CHIPS Act: The Leading Edge Gap

With $52.7 billion slated for grants to support Sections 9902 through 9906 of the 2021 National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA), Washington faces daunting next steps to define and execute on a CHIPS Act program to move the U.S. semiconductor industry toward domestic chip supply chain resiliency and manufacturing and technology leadership over the next five years.

With the growing tensions across the Taiwan Strait, the timeline for achieving domestic supply chain resiliency seems to be increasingly urgent. This is especially true for leading-edge manufacturing as the U.S. continues to trail  Asia. There are nontrivial risks that need to be addressed for Washington’s near- and long-term promises for the CHIPS Act to be realized.

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CHIPS Act: A Vital First Step

The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, signed Tuesday by President Biden, includes the stated purpose of challenging China’s pursuit of technological and manufacturing leadership in the global semiconductor industry. The bill easily passed both the Senate (64-33) and the House (243-187) with bipartisan support in both houses.

While the passage of the CHIPS Act is a historic achievement that directly addresses the need for chip supply chain resilience add capacity in the U.S., it is also a timely and important commitment to a much longer and comprehensive policy effort to ensure long-term U.S. technology and market share leadership in the vital semiconductor industry.

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Nvidia + Arm makes a tough pill to swallow: Lee

On December 2nd, 2021, the FTC announced that it would move to block Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm Holding. This most recent complaint has become another link in a global chain of regulatory legal challenges and reviews that could sink Nvidia’s $40 billion bid first announced on Sept. 13,  2020.

The deal was bound to be a tough one to close from the outset as marquee Arm licensees such as Qualcomm, Alphabet, and Microsoft protested the union. However, Nvidia did manage to muster public support from Mediatek, Marvell, and Broadcom support for the transaction shortly after.

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IAA Mobility 2021: Key Takeaways

event featured the heavyweights in the semiconductor industry on the main stage of IAA Mobility, most notably, Cristano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm and Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel. Both business leaders presented back-to-back keynotes that offered common and divergent perspectives on the role of silicon and connectivity in the future of the car. Collectively, Cristano and Pat outlined an ambitious future for the car founded on the projection of digital technologies of the data center and smartphone on the automobile.

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The US-China Tech War: Technology and Digital Economic Leadership at the Crossroads

Last week, the US Senate passed the USICA (The United States Innovation and Competition Act) which includes the CHIPS for America Act. Despite what the title of the USICA and its sub articles might suggest, the policy is largely a manifesto for dealing with a rising and highly competitive China with particular concern for the Western rival’s ambition to achieve semiconductor self-sufficiency and Huawei’s ascension as the leading 5G technology vendor. The Act presents several concrete policy measures to diminish China’s access to US semiconductor technologies and 52 billion USD in federal funding to build a more resilient semiconductor supply chain. But will these policies help the US achieve what the title of the USICA suggest; improve US semiconductor supply chain resiliency and competitiveness in 5G? Will it stop the technological advancement of China and its digital economy long enough for the West to tame it? 

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Fostering the 5G Innovation Economy for the European Auto Industry

5G is about vertical industries. It promises to connect things beyond the smartphone in new ways and at a scale that was not possible with previous generations of mobile wireless technology. The auto industry has long been considered one of the frontier industries ripe for 5G reinvention. On May 19th, France Brevets hosted a virtual conference to discuss the importance of incubating a healthy regional innovation economy. The goal? To foster technological leadership in transformative technologies such as 5G to help secure a competitive future for the European auto industry.

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Tech Insight: RISC-V – Ready or Not?

The semiconductor industry has never faced a more tumultuous and exciting time than now. Competition, innovations, and geopolitics are forcing tectonic shifts in the industry landscape. These shifts have put a spotlight on RISC-V from multiple vantage points that highlight its emerging importance. While it is still early days, SiFive has been at the forefront of advancing the RISC-V agenda and bringing it to the mainstream. The company’s founders are the founders of the open semiconductor standard. How are they approaching an incredibly dynamic market and fast-changing industry?

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Lee: Is Nvidia Grace a sign of doubt?

Nvidia’s entry into the data center CPU game has been widely celebrated as a landmark move that poses an existential threat to Intel’s dominance in the data center. Accordingly, Nvidia’s stock jumped 5.62 percent upon the announcement while Intel’s dropped 4.18 percent. However, the advent of Project Grace feels like something else. It could suggest that Nvidia sees the writing on the wall and needs a hedge in the event that Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of Arm falls through.

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Huawei Annual Report 2020: A Year of Survival

neXt Curve was in Nice, France attending the premier global event for digital transformation in the telecommunications industry held from May 14th through May 16th and hosted by TM Forum.  Leading vendors and operators converged to discuss what it will take help the telecom industry reinvent itself and aid telecom service providers in becoming digital service providers.  Now that 5G has arrived in select markets around the globe, the pressure is on for telecom operators to transform their operating models to capture the value promised by the next generation network.

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Industry Insight: A Biden Tech Policy

On January 20th, a new US Administration took office in the midst of a global pandemic, economic crisis and deteriorated Sino-US trade & security relations. During the Trump Administration, the tech industry became the epicenter of the trade war as US and China quickly escalated their exchange of tit-for-tat tariffs and bans. What will change under a Biden Administration if anything?

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