Is 2024 the year of the legacy chip?

It may be too early to tell, but the momentum is promising. The latest evidence comes from a Wall Street Journal exclusive on a letter from House CCP Select Committee leaders.  In the letter, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) call on the Biden administration to take “urgent action” to keep the PRC from dominating the legacy chip (also known as foundational chip) market. They warn, “If the United States becomes dependent on the PRC for foundational chips, our military and economic well-being may run the risk of being overly reliant on the Chinese Communist Party.” We couldn’t agree more and are glad Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi called on Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to… Read More

Raimondo Talks Tough at Reagan Defense Forum But Challenges Remain  

Last weekend Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo spoke at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, one of the signature events on the national security calendar. As the name might suggest, the gathering is traditionally popular with right-leaning national security figures, so credit a Democratic Secretary of Commerce for making an appearance. While she did have comments worth applauding, it’s clear the administration is still focused on advanced chips and needs to broaden its focus to counter threats at the legacy chip level for the sake of our national security and economic prosperity.   CTT has long argued that U.S. semiconductor equipment companies are putting cash over country (see our report by that name) by selling some of the world’s most sensitive… Read More

Raimondo Email Hacked, Huawei-SMIC Teaming Up – China’s Not Slowing Down

Yesterday, news broke that Chinese cyberspies hacked into emails at the U.S. Commerce and State Departments. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was among those affected. According to The Washington Post, officials said the hackers were “looking for information useful to the Chinese government” and “had access to the email accounts for about a month before the issue was discovered and access cut off.” This brazen intrusion isn’t surprising, since Commerce has gotten tougher on China with export controls to protect our national security, most notably through its October 2022 action to restrict China’s advanced semiconductor capabilities. Ironically, The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy piece the same day the hacker story broke called “‘An Act of War’: Inside America’s Silicon Blockage Against China.” The article poses an important… Read More

YMTC Increases Technical Capabilities While Commerce Department Dithers

A new report from Dylan Patel of SemiAnalysis paints a picture of a NAND chip market over which Chinese chipmakers like YMTC are poised to grab massive market share. Over the past few years, the NAND chip market has enjoyed explosive growth, with Patel writing that “the number of bits of NAND manufactured and shipped has grown at a pace of 30% to 35% every year.” Earlier this month, YMTC announced the ability to develop 232-layer chips, a major technological breakthrough that puts it on par with rival global leaders. Writes Patel, “YMTC is not just a copycat with trailing edge technology like many erroneously perceive Chinese semiconductor companies on the leading edge. They are building their own innovative and… Read More

Bipartisan Group of Senators Pushes Commerce Department to Restrict China’s YMTC

As Chinese military-backed chipmaker YMTC continues to depend on American technology to gain market share in the semiconductor sector, seven U.S. Senators have sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo characterizing the company as an “immediate threat” and urging it to be placed on the Commerce Department’s Entity List – meaning American firms would be banned from selling key technologies to YMTC. While senators including Bill Hagerty, Marco Rubio, and Mark Warner have long raised the dangers of YMTC and called for placement on the Entity List, this letter represents the most definitive and bipartisan statement from Congress to date on the issue, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senators John Cornyn, James Risch, and Mike Crapo joining Hagerty,… Read More