ELECTRONICS NEWS HIGHLIGHTS W27-2023
1. MICRON CUT PRODUCTION BY 30%
In November last year, Micron announced that it would cut memory chip production by 20%, due to many manufacturers having inventories and falling market demand. Entering this year, sales revenue of PCs and smartphones continues to decline, leading to a decrease in the demand for memory chips from manufacturers. Lowering Micron’s output is said to be a reasonable solution to help balance the market’s supply chain. Micron’s total investment this year is about $8 billion, down more than 30% year-over-year. The production reduction is forecast to continue until 2024.
Details: MICRON CUT PRODUCTION BY 30%
2. RISC-V PLAYS ROLE IN CHINA’S CHIP DESTINY
RISC-V (full name is Reduced Instruction Set Computing – Five) is an open-source computer architecture based on a reduced instruction set (RISC) system. It is an instruction set that provides a limited and basic set of instructions, intended to optimize performance and simplify chip design and implementation. One of the distinguishing features of RISC-V is that it is offered as open-source code, allowing anyone to use, modify, and develop this architecture without having to purchase a license. RISC-V provides an alternative to established instruction set architectures (ISAs) such as Arm and Intel 8086, and allows companies to control their entire supply chain instead of depending on vendors external supply.
Using RISC-V as a platform is becoming a trend in China. With the open-source architecture, Chinese companies can manufacture chips anywhere, including in Taiwan, without being blocked by existing sanctions. This is different from using Arm, Nvidia or 8086 architecture.
The popularity of RISC-V has led to the emergence of many leading companies and organizations involved in the development and implementation of this architecture, including giants such as Alibaba, Tencent, etc. It created a diverse ecosystem of RISC-V-based development tools, processors, memory, and other related technologies.
3. INFINEON MAY PRODUCE SILICON CARBIDE WAFERS IN EUROPE
Today, only a few companies in the world have the manufacturing capacity of large-size silicon carbide wafers. Wolfspeed is currently the leader in this field and the only manufacturer capable of mass-producing 8-inch silicon carbide wafers. With the growth of the new energy vehicle market, the industry’s demand for silicon carbide will continue to increase, but the current production capacity is very limited.
In May 2023, Infineon signed supply agreements with two Chinese companies respectively, and the two companies will supply 150mm silicon carbide wafers and ingots. However, industry insiders believe that in order to ensure the long-term supply of this raw material, Infineon is likely to plan in advance to produce silicon carbide substrates by itself. As a German company, Infineon is expected to invest and build a factory in Germany, and at the same time, it will facilitate access to financial subsidies from the country.