On December 18th, 2020, SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Company), China's largest foundry, was added to the Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Entity List. This was not a surprising move by the US Department of Commerce given the increasing stringency and aggressiveness of the Trump Administration’s tech trade policy toward China over the last couple of years, especially with the advent of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Besides, Secretary Wilbur Ross indicated in September that SMIC would likely join Huawei on the BIS’s Entity List. What are the implications on the semiconductor industry and the future of 5G?
In November of 2019, the RISC-V Foundation moved their base to Switzerland as the US government continued its increasingly aggressive protectionist policies impacting tech trade globally. Flash forward to today. The US Department of Commerce continues to press its campaign against China’s tech industry. RISC-V presents a possible neutral zone in what is a global semiconductor industry divided by geopolitics. Growing interesting in RISC-V have been further fueled by Nvidia's recent announcement that it would be purchasing Arm for $40 billion. Are the stars aligning for RISC-V?
AI related technologies have been around for decades. It is nothing new despite the recent hype that has elevated AI to the forefront of the “digital” discussion. Why are we excited about AI? It is becoming increasingly ubiquitous thanks to some pivotal advancements in how and where AI can be deployed. TinyML is one of these advancements that promises to bring AI to the tiniest of things.
The semiconductor industry is the foundation of our digital world. Everything runs on semiconductor products and continues to advance with each new process node. As we reach the physical limits of Moore’s Law, what comes next? Heterogenous computing and heterogenous packaging are opening up new possibilities for progressing Moore's Law through advancements in the way that we design, integrate semiconductor devices and systems.
5G, AI, and the cloud are intersecting to unlock real-time autonomous capabilities at the edge. This evolution represents an inflection point for edge computing and a new frontier for business innovation and reinvention. Discover the potential of ubiquitous intelligence, edge cloud computing, and autonomous infrastructure to transform our world from the age of digital business to autonomous enterprise.
Shortly after Softbank announced that it was looking to spinoff or sell Arm, which they acquired in 2016 for $32 billion, the rumor mill went into full speed. Speculation ran the gamut from Intel to Apple as potential buyers. Who would court Arm? Rumors settled on Nvidia, the GPU company. Would a Nvidia + Arm union make sense? After all, Nvidia has done well and created a disruptive narrative within the semiconductor industry with its GPU-centered plot line which branches off into numerous subplots in telco networking, edge computing and various AI application domains such as autonomous vehicles, intelligent systems and smart manufacturing.
An unexpected but pleasant surprise was announced at Qualcomm's recent earnings call. Huawei had settled its $1.8 billion dispute with Qualcomm regarding the licensing of essential technologies. It represents another important win for Qualcomm in its long and hard fought battle with OEMs including Apple to preserve the integrity and vitality of its technology business. It can be considered a win for innovation. But what does the settlement mean in the grand scheme of things and the rising tensions between the US government and Huawei?
At Apple’s 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Tim Cook delivered the headline that we long anticipated - Macs will transition away from Intel’s x86 processors and adopt Apple’s own proprietary silicon. Why not? After all, Apple has been designing industry-leading processors for its iPhone and Apple Watch which have also powered the iPad, iPod and Apple TV. The writing was on the wall that Apple would bring the Mac into the Apple silicon fold.
The US Department of Commerce recently amended its foreign-produced direct product rule (FPDP) and Entity List to include HiSilicon, Huawei’s semiconductor design subsidiary. This action has been widely deemed an escalation of the US government's "war on Huawei. In the broader context of the US sanction on Chinese tech firms, the addendum applies a consistency of "national security and foreign policy purpose” to HiSilicon.
We have come a long way in a short time since COVID-19 emerged from Wuhan, China late last year. The virus has stealthily yet rapidly evolved from a provincial epidemic to a pandemic that is suffocating the largest and the smallest of economies around the globe.