Chine is overtaking the U.S. in key technologies

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By georgeskef

While Congress was debating how and when to help American chipmakers as well as research into other technologies, China was surging ahead.

In the months prior to when the House and Senate concluded 13 months of debate and approved the $ 280 billion CHIPS and Science Act, China’s largest, state-owned chip maker jumped a significant technological hurdle that brought some kind of surprise for the entire world.

Experts are still trying to determine the extent to which China seems to have gotten ahead of itself in its efforts to produce the circuits of a semiconductor extremely small approximately 10,000 times thinner than a human hair that they are comparable to those produced in Taiwan which provides both China as well as the West. This Biden Administration is going to incredible measures to ensure that the equipment that is highly specialized that makes these chips away from Chinese hands since the progress of chip manufacturing is currently being scrutinized as a method to determine the strength of a nation -in the same way, nuclear tests or missiles that were precision-guided were during the cold war.

There is no way to know if China is able to profit from this breakthrough on a massive scale and that could require several years. One thing that was evident as Congress debated and changed its mind and debated about whether and what to do to help American chipmakers and various research into other technologies from batteries with advanced technology to quantum computing and robotics was clear that China was moving forward with the expectation that it would require Washington many years to get its act in order.

“Our Congress is working at political speed,” said Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive who went on to be the head of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence warning in the past of the serious risk of being lagging in a “foundational” technology like advanced semiconductor manufacturing in an era of weak supply chains. “The Chinese government is working at commercial speed.”

In China, the effort to catch up with the rest of the world and create top-of-the-line chips is a part of the “Made in China 2025” program. This effort started in 2015. While a few members of Congress would like to concede this fact, the technology will be funded by the United States will be funding as President Biden approves the bill as he pledged to take action on Thursday will largely mirror those on the Chinese list.

It’s a classic example of industrial policy, but leaders both in the Republican and Democratic parties are not embracing the word. They convey a sense of state-controlled planning, which is at odds with the majority of Republicans and provides direct aid and tax credits on the nation’s biggest firms, making some Democrats get angry.

The year 2025 is not far from us, so the cash will continue to flow as the Chinese and their competitors continue to pursue their next goal. While this is happening it’s been observed that the American semiconductor industry is deteriorating to the point that there are no top-of-the-line chips produced by America. The United States, even though the technology that is fundamental to them was developed in the United States and has given Silicon Valley its name.

This doesn’t mean American performance is at risk. Japan at one time seemed like it was a 10-foot tall technological giant in the 1980s and the early 1990s, but then it missed some of the most significant advancements in mobile computing, Windows operating systems, and making chips, China is discovering that money alone doesn’t guarantee technology dominance. However, it can help.

It took Congress more time to reach a similar conclusion. But, China has turned out to be among the few areas where Republicans and Democrats are able to come together. the bill was approved by the House with 243 votes to 187 with just one abstention on Thursday. Twenty-four Republicans were in support of the bill, which is noteworthy because G.O.P. leaders were pushing their members to reject the legislation after Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York as well as senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia made an unexpected deal on energy, climate taxation on Wednesday.

China immediately criticized that bill for being an isolationist step by Americans determined to free them from dependency on technology from abroad which is a tactic known as “decoupling” that China itself is trying to emulate.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, told reporters in Beijing that “no restriction or suppression will hold back” Chinese technological advancement in a direct reference to American as well as European efforts to block China the technology to accelerate its technological advancement.

The main issue is whether Congress’s inability to recognize America’s shortcomings in competitiveness has cost the bill. When Biden. Biden and lawmakers tried to convince people to support the legislation by describing the chips that are found in everything from thermostats to refrigerators to automobiles to cars as being the “oil” of the 21st century, the expression was used in a slang way three years ago.

In the mid-80s, Andrew S. Grove who was one of the early pioneers in Silicon Valley and an early director at Intel Corporation warned of the risk that becoming the United States becoming a “techno-colony” of Japan.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company produces around 90% of the most modern semiconductors. They are sold to China as well as in the United States.

While Taiwan Semiconductor and Samsung are creating factories within the United States, responding to the political pressure to solve American supply-chain concerns The end outcome will be the smallest percentage of their products will be made on American grounds.

“Our dependence on Taiwan for the sophisticated chips is untenable and unsafe,” Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo, noted this week at the Aspen Security Forum. With the demand for better chips increasing — each new car generation demands increasing amounts of semiconductors– “we don’t have enough domestic supply.”

Its estimated $52 billion worth of Federal subsidies claimed will be supplemented by private capital and be transformed into “hundreds of billions” in investment. She was basically using the argument our federal government employed to justify incentives to defense contractors. Political leaders knew that financing the risky technology of spy satellites as well as stealthy drones was a much easier way to convince Congress in the case of critical defense spending, not industrial policy.

The logic, however, has reversed. What defense contractors require is the most sophisticated commercial chips, not just to equip F-35s but also for Artificial Intelligence systems, which in the future might alter the face of battle. The distinctions between commercial and military technology have been completely dissolved. This is the reason, in order to pass the bill the administration introduced Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III to the campaign of pressure, asserting that he could not rely on foreign suppliers to build the next generation of weapons.

The bill’s writers say that even though they’re not yet ready to begin building a new industry, beginning now is better than continuing to observe the American lead diminish. Senate President Todd Young said that while China’s recent advances were “sobering,” he didn’t believe it was “anyone that can out-innovate the United States of America if we mobilize our many resources.”

The other benefit America enjoys also lies with “our relationships, economic and geopolitical, with other countries,” added Ms. Young, an Indiana Republican. “China has no friends; they have vassal states.”

Innovation is an American strength The microprocessor was developed in this country. Yet, repeatedly we’ve seen that the American weakness is in the manufacturing sector. Furthermore, China isn’t just one competitor. In order to extract money from Congress, Intel and others observed that Germany as well as other allies were attempting to lure the company to construct “fabs” — the flawless, airtight factories for chips that they have built on their own land.

However, in the end, it was China who influenced the vote.

One of the very first evaluations of the latest Chinese chip, which is manufactured by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, was conducted by researchers from the company known as TechInsights.

After re-engineering the chip made by China they found that the circuit was just seven nanometers in width. In the year in the year 2000, Chinese makers had been battling to reduce their size to below 40 nanometers.

The chip, according to experts used to mine cryptocurrency, could have been built on, or taken from Taiwan Semiconductor. At present, Taiwan Semiconductor remains the largest single producer in the world. its vast facilities in close proximity to Taipei could be Taiwan’s most effective defense against invaders. China isn’t able to afford the destruction of its manufacturing facilities. The United States can’t afford the destruction of China.

But this delicate balance won’t last for long. That’s why China can use both its commercial and geopolitical motivation to create the fastest chips on the planet and it is the United States has a competitive incentive to stop Beijing from acquiring the necessary technology. It’s the ultimate 21st-century arms race.

In the previous Cold War, the one against the Soviet Union a generation ago, “the government could afford to sit on the sidelines” and hoped that private business would invest in the future, Mr. Schumer told reporters on Wednesday. He said that now, “we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.”

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