Semiconductor market news(August 1 to August 7 )|Apple Asks Suppliers to Follow China Customs Rules;Global chip sales growth slows for sixth straight month…

1. Apple Asks Suppliers to Follow China Customs Rules

Apple Inc has asked suppliers to ensure that shipments from Taiwan to China comply with the latter's customs regulations to avoid them from being held for scrutiny, according to a Nikkei report on Friday.

Sino-US trade tensions have escalated following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation's visit to Taiwan.

The iPhone maker told suppliers that China had started enforcing a long-standing rule that Taiwanese-made parts and components must be labeled as made either in "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei", the report added, citing sources familiar with the matter.

To avoid any shipping disruptions and further supply chain disruptions, Apple has told suppliers to prepare emergency contingency plans or, if necessary, to quickly review and revise the labeling on cartons and related forms for shipments from Taiwan to China, the sources said. Apple did not immediately respond to a Nikkei's request for comment.

2. The US is ready to block China’s access to advanced chip design software

The US is set to impose new export restrictions on EDA software, a next-generation technology vital to the design and manufacture of state-of-the-art artificial intelligence chips, in an effort to limit China's ability to make advanced chips, according to US technology news website

The Biden administration has been weighing a potential ban for months but has elected to order the Commerce Department to issue a new rule that will effectively block the export of chip design software that’s required to make chips with an emerging technology called gate all around, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plans.

The new export restriction is set to be implemented in the coming weeks and is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget, though the details of its implementation are still being hammered out. The administration’s goal is to block the sale of the design tools to Chinese companies pursuing AI applications, the person said.

EDA software is a key tool for engineers working on chip designs. With these chip patterns designed in EDA software, they are sent to chip manufacturers such as Intel, TSMC or Samsung to complete production. In addition, EDA software helps engineers to ensure that there are no problems with the design before it is made into a chip.

3. Global chip sales growth slows for sixth straight month

Global chip sales in June rose 13.3% year-on-year, down from 18% in May, according to the Semiconductor Association (SIA), and global chip sales growth has decelerated for six consecutive months, the fastest pace since the U.S.-China trade war in 2018. longest record.

Bloomberg reported that there has been a lot of bad news in the semiconductor industry recently. The global central bank has successively launched a cycle of interest rate hikes, the Russian-Ukrainian war and China’s blockade disrupted the supply chain, all of which have caused chip sales to cool down. Fears of an economic recession have also prompted chipmakers, including Samsung Electronics, to consider scaling back investment plans.

In addition, trade data from South Korea, the world’s largest producer of memory chips, also showed signs of a downturn in the international economy. Chip export growth slowed to 2.1% in July from 10.7% in June, the fourth straight month of slowdown. In June, chip inventories saw their biggest increase in more than six years.

A similar situation occurred in Taiwan, China, where the latest data showed that manufacturing in Taiwan province contracted in June and July, while production and demand slumped, with new export orders falling the most.

4. SK Hynix says has developed its most advanced 238-layer storage chip

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc has developed its most advanced NAND flash chip made up of 238 layers of memory cells for use in PC storage devices and later smartphones and servers, the world's second-largest memory chip maker said on last Wednesday.

SK Hynix described it as the "industry's highest" NAND flash chip and it follows U.S. rival Micron Technology Inc saying last week it had begun shipping a 232-layer NAND chip.

SK Hynix said the new 238-layer chip is the smallest NAND flash chip in size, boasts a 50% improvement in data transfer speed over previous generation chips and power efficiency as well, as it cuts the volume of energy consumed for data reading by 21%.

The company plans to start mass production of the chip in the first half of 2023.

5. President Biden To Sign CHIPS Act Into Law On August 9

On August 3, the White House said that U.S. President Biden will sign the "Chip Act" next Tuesday (August 9), which is intended to subsidize the U.S. semiconductor industry and promote U.S. competitiveness against China.

The White House issued a press statement stating that President Joe Biden will sign the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 into law on Aug. 9 in a Rose Garden ceremony.

Reuters reported that the "chip bill" is intended to ease the ongoing shortage of chips affecting all levels, including cars, weapons, washing machines and video games.

The bill, which reportedly would inject about $52 billion in government subsidies for research and U.S. production of semiconductors, is a rare major attempt at U.S. industrial policy. It also includes an investment tax credit for chip plants estimated to be worth $24 billion.

6. Samsung to start producing semiconductor components in Vietnam

Samsung is strengthening its international supplier network and trying to expand its manufacturing operations in more countries. According to Vietnamese media Lao Dong, Samsung’s Roh Tae-Moon met with Vietnamese Prime Minister, Pham Minh Chin, earlier this week to prepare for what comes next.

According to reports, Samsung Electronics is preparing to open a new R&D center in Hanoi in the fourth quarter of 2022 or early 2023 at the latest. It plans to produce chips in Vietnam from mid-2023 and expand its component production in Vietnam.

Currently, South Korea is Vietnam’s third largest trading partner after China and the United States. About 60% of Samsung’s smartphones are produced in Vietnam. As of June 2022, the group has invested more than $20 billion. This huge investment is about 28 times its original commitment.

In addition, Samsung Electronics will also build a new chip foundry in the United States, and recently applied for additional expansion land. The company claims that it will triple its semiconductor chip production capacity by 2026.

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