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Nov 22, 2022
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In the event of unforeseen circumstances between Taiwan and China…

How to insert a microprocessor from a breast pump into a hypersonic rocket?

In countries opposing China, plans are being considered to excommunicate China from high technology. First of all, we are talking about sensitive technologies used in the military industry. Japan intends to take an active part in restricting access to China for high know-how.

“The US is taking the lead in establishing a Chip 4 alliance with Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan to increase economic security in the event of a possible global chip shortage in the event of a contingency between Taiwan and China,” writes Kyodo Tsushin.

The prospect of losing supplies of products from Taiwan’s developed semiconductor industry is forcing Tokyo politicians to set up a corresponding production facility at home. Japan plans to produce and sell 2nm chips in Rapid Company. This is a new consortium, which includes such giants as Toyota Motor Corp., Sony Group Corp. and six other leading Japanese companies.

In October, the US Department of Commerce announced a broad list of new export controls aimed at China’s microchip and supercomputer industry. According to analysts, this should “limit Beijing’s ability to buy and manufacture certain high-performance chips used in military applications.”

Although China produces some semiconductors, its foundries are not capable of producing state-of-the-art chips; Beijing is heavily dependent on Taipei for advanced semiconductors as well as software from the US, the Japanese agency said. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo is quoted as saying that Washington has urged its allies to comply with US export controls to restrict China’s access to advanced semiconductor technology and impose similar restrictions on its own.

Responding to the call, Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Meihua said the restrictions only apply to specific chips used in advanced fields such as supercomputing and artificial intelligence, but do not affect the world of consumer electronics chips. Taiwanese firms will comply with US export control regulations, the minister said.

The material “Kyodo Tsushin” presents the opinions of Japanese experts on preventing China from importing the chips it needs. So, Mariko Togashi, a specialist from the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said that it is unlikely that China will be completely deprived of supplying chips, but this can be done selectively when it comes to sensitive technologies used to create precision-guided weapons. Togashi acknowledged that in many cases it is impossible to build a completely self-sustaining supply chain, so only those unfriendly to Beijing should be included in the circle of countries imposing restrictions on the export of chips to China. At present, Americans, within the framework of the Indo-Pacific economic structure they created, IPEF (14 countries) determine which like-minded countries should be included in supply chains.

At the same time, the United States, like Japan, is creating the production of chips in their own country, because possible events around Taiwan could create a crisis situation for the Americans. Almost all American chips are said to be made in Taiwan. Therefore, the Biden administration decided to build factories for the production of processors on its territory. Today, Taiwan produces 65 percent of the world’s semiconductors and almost 90 percent of advanced microcircuits. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo called it “frightening” a scenario in which Americans would no longer have access to chips made in Taiwan. The trade war around microprocessors is becoming increasingly intense.

The collective West also uses the problem of chips in the information war, spreading ridiculous rumors that Russian defense enterprises … “pick out” chips from imported refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and breast pumps.

Agency Bloomberg reported that in Russia imported household appliances are dismantled, chips are taken out of it and used in the production of military equipment. “Russia has been trying for years to reduce its dependence on imports for a wide range of military equipment, from radars to advanced submarines and missile defense systems. However, an internal audit last year showed that this was not successful,” – approves bloomberg.

Even without being an expert, it’s hard to imagine that Russian hypersonic missiles accurately hit the target thanks to chips from breast pumps. Roman Nabokov, deputy general director for production development of the Moscow Fizpribor plant, explains: “There are many universal chips that can be used in completely different equipment – in automotive, household and military. But, as a rule, chips with more extended temperature ranges are used in military equipment, which are resistant to certain influences, vibrations, and radiation. Directly take, take something out of the microwave and put it in the tank – this, of course, is not true. Take the entire control unit from somewhere, for example from a washing machine, and put it in a tank. This is complete bullshit”.

However, the problem of own production of the most advanced microcircuits in Russia exists. The defense capability of the country depends on how quickly it is resolved.

A photo: REUTERS/Ann Wang

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