* Posts by tooltalk

72 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Dec 2018


Former exec accused of trying to clone entire Samsung chip fab on Chinese soil


Re: "65-year-old allegedly stole"

I think it adds some contex as this particular demographic (ie, retired Samsung/SK Hynix engineers or executives) seems to come up often in IP theft/leak awfully a lot recently in South Korea.

On an unrelated note, I'm not surprised that a Taiwanese investor was bankrolling this operation until they decided to back out (perhaps seeing the rising geopolitical tension during Trump).

China bans Micron products after security review finds unspecified flaws


Re: If they really wanted to make a point

>>They would be banning Apple products<<

what nonsense? Micron's share of memory chips production is only about 20% -- Apple also sources DRAM/NAND chips from Samsung and SK Hynix who dominate the market.

>>They won't go after Apple, of course, <<

Of course, Apple is their golden goose -- Tim Apple is also happy dancing on Xie's lap.

>>since they can't be selling too well against subsidized Chinese made competition for products made for the Chinese market anyway!<<

There is no Chinese competition with mass production capacity. They tried years ago and ended up losing many, many billions.

Korea hopes US will extend sanction exemptions for SK hynix and Samsung


There is no point in disrupting their China operations when 85% of Apple's operation is expected to remain in China. Apple of one of the main reasons why these SK memory suppliers are in China in the first place and Apple has little desire to leave China.

The US gov't needs to address Apple's massive China outsourcing practices if they are serious about decoupling from China.

US sanctions cut Huawei profits by half in first quarter


>> Of course, the US shouldn't be surprised if China deprives Apple of an ingress route into the Chinese economy by banning the sale of iPhones there. After all, that is what the US did to China in 2017. <<

We already have some insights from how China kicked out South Korean businesses one by one: Samsung was forced out about a decade ago. In response, the conglomerate pulled out of China and closed the last smartphone factory in 2019; and left for Vietnam. Samsung is still #1 in global smartphone sales without any Chinese sales and the company's output accounts for as much as 20% of Vietnam's GDP today. The same can be said for Hyundai/Kia who was once among the top sellers in China in early 2010's , but now with a diminutive market share. They rose from #5 to #3 in global auto sales during the same time. China also blocked and harrassed South Korean EV battery businesses from doing business in China starting mid 2010's, now with almost nada market share; now they are expected to dominate 80+% of the NA market and 70+% of global market share.

Nobody is surprised at the CCP's quest for dominance and the US is taking appropriate actions, such as the IRA/CHIPS Act/Huawei ban/etc to counter China's aggression. Apple will continue to do well without China even if they are forced out. There is a lot of opportunity outside China.

>> Huawei became a behemoth in smartphone terms without access to one of the world's biggest smartphone markets. <<

Huawei's smartphones were never competitive. Their phones were available for sale in the US as early as 2013, but sold piss-poor in the US with less than 0.10% market share -- Huawei can't sell jack without demand driven by nationalism.

>> ... How would Apple do without access to China. ... That particular card hasn't been played by China yet. <<

No worries. As explained above,

Apple has already begun the process of moving out of China.

>> These results seem to show a turnaround with revenues slightly up in spite of US efforts to destroy the company and huge R&D investments. <<


Taiwan asks US if it could chill out on the anti-China rhetoric


Re: Americans shooting themselves in the foot again...

>> Taiwan will eventually be forced to side with China and pushed by the US no less. <<

Maybe Taiwanese don't really care so much about America-style liberal democracy. Maybe, just maybe, most Taiwanese are just interested in better economic integration with China and opportunity to make big bucks? The fact that Taiwanese elected pro-China KMT party in last local election seems to indicate that Taiwanese don't feel threatned by potential mainland invasion. Maybe the majority there want to join, rather than be forced, and side with China.


Re: Supposedly?

?? Taiwan had investors from Phillips and TI early on to seed their chip / packaging industry. What are you talking about?


Re: Supposedly?

Well, I kinda agree that Taiwan and South Korea maybe not the best strategic location for global chip production, but Canada or Australia?


Re: So true..

>> bring back some sanity into US politics. <<

I just love Biden's neocon foreign policy -- we already too busy in Ukraine; now Taiwan, you are next!


Deng was wise to advise that China should "hide your strength, bide your time." Instead Xie the dictator got too greedy and ambitious and couldn't wait for the US to self-destruct itself in another 20-30 years.

Japan joins US, Netherlands in chipmaking tech export crackdown


Re: Japan

Wasn't the Yuan dynasty a Mongolian? I guess the Yuan was Chinese in that they were completely conquered by Mongolians... Of course, Japan also tried to invade the Ming China, but couldn't get past the Korean navy.


Re: Japan

Just wonder, do Chinese remember how the US liberated China from the Imperial Japan that would have raped them several times over? Or do they believe they fought back the manicing Japanese on their own (with Stalin's help)?

Meta chops another 10,000 employees, closes 5,000 vacancies


To be fair to Meta, they definitely did overhire during the pandemic. I know a couple of folks who went to work in AI and Infra at Meta a couple of years ago, but left early last year before the layoff. One of them is now back at a hedge fund in NYC and said euphemistically most at Meta weren't good enough for hedge funds.

Meta also flew me out to California a couple of years ago and, based on my interview experience, I didn't get the impression that their bar was very high.

Yes, Samsung 'fakes' its smartphone Moon photos – who cares?


Re: Who cares?

BFD. If you don't want AI proessing, just turn it off[1]:

[ Overview of moon photography]

Since the Galaxy S10, AI technol ogy has been applied to the camera so that users can take the best photos regardless of time and place.

To this end, we have developed the Scene Optimizer function, which helps AI to recognize the subject to be photographed and derive the optimal result.

From Galaxy S21, even when you take a picture of the moon, ai recognizes the target as the moon through learned data, and multi-frame synthesis and deep learning-based ai technology when shooting. The detail improvement engine function that makes the picture clearer has been applied.

Users who want photos as they are without AI technology can disable the optimum shooting function for each scene.

[1] https://r1-community-samsung-com.translate.goog/t5/camcyclopedia/%EB%8B%AC-%EC%B4%AC%EC%98%81/ba-p/19202094?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-GB

South Korea warns US: The CHIPS Act leaves a sour taste


Re: And they accuse *China* of spying..

The only difference in this case is that China uses that as a precondition for approval, so you know what you are getting into before making any investment. In theory, South Koreans can just stop making any investment in the US and not bother with subsidies at all.

The problem with the CHIPS ACT/IRA that South Koreans already made (or started building) multibillion investment in the US is that most of their investments were made after Biden's visit to South Korea where he promised political support for their US investment. It was likewise no other than Biden himself who announced Hyundai's multibillion dollar EV plants in Georgia, only to take away all their EV subsidies 3 months later. The same goes for Samsung's chip business, Biden's first destination on his South Korea visit was Samsung's new fab at Pyeongtak and encouraged US investment and political support, so this is also now about American gov't credibility as well.


and I've been telling South Koreans not to give away free subsidies Tesla ($80+M in 2022) and bailout to American companies like GM ($3+B in 2019).


Re: Say what?

wonder why anyone would say this? This is like saying India and Pakistan are firm allies; or Poland and Russias are firm allies; etc.

I do see some reasons why Biden's neocons are frustrated and would want to push this narrative: for instance, South Korea's refusal to get involved in the Ukraine war; or join Biden's chip war against China.


Re: And they accuse *China* of spying..

Yes, this is exactly what China used to do to foreign companies wanting to do business in China. Samsung pulled out of China and closed last smartphone factory in 2019, though they still maintain one large NAND flash plant in Xi'an. Wonder what Samsung would do next with their new Texas fab.

I guess Biden's grand strategy is to out-China China.


Re: Money for nothing.

Biden's CHIPS subsidy is for manufacturing in the US; not for revealing their trade secrets.

Datacenters still a boys' club, staffing shortages may change that


I worked as a datacenter monkey when I was an intern and in my early career eons ago. These jobs gradually phased out as most companies now co-located their datacenter/servers miles away from their offices, especially after the 9/11 -- in the US, for instancebanks/financial institutions are required to host their datacenter at least 50 miles away from their offices + additional DR sites, under SEC rules. Most mid/small tech companies moved away from running their own on-premise DC due to their cost and overhead, as AWS became a popular alternative.

These are hardly glorious jobs that lead to better career or economic safety. This is roughly equvailent to plumbing which ironically is also dominated by male,

So why is theRegister peddling this nonsensical "boy's club" narrative?

White House ban on US chip cash going into China ruffles South Koreans


Re: Just wondering

I suspect that Intel knew about this potential ban when Intel decided to sell their Xi'an plant to SK.

Chinese semiconductor industry: This Western chip ban alliance stinks


Doesn't require much efforts to build old pithos as SMEE already did with 28nm last year (with help from Japan). It is however widely acknowledged that china is going to need at least 10-20 years to develop their own EUV without rightout theft.

Warren Buffet cashes out of TSMC, which splashes cash on fabs


Re: Warren Buffet

Nah, you are just as clueless as Buffet when it comes to chip/transistor technologies. Can't even bother looking it up on Google?


Re: Warren Buffet

see my other comment. Buffet bought TSMC in 3Q when the stock price was in $77-$90 and sold in 4Q $62-$83 when the stock price was much lower.

Also note that Buffet's "PURCHASE" in 3Q was "DISCLOSED" in mid-November -- he didn't buy TSMC in November. In another word, he either just broke even or made a tiny profit when he bailed out.


Re: Warren Buffet

Also, this article is wrong: the purchase was "reported/disclosed" on Nov 11, but the actual purchase was made and accumulated during 3Q. According to WSJ (Feb. 15, 2023):

"... Berkshire first disclosed its stake in TSMC on Nov. 14, after having bought $4.1 billion worth of shares in the company by the end of the third quarter. ..."

And Barron (Feb. 14, 2023):

"... Berkshire Hathaway (ticker BRK/A, BRK/B) reduced its interest in Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) to 8.3 million shares in the fourth quarter from 60 million shares ..."

TSMCs stock was in the $77-$90 range during 3Q and $62-$83 during Q4, 2023. It's highly probable that Buffet's minions bought them at peak; then panicked as it sunk to $62 in 4Q. He lost about a 1/3 in the worst possible case or, most likely. just broke even and quickly bailed out. It's foolish of him to go against his own advise he preaches to others: "Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”


Re: Warren Buffet

Buffet is not a day-trader -- certainly not a tech trader. He probably recognized that his minions, Todd or Ted, made a grieve mistake and quickly pulled out of TSMC. it would have been fun to watch him explain why his company'd bought TSMC and explain the difference between FinFET and GAAFET.

Foxconn expands Vietnam factories, perhaps to help Apple diversify beyond China


except that Apple is not moving out of China b/c there is too much money on the table. Apple was the best selling iPhone last quarter in China with nearly 25% of the market share.

ASML says Chinese employee stole data as US sanctions bite


Re: Punch

>> " ... they made it quite clear what the rules were and that those rules might change at any time and the greedy capitalists lined up to fill their boots. .. "

" ... China hasn't changed, so I wonder why America needs to suddenly impose sanctions on them?

You mean like where China pledged to comply with the WTO access protols and "the foundational WTO principles of pursuing market-oriented policies while providing non-discrimination, national treatment, and reciprocity" back in 2001? It's fairly widely acknowledged that China, after having made that promise, failed to meet various commitments on issues such as industrial subsidization, protection of foreign intellectual property, forcing joint ventures and technology transfer, and providing market access to services industries, much less blatant espionage/theft.

>> China hasn't changed, so I wonder why America needs to suddenly impose sanctions on them?

You are absolutely right China hasn't changed: they never had any desire to comply with their pledge in the first place and they've followed through on that. China had been able to hide behind the "developing country" status and exploit asymmetric access to the world's vast market without having to follow the rules and standard, but this was out of other WTO members's generosity (and also greed), but this is no more.

I have to ask though, are you Chinese? I hear this asinine defense time to time that "China always comply with all the rules" or that "China never steal" from the mainland Chinese younglings living abroad drunk on the CCP's propagada / nationalism.

US in talks with critical chip tech countries Netherlands, Japan. Topic? China sanctions


Re: I hope they won't participate - thin edge of the wedge here

>> ASML's backlog just increased to $30+B last quarter -- they are doing fine.

According to their most recent quarterly filing, 4Q 2022, it's $40B; $30B was from 3Q, 2022.


Re: Too late?

We know very little about SMIC's 7nm. It's probably legit since Mong Sang Liagn, ex-head of TSMC's R&D is co-heading the company, but probably very inefficient and expensive. This is probably the last node they can develop with all the DUVs they have.


Re: I hope they won't participate - thin edge of the wedge here

>>Why should the country harm its own industries ...

ASML's backlog just increased to $30+B last quarter -- they are doing fine.

>> Yes, they will then tell you about all the Chines espionage, while simultaneously keeping vewwy, ...

I'm inclined to believe that it's more than that. Once China become dominant in anything, they are going to start weaponizing them -- eg, rare earth metal export control against Japan to settle political dispute in 2010. I'm no fan of the neocon's influence on the US foreign policy to promote "American liberal democracy" everywhere, but China is an existiential threat to the world.


Re: Trade war idiocracy continues

>> the US used to invade countries to please it's oil giants,

And China invaded Vietnam to defend the genocidal Pol Pot. Your point?

>>now it's waging a trade war against China to please Intel, Texas Instruments and other semiconductor zombie companies?

Well, TI, Intel, and others wouldn't have become zombie if the gov't had subsidized their business to the tune of $40B like China has been doing.

US ban on China chip exports rebounds, causes 2,700 job losses


Re: Politics shouldn’t enter science and technology

>>Politics shouldn’t enter science and technology

Would you say the same about the CCP? China's tech industry is in part orchestrated by the CCP's initiatives -- eg, "MADE-IN-CHINA 2025." Look at China's EV industry for instance -- the gov't was actively engaged in protectionism against foreign competitors and giving out subsidies.

>>Unless there is an actual threat of imminent war,

While I am a critic of neocon's "American liberal democracy everywhere," I'd much prefer this to the CCP's global hegemony. China has already shown what they willl do once they become economically dominant in something -- ie, rare earth metal export control against Japan in 2010 to settle a political dispute.


Re: I'm trying to look surprised

>> Then again, we don't have politicians launching rockets.

What nonsense is this? We don't have keyboard warriots lauchning rockets either.

There is no volume Chinese DRAM maker in China. Lam's Chinese customers are mostly foreign companies such as Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron where up to 30%-40% of their DRAM and NAND are produced. Those South Korean companies also received one-year reprieve from the Biden administration -- there is no export restriction.

China may have to reassess chip strategy in face of US sanctions


Re: US semiconductor industry???

ASML doesn't make all parts in-house. As you noticed with their depends on Zeiss glasses, which is now part of ASML, the company depends on pver 600 suppliers, of which slightly less than 25% are Americans. ASML's 2nd largest R&D center is in CT; laser/light-source R&D in San Diego, CA (via its American subsidiary Cymer), and software R&D in Silicon Valley, CA, so America's footprint in ASML's DUV/EUV dominance isn't small.

The days of one company or one country managing all layers of chip-making supply-chain is over. Taiwan and South Korea just manufacture chips; but really have no chip equipement supply-chain of their own and up to 90% of them are imported from either Japan and the US (and the Netherland). Once top-American chip makers such as AMD, IBM have given up on chip manuafcturing to focus on designing and research and, bar Intel and Micron, there is nobody else making chips inhouse. China handles mostly labor-intensive assembly/packaging/testing part of the supply-chain, but they are still too young and inexperienced -- most of China's chip initiatives are in fact spearheaded by Tawanese-expat -- ie, ex-TSMC/UMC engineers hoping to strike gold in China.

Apple accused of censoring apps in Hong Kong and Russia to maintain market access


Re: Not really a surprise

>> Apple only takes a stand for freedom and justice when its CEO does not run the risk of ending up in jail. In China, he would.

Which is why other American tech companies, eg, Google and Facebook, opted out of China years ago and even their #1 competitor1, Samsung, pulled their massive smartphone operation out of China. Tim Apple needs 50+% profit margin on their iPhones.

Latest US blacklist spells trouble for China’s biggest domestic 3D NAND supplier


Re: Too Far?

>> This is starting to look more like protectionism than technology concerns.

Biden protecting South Korea's chip industry? Samsung and Hyunix own about 60% of the nand/memory market share; Micron has tiny 20% share -- they are obviously the largest beneficiary.

>> we will be the ultimate losers as the US/EU alternative chip farms are still only at the "how big a grant do we get?" stage and that will make some chips scarce and more expensive.

That's what they said about the rare earth metals too -- China .ended up wihth 95+% of the market as a result back in 2009. China was all too happy to weaponize it against other countries (eg, Japan in 2010). The world finally woke up to this danger of China owning dominance marketshare or singular source for anything. China is accountable for slightly less than 2/3 of the rare metals today.

China doesn’t need to take Taiwan’s fabs to escape US trade bans


Re: "Cut off from..."

or maybe not. Most Taiwanese aren't worried about China invasion. They know there are tons of money to be made in China and just want better integration with China's economy. It's no secret that most of CCP's chip initiatives are spearheaded by Taiwanese expats like Mong Sang Liang, a former head of R&D at TSMC, and many other former <fill in your Taiwanese company> engineers.


Re: The USA

Yeah, Ukraine is mostly America's war.

We should give Taiwan $4.5b to protect chip fabs from China, say US senators


Are you kidding? That's 1/3 of the US debt owned by foreigners -- vs. 15% for Japan's debt.


First of all, last I checked Japan, China, Germany and other foreign entities were the top holders of the US debt. Second, Japan's debt is held mostly by domestically, not American. Third, seriously, Greece, or Italy?

Biden administration prepares to bring hammer down on Chinese chipmakers


> why is China singled out? Why is this not a global export ban?

I'm very much inclined to believe that Biden's recent policies are designed to thwart China as well other foreign competitors who are also supposed America's allies -- ie, protectionism. If the Biden administration really worried about China's rising threat in tech and EV, all he needs to do is go after American companies like Apple and Tesla who have massive manufacturing base in China. American companies like Apple further have gone out of their way, not only to make products cheap in China, but also invested over $270+B to prop up China's young tech industry and, to this date, in spite of the on-going trade war, the company make every effort to source supplies from China when there are other competitive products from mature suppliers like Micron -- Marc Rubio was the only to speak out against this. Apple's iPhones and iPads made in China thesedays account for the majority of the US-China trade imbalance -- the US can cut down about 1/3 of it by ending Apple's China outsourcing.


Re: Well Murica... if Sanctions are working so well...Why do you need more?

Most of Chinese names you see on chip-making academic papers and patents are most probably from Taiwan -- TSMC is now #4 top US patent grantee, only after IBM, Samsung, and Cannon. You'd also find that, if you dig deeper, most of the top brass/engineers at TSMC are also US-educated.

China's chip industry is still very young and they don't really have indigenous chip making talents or expertise of their own. It's likewise no surprise then that most of China's chip initiatives are spearheaded or assisted by Taiwanese expat in China (ie, former TSMC engineers). They are not necessarily "hungry," but they are definitely looking to enrich themselves by transfering their know-how. -- just look at SMIC's top co-honcho, Mong-Song Liang, a former-TSMC executive/engineer (with PhD from UCBerkeley).


Re: Isn't this going to make the chip shortage worse?

Yep, and most of those chip manufacturing supply-chain is in either the US and Japan (or about 70+%). China and Taiwan import pretty much everything (they have little or no supply-chain of their own) and it would take significant time & resources for them to organically develop their own -- ie, without outside help.


Re: Isn't this going to make the chip shortage worse?

banning Chinese chip makers won't make much difference. China's domestic market consumes some ~25% of all chips produced globally, but they barely produce ~8%. And it's not easy to build their own chip industry from ground up largely b/c the chip manufacturing supply-chain sector is outside China or Taiwan -- China/Taiwan depend almost entirely on Japan, the US, the Dutch (EUV), etc imports for equipments.

China's own equipment maker SMEE just started to make 28nm lithos and SMIC's 14nm mass production line has been up for a while, but it's still too small to make a difference.


Re: Well Murica... if Sanctions are working so well...Why do you need more?

Sure, wumao. Sanctions are working fine -- America's problem is that they started too late and the US dept of Commerce didn't enforce them until very recently -- remember SMIC got away with $40+B in 80+ licenses until last year (1/3 of them highly "classified"). Nobody wants to build that crippled DUV based 7nm that SMIC developed.

Please say hello to Huawe who is according to your nosense is winning! LOL!

Apple warned by US lawmakers over using Chinese YMTC chips in new iPhone


Re: Danger Will Robinson!

It was recently revealed that Apple had sworn their loyalty to Xi years ago -- and Tim Apple committed over $270+B investment in domestic tech industry in China and continue to favor and pump up inferior and immature products made at Chinese companies in their love of all things China. Love from Al Gore.


Re: Apple needs to bolt from the US

Apple is effectively a Sino-American company. It's not certainly where their loyalty lies at this point -- I'm betting it's on China. Sometimes it looks like Al Gore is still peddling globalization and MAKE-CHINA-GREAT-AGAIN at Apple.


Re: Another pathetic soundbite attempt

Rubio is addressing just data security. It's also about economic security. There is absolutely no reason for American tech companies such as Apple to go out of their way and buy MIC goods, just out of their loyalty to CCP.

Korea to attend 'Chip 4' meeting as global doubts mounts over US initiative


Re: Democracy chips

freedom chips maybe?