PowerPlay

The multi-edged weapon to protect America's chipmaking lead over China

The recently passed Chips and Science Act is designed to weaken China's chipmaking capabilities and give the US greater influence in the global semiconductor industry.

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, alongside members of Congress, holds the CHIPS and Science Act after signing it in Washington, DC, on July 29, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
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As US lawmakers debated a US$280 billion (S$386 billion) Bill to boost American semiconductor manufacturing, news of an apparent breakthrough by China's top chipmaker lit a fire under them.

China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) appeared to have used 7-nanometre (nm) technology to build bitcoin-mining chips, a big leap forward from its 14nm manufacturing process, according to industry watcher TechInsights as reported by Bloomberg on July 21.

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