US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on Saturday urged lawmakers, Silicon Valley and US allies to stop China from getting semiconductors and cutting-edge technologies key to national security.
Speaking at an annual national defense forum in Simi Valley, California, Raimondo called Beijing “the biggest threat we’ve ever had” and stressed that “China is not our friend.”
The world’s top two economies are locked in a fierce commercial and geopolitical rivalry, in which her department plays a leading role.
In October, Raimondo unveiled a series of restrictions on the export of advanced chips to China, including those used in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), to prevent their use by Beijing for its military.
“I know there are CEOs of chip companies in this audience who were a little cranky with me when I did that, because you’re losing revenue. Such is life, protecting our national security matters more than short-term revenue,” she said.
“Newsflash: Democracy is good for your businesses. Rule of law here and around the world is good for your businesses,” she said.
Raimondo said that Nvidia Corp, maker of the most sophisticated chips needed to develop the latest generation of AI, had developed a product that performs just below the limit set by her department for export to China.
“That’s what industry does,” she said. “That’s not productive.”
“Every day China wakes up trying to figure out how to do an end run around our export controls ... which means every minute of every day, we have to wake up tightening those controls and being more serious about enforcement with our allies,” she said.
Separately, the US government proposed new rules on Friday regarding its electric vehicle (EV) subsidies, setting limits on material that producers can source from China or other rival countries.
The guidelines spell out how EVs could qualify for a tax credit of up to US$7,500 under US President Joe Biden’s landmark climate action plan, the Inflation Reduction Act.
They come as Washington works to reduce its burgeoning electric car industry’s reliance on China. Currently, the key EV industry is dominated by China.
Under the latest proposal released by the US Department of Treasury, an eligible clean vehicle cannot contain battery components made or assembled by a “foreign entity of concern” starting next year.
From 2025, a qualifying vehicle also cannot contain critical minerals extracted, processed or recycled by such entities.
This targets companies owned by, or subject to the jurisdiction of countries like China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. They would be barred from providing such materials to vehicles aiming to qualify for tax breaks.
A firm could be considered a foreign entity of concern if it were incorporated in one of these countries, or if it hit a 25 percent ownership threshold.
The latest rules would likely reduce the number of vehicles eligible for tax credits while piling pressure on automakers as they grapple with the transition to producing electric cars.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s (TSMC, 台積電) first wafer fab in Kumamoto, Japan is still set to launch commercial production in the fourth quarter of this year as planned, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said on Saturday in response to reports that mass production might begin ahead of schedule. TSMC said the monthly production capacity of the joint venture fab, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM), is expected to hit 55,000 units of 12-inch wafers, using the mature 12-nanometer, 16-nanometer, 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer processes. JASM is owned by TSMC and its Japanese business partners Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp and Denso Corp, with the Taiwanese company
US President Joe Biden’s administration is in talks to confer more than US$10 billion in subsidies to Intel Corp, people familiar with the matter said, in what would be the largest award yet under a plan to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to US soil. Intel’s award package is expected to include both loans and direct grants, the source said. They stressed that negotiations are still under way. The US Department of Commerce and Intel declined to comment. The incentives would come from the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act, which set aside US$39 billion in direct grants as
A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that promises to create short videos from simple text commands has raised concerns along with questions from artists and media professionals. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and image generator DALL-E, on Thursday said it was testing a text-to-video model called “Sora” that can allow users to create realistic videos with simple prompts. The San Francisco-based start-up said that Sora can “generate complex scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and accurate details of the subject and background,” but added that it still has limitations, such as possibly “mixing up left and right.” Examples of Sora-created clips
Super Micro Computer Inc’s lengthy rally came to a shuddering halt on Friday, with a selloff that derailed what had looked to be the server maker’s best week on record. Shares fell 20 percent, their biggest one-day percentage drop since August last year. The decline comes in the wake of a nine-session run of gains, the longest such streak for the stock since 2016. However, even with the day’s selloff, the stock rose 8.5 percent for the week. Despite Friday’s drop, recent gains show how Super Micro has become one of the hottest names in artificial intelligence (AI). The stock has risen