The US announces a prohibition on the export of advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology
Semiconductors also referred to as “chips,” are a vital element at the core of advancing technology, security, and the economy. Semiconductors have a greater impact on global growth than the Industrial Revolution despite being smaller than a postage stamp, thinner than human hair, and composed of roughly 40 billion components. Four important semiconductor manufacturing technologies that the US claims are “essential to national security” have been placed under export bans. Two “ultrawide bandgap” semiconductor materials, as well as some forms of electronic computer-aided design and pressure gain combustion technology, are prohibited from export under the new rule that was implemented today, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which announced it on Friday.
Gallium oxide and diamond, two semiconductor materials that can function in more extreme temperature and voltage ranges, will be subject to additional export limits, according to BIS. Due to these qualities, it is more likely that the materials will be used in the creation of weapons systems. In order to scale semiconductors down to three nanometers or even lower, “gate-all-around field effect transistors,” or GAAFETs, are believed to be supported by the ECAD program, which is used in the design of a wide variety of computer chips, according to Bloomberg. The aerospace industry may be able to benefit from PCG technology. The BIS stated that it is adding the technologies to its banned list as a result of a change in how it defines emerging and fundamental technology made in May. The Export Control Reform Act’s Section 1758, which deals with the production of advanced computer chips and gas turbine engines, has been used to categorize the four products. These technologies are also included in the Wassenaar Agreement, which was signed in 2013 by the United States and 41 other nations and serves as a form of arms control pact. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D. Rozman Kendler stated that the purpose of the restriction was to “guard the four technologies against nefarious end use by applying controls through a multilateral regime.” The export restriction is obviously intended to keep Chinese businesses from obtaining the technology, even though it wasn’t mentioned in an official capacity. In recent years, the U.S. has imposed numerous sanctions and technological bans on Chinese companies as part of a plan to keep its monopoly in several important tech industries. Although it wasn’t stated explicitly, it is obvious that the export restriction is meant to stop Chinese businesses from obtaining the technology. In an effort to maintain its hegemony in important tech industries, the U.S. has imposed numerous sanctions and technology bans on Chinese companies in recent years. The latest export restrictions, according to analysts, won’t have much of an immediate impact on China’s chip manufacturing sector because its firms aren’t yet developing the kind of high-end processors that the restrictions are aimed at. For instance, the largest chipmaker in China, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., is apparently adopting a deep UV lithography technique rather than an extreme ultraviolet procedure to produce chips with a seven-nanometer process. Nevertheless, the export embargo is expected to have an influence on Chinese semiconductor manufacturers’ ability to advance three-nanometer and sub-three-nanometer technology in the future.
Since the semiconductor sector is at the center of the strategic and technological battle between the United States and China, a number of protective tariffs and non-tariff measures continue to threaten industry output and competitiveness. The cornerstone of the technical aspirations of the United States and China is the semiconductor industry. For China and the United States, which depend on one another as well as Taiwan for cutting-edge semiconductor technologies, semiconductors represent a significant technological risk. Despite significant investment, it is extremely improbable that China will develop its own semiconductor manufacturing capability within the next five to ten years. Due to limited access to semiconductor manufacturing equipment and software, Chinese businesses are unable to compete with top-tier corporations, and their general lack of industry expertise prevents the formation of a self-sufficient supply chain.