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Intel’s packaging plans and an enormous step for India

Hello everybody! That is Lauly from Taipei.

August is drawing to an in depth and I hope you all have had a pleasant summer season to this point. The climate in Taipei these days is basically changeable, with scorching warmth within the morning and sudden thunderstorms within the afternoon. It makes going out for reporting a bit more durable, however not less than the temperature is a bit more bearable.

Talking of reporting, I just lately went to the Taiwanese chip hub of Hsinchu with my colleague Annie Cheng Ting-Fang to satisfy with a longtime business supply. We arrived on time however our supply wasn’t there, and irrespective of how we tried — Line messages, iMessages, telephone calls — we couldn’t pay money for him. After ready for multiple hour, we determined to go again to Taipei earlier than the thunderstorms started. We thought he will need to have been dragged right into a sudden assembly.

We have been half-right. He texted me within the night to apologise for not exhibiting up. It turned out that round midday that day, considered one of his firm’s purchasers, a contract chipmaker, encountered an issue with a chip manufacturing software and he was known as in to the plant to assist remedy the difficulty instantly.

As a result of it’s a standard follow at hand over cell units when getting into a chip fab, he wasn’t capable of tell us what had occurred till hours later.

Every week later, I requested him if the whole lot was resolved. He replied at round 1am: “I simply bought dwelling from work. It’s OK. It’s only a regular day for the chip business.”

I assumed I knew a bit concerning the work tradition in Taiwan’s chip business. However each time I hear tales like this, it nonetheless shocks me how difficult such work actually is.

The entire package deal

Intel goals to quadruple its superior chip packaging capability by 2025, Nikkei Asia’s Cheng Ting-Fang studies from Penang, Malaysia. The capability growth plan consists of Intel’s first abroad facility for superior 3D chip packaging, what it calls Foveros know-how, in Penang.

The US chipmaker says Malaysia will ultimately grow to be its largest manufacturing base for superior 3D chip packaging.

Intel can be constructing an extra chip meeting and testing manufacturing unit in Kulim as a part of its $7bn growth within the south-east Asian nation.

In superior chip packaging, several types of chips are mixed into one package deal to extend computing functionality and decrease energy consumption. Intel’s 3D chip packaging know-how is presently developed primarily within the US state of Oregon and its main manufacturing base is in New Mexico. The corporate plans to spend a complete of greater than $10bn on this space in New Mexico and Malaysia over the following decade.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s greatest contract chipmaker, and Samsung Electronics are additionally pursuing superior chip packaging applied sciences.

This space of manufacturing was beforehand seen as much less essential and fewer technologically demanding than chip manufacturing itself. It has emerged as a key battleground within the race to provide ever extra highly effective chips as the traditional strategy — squeezing extra transistors right into a smaller space — turns into tougher.

This yr’s generative AI growth has additional intensified curiosity in superior chip packaging.

Arm alarm

Arm’s much-awaited prospectus for an preliminary public providing in New York has raised alarm amongst traders after the British chip designer revealed it made 1 / 4 of its revenues from China, a enterprise that neither Arm nor SoftBank controls.

The itemizing of SoftBank-owned Arm is about to be the largest within the US in nearly two years and to supply a lift to the flagging Japanese investor and to a depressed IPO market, write the Monetary Occasions’ Leo Lewis and Kana Inagaki in Tokyo, Ryan McMorrow in Beijing, Qianer Liu in Hong Kong and Tim Bradshaw in London.

However managers at 4 funds that had been contemplating investing in Arm instructed the Monetary Occasions that their preliminary enthusiasm for the IPO was damped after the corporate disclosed what one described as its “fairly large China dangers”.

Arm has no direct administration oversight of its China enterprise, which holds unique rights to distributing the chip designer’s mental property to Chinese language clients. The prospectus has “rather a lot for an investor to digest”, mentioned the fund supervisor.

Again to fundamentals

China’s Alibaba Group Holding is refocusing on ecommerce in an effort to revive earnings, tapping content material creators and low cost costs to compete in an more and more crowded home market, writes Nikkei’s Tomoko Wakasugi.

“We are going to proceed to speculate closely in growing content material round purchasing, consumption and every day life,” Trudy Dai, CEO of Alibaba’s core ecommerce enterprise Taobao Tmall Commerce Group, mentioned on an August 10 earnings name.

Alibaba’s push is available in response to the rise of Douyin, the Chinese language model of TikTok, and Xiaohongshu, an analogous platform to Instagram. These apps have taken benefit of consumer engagement to department out into ecommerce and different providers, gaining specific momentum amongst youthful customers.

Douyin customers on common spend 133 minutes on the app per day, in response to China’s Moonfox Information. The determine for Taobao is simply 28 minutes. Alibaba hopes {that a} larger concentrate on content material will deliver customers to the app even when they aren’t purchasing, bolstering its aggressive edge.

Over the moon

India made historical past on Wednesday when its spacecraft touched down close to the moon’s south pole. India is the primary nation on the earth to land close to this unexplored a part of the moon and solely the fourth to achieve the lunar floor in any respect, Nikkei Asia’s Kiran Sharma writes.

“We now have achieved soft-landing on the moon. India is on the moon,” S. Somanath, chief of the Indian Area Analysis Organisation’s Chandrayaan-3, confirmed as applause erupted within the management room.

Solely the US, the previous Soviet Union and China have achieved smooth landings on Earth’s closest celestial physique.

Success for India got here on its third try, and the build-up to the second of landing was intense as simply days earlier a Russian spacecraft crashed into the lunar floor whereas trying to land.

Such failures are usually not uncommon. An Indian try in 2019 failed minutes earlier than touching down on the moon as a consequence of a software program glitch, whereas Israel and Japan fell brief in their very own efforts in 2019 and 2022, respectively. In April this yr, Japanese personal area firm iSpace was unable to position a United Arab Emirates rover on the lunar floor.

Steered reads

1. Demand for used chip tools surging since Covid: Moov CEO (Nikkei Asia)

2. China ties grow to be a fundraising hurdle for start-ups within the US (Nikkei Asia)

3. Provide chain shortages delay tech sector’s AI bonanza (FT)

4. Why China stays hungry for AI chips regardless of US restrictions (FT)

5. International semiconductor funding dips for first time in 4 years (Nikkei Asia)

6. India to broaden digital funds with AI-powered voice transactions (FT)

7. Thailand vitality group PTT to make e-motorbikes with Taiwan’s Kymco (Nikkei Asia)

8. SoftBank cope with Imaginative and prescient Fund values Arm at $64bn forward of IPO (FT)

9. Rivals Samsung, LG workforce on OLED TVs to fend off Chinese language gamers (Nikkei Asia)

10. High Google AI specialists choose Japan to arrange on their very own (FT)

#techAsia is co-ordinated by Nikkei Asia’s Katherine Creel in Tokyo, with help from the FT tech desk in London.

Join right here at Nikkei Asia to obtain #techAsia every week. The editorial workforce may be reached at techasia@nex.nikkei.co.jp.

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