nvidia was getting its devices nabbed at Samsung? Nvidia still had to work with TSMC……?

  73. Nvidia was getting its devices nabbed fabbed at Samsung? Nvidia still had to work with TSMC……?

    That’s what I understand, with Nvidia as of late not doing well with Samsung and having to return business to TSMC, no matter how much the latter is suffering from a crunch of orders.

    Spending some quality time with the Semiwiki site and forum after registering (otherwise free) should be able give you the overall picture, although SemiAccurate.com AKA Charlie Demerjian is always fun, but limits what you can see for free and is more rumor oriented or in that style.

    If you really want to get into the topic, you might go over WikiChip with a fine toothed comb, and you’ll know you’ll have succeeded if you understand all of the nodes mentioned in Demerjian’s “Intel should not rename their processes” although you’ll probably want to limit your focus to just the latest. Like 7 nm and less for TSMC and 14 nm and less for Intel.

    • Thanks: Houston 1992
  74. Petermx says:

    I believe the USSR was always officially atheist and I have always heard that people did not attend church. I also read an article in which President Putin said he was secretly baptized.

    I had never heard the USSR opened its churches during WW II but it would make sense. They almost certainly did that in response to the response of Ukrainians, Belorussians, Russians and others to the invading German army opening up the churches of the oppressed peoples there. The people were very grateful. I have posted several of these videos several times already on this website. Google and YouTube have been removing such videos or making them difficult to find. I commented preciously that Yandex is a better search tool when searching for this material.

    Very informative and interesting interview. Actually, amazing information.

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