Happy Holidays to all and to all a good cycle

G. Dan Hutcheson
G. Dan Hutcheson
The Chip Insider®

IBM and Rapidus Partner to compete in the next World Cup of Semiconductors: 2nm foundry technology. The timing of this announcement was perfectly fitting for the holidays, because in a way it was IBM’s Christmas gift to Japan and fans of the World Cup of Semiconductors. Everybody knows that competition for semiconductor leadership in advanced logic has narrowed to three teams: Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States – Represented by TSMC, Samsung, and Intel... Japan led the Semiconductor World Cup in the 80s and early 90s when leadership was… In a story fit for a major motion picture, Japan brought Tetsuro (Terry) Higashi and Atsuyoshi Koike out of retirement to be Chairman and President of the newly formed Rapidus semiconductor company, just announced this November. Of course, the movie will only come if they pull this off, but what a story: Funding is a mere 7.3B Yen or roughly $50M. That’s an aspirational 1000x less than needed. Team Rapidus is backed by none other than Toyota Motor, Sony, Softbank, Kioxia, Denso, NEC, NTT, as well as Mitsubishi UFJ Bank. Japan’s government is also behind it… What made the leadership of Higashi-san and Koike-san so different from traditional leaders in Japan was they were willing to play an international game. Pitching for the Yomiuri Giants team was never enough for them. They wanted to make to a big-league team like the San Francisco Giants – And they did. Koike-san was central to what is now the Kioxia/Western-Digital partnership. Higashi-san led TEL’s long march out of being sales rep for American products in Japan to being one of the top semiconductor equipment suppliers worldwide. So if any two in Japan have the vision to pull this off they do…

How TSMC took the lead in EUV: Hi Dan, I absolutely love this quote: “getting into semiconductors for the uninitiated is like a field trip for hemophiliacs to a razor-blade factory.” Regarding Samsung’s less successful EUV development, here is my observation…

Anniversary of the Transistor: 75 years ago today, the world was irrevocably changed with the first working transistor made by John Bardeen and Walter Brattain under the inspiration of William Shockley at Bell Labs. More than an anniversary, there are a lot of R&D and marketing lessons to learn from their discovery… The Competitive Race … Semiconductor World Cup Leadership would be and, 75 years later, remains defined by who is best at making a better transistor or finding a better way to interconnect them... The transistor quickly evolved from the point-contact developed at Bell Labs, to… Semiconductor World Cup competition has been ruthless. By 1960, there were 24 semiconductor companies in the world, 18 of which were in North America and 14 in Silicon Valley. By 1975 this had ballooned to 229, 141, and 75 – respectively. 1980, it was 286, 139, and 93. This would peak in 1985, with 406 companies globally.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good cycle...TechInsights wants to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season. We’ve just ended a third solid year for our industry. Growth smoothly lost altitude from the nosebleed heights of 2021 as chip shortages steadily eased when new capacity came on-line. Production in silicon wafer equivalents was almost 25% higher than when the shortage started in 2020. … With 11 months of data in for 2022, TechInsights …

Happy Holidays: Wishing you all the Hope, Wonder, and Joy that the Season can bring!

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