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Japan Officially Restricts Sales of Chipmaking Equipment to China

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The Japanese government on Friday officially announced a list of 23 wafer fab tools that would be subject to export controls. This decision is expected to make it more challenging for Japanese high-tech companies to export these items to China, reports Nikkei. Specifically, Chinese foundry champion SMIC and NAND memory leader YMTC will not be able to procure the equipment they need to make advanced chips.

Among the 23 items subject to Japan’s export controls are all immersion lithography machines, etching equipment, tools used for chemical wafer polishing (and possibly post-CMP cleaning), and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) mask-testers, according to DigiTimes. These devices are made by ten companies, including Lasertec, Nikon, Screen Holdings, and Tokyo Electron. The updated regulation is expected to be formally declared in May and put into effect in July, so Chinese companies have at least three months to get the tools they might need.

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