Behind the sensational "Huawei blockade" in China is the "life-and-death scuffle" between the United States and China, Japan, and South Korea for decades!-Shanghai Metals Market

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Behind the sensational "Huawei blockade" in China is the "life-and-death scuffle" between the United States and China, Japan, and South Korea for decades!

Translation 01:34:55PM May 18, 2019 Source:Lookout think tank
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM News: a few days ago, relevant US government departments issued a series of sanctions against Huawei, including signing an executive order prohibiting US companies from buying telecommunications equipment and services provided by "foreign competitors." Huawei will be included in the control of the "list of entities" and so on.

In response, in the early morning of May 17, he Tingbo, president of Hayes Semiconductor, a chip company owned by Huawei, released an internal letter to employees saying that Huawei had made the assumption of extreme survival many years ago, and that one day, All advanced chips and technologies in the United States will not be available, and Huawei will continue to serve its customers.

He Tingbo said that Hayes will launch the "spare tire" program to fulfill the company's commitment to continuous customer service, in order to ensure the strategic safety of most of the company's products and the continuous supply of most of the products. "this is a historical choice. All the spare tires we have built, all become regular employees overnight! "

The importance of chips is needless to say, whether it is small to daily life-related television, washing machines, mobile phones, computers and other household consumer goods, It is still inseparable from all kinds of CNC machine tools in traditional industries and guided missiles, satellites, rockets, warships, and so on in the national defense industry.

And from Intel, Japan Electric, Toshiba, Samsung to TSMC. The gladiator of the global chip industry has been fighting, which is one of the reasons why the United States has kept a close eye on Huawei and has repeatedly restricted and suppressed it.

However, as the Huawei President's Office said, no hardship can stop us from moving forward.

Today, Uncle Ku shares an article that will take you to understand the small chips of the great era and review the continuous "secret war" for more than 70 years.

In order to look at the books of the think tank, this paper is compiled from "Core": the Game and Breakthrough of China's Chip Industry, published by the people's Post and Telecommunications Publishing House in August 2018, originally entitled "Chip Wind and Cloud of the Great Times". The fact that the original text is abridged does not mean to look at the views of think tanks.

Since the 1940s and 1950s, the United States has gradually occupied the top of the global technology and high-end industries. At a time when other countries are either immersed in war or rebuilt in ruins, the United States has brought together a large number of top talent to hatch one product after another with a complete scientific research system and industrial production chain.

In 1946, the halo of the world's first general-purpose computer, called the Enniak (ENIAC), now looks like a strange behemoth.

It weighs more than 30 tons and covers an area of more than 170 square meters. It is equipped with 18000 electronic tubes, thousands of diodes, resistors and other components, and has as many as 500000 soldering points with circuits. The surface of the machine was covered with electricity meters, wires and lights. What makes people laugh and cry is its power consumption, which is said to exceed 174 kilowatt hours, and the lights in the whole town dim every time it is used. To make matters worse, the tubes burned out every 15 minutes on average, forcing scientists to replace them with sweat.

Nevertheless, Enniak was calculated 200000 times faster than the manual calculation at the time and 1000 times faster than the relay computer. The U. S. military also got a taste of it, because it took only three seconds to calculate the trajectory of the shell, compared with 200 people who had to calculate it by hand for two months.

In the operation of the behemoth, it is the use of vacuum tubes to achieve the calculation, and the storage medium of the memory is a kind of punch card. Although the computer "unique skill", but because the size is too large, the information storage speed is too slow, people's desire to reduce the computer size and improve the computing speed is more and more intense.

The history of the development of science and technology has proved that the crisis in the field of technology is often an opportunity for scientific research. Speeding up the solution of the bulky and unstable problems of vacuum tubes has soon become the direction of scientists.

In 1947, Bell Laboratories in the United States invented transistors, which solved the limitations of previous electron tubes in terms of volume, power consumption, life, and so on, and played an important role in promoting the development of military, aviation, aerospace, and computers. It also sounded the horn of the invention of integrated circuits.

Let's start with the "greatest invention of the century"-the transistor.

The invention of the transistor is inseparable from a man named William Shockley.

On the morning of December 23, before the Christmas holiday of 1947, William Shockley drove to Bell Labs, more than 30 kilometers from New York City, and hurried through the empty corridor to his office on the second floor. About an hour later, his colleagues John Barding and Walter Bratton arrived, checking around a plastic wedge wrapped in gold foil and doing some calculations from time to time.

That afternoon, they were going to demonstrate to the team in charge of Bell Labs a new invention, an amplifier without an electron tube.

It began to rain outside the window. The heads of the laboratory came to the office, and the room looked a little crowded. In front of them, in addition to oscilloscopes, signal generators, transformers, microphones, headphones, electric meters, conversion switches and other common instruments, is the mysterious plastic wedge. Bratton turned on the power, and from the waveforms on the screen, the signal changed significantly after the amplifier.

Bratton said a few words casually into the microphone, with a look of surprise on the face of the head of Bell Labs, who was wearing headphones. These leading scientists in the world have a hunch that the history of science is opening a new chapter in front of them.

The mysterious device was later named the transistor. Compared with the power-consuming tubes that fill the house, transistors are a magical elf. Its appearance sounded the horn for the birth of a series of electronic devices such as integrated circuits and modern computers.

1. The birth of Integrated Circuits

With transistors, the birth of integrated circuits sees the dawn. In the 1950s, more and more engineers began to imagine the concept of integrated circuits-placing a group of microtransistors, resistor, capacitance and other components on a small chip. Connect into an electronic circuit-this integration will greatly improve work efficiency.

In the end, it was Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce who independently completed the development of integrated circuits and were recognized as the co-inventors of integrated circuits.

When the transistor was invented, Kilby had just received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois. The new invention deprived him of all the tube technology he had chosen in college, but it did not diminish the young man's enthusiasm for electronic technology, but strengthened his determination to become an electrical engineer.

In 1958, Kilby, 34, joined Texas Instruments, which gave him plenty of time and pretty good experimental conditions, allowing him to devote all his energy to miniaturizing circuits. Soon after, all the employees went on vacation, and as a new employee, Kilby was not yet eligible for a long vacation, so he stayed alone in the lab. After carefully studying some electronic circuit diagrams and designs, Kilby suddenly came up with the idea that all the active and passive components in the circuit can be made by making transistors on the same substrate.

By the time his colleagues returned from vacation, Kilby had completed the design of the new plan. On September 12, 1958, Kilby successfully realized the idea of integrating electronic devices into a semiconductor material. He integrated transistors, resistors, capacitors, etc., on a tiny plate, and connected the components in a very thin wire by hot welding. In an area of no more than 4 square millimeters, about 20 components are integrated.

This day is regarded as the birthday of integrated circuits.

Jack Kilby filed a patent with the United States Patent Office on February 6, 1959. the miniature solid assembly made up of semiconductor components has since been named "integrated circuit".

When the news that Kilby made integrated circuits out of germanium spread to Silicon Valley, Robert Noyce of Xiantong Semiconductor proposed that planar processing technology could be used to achieve mass production of integrated circuits. Just six months later, Noyce invented the world's first silicon integrated circuit, which is more practical and easier to produce than germanium integrated circuits. The integrated circuit, which is developed by using advanced plane processing technology, has also applied for an invention patent.

Thanks to Noyce's invention, Xiantong's integrated circuits soon became more attractive than gold. Xiantong's huge computer, which originally covers an area of 170 square meters, can be replaced by a microprocessor the size of a matchbox. Sales rose from a few thousand dollars to $130 million in 1968.

As the cradle of the semiconductor industry, Xiantong is known as the "West Point military Academy" of integrated circuits. At the same time, Noyce co-founded Intel, the shining star of the technology industry, to this day. Intel is still a leader in the integrated circuit industry.

Even in heroic Silicon Valley, Noyce is a man of talent, wealth and achievement.

"excuse me, how did you invent integrated circuits?"

"I invented integrated circuits because I was a lazy man. At that time, I considered that it was too difficult to connect electronic parts with wires, hoping that the simpler the better. Moreover, the integrated circuits I began to design were very small and easy to do. " Robert Noyce came to China in 1984 to talk about the invention of integrated circuits at the age of 32.

2. Share the glory

In 1966, Kilby and Noyce were awarded the Balantine Medal by the Franklin Society of America. Kilby was praised as "the inventor of the first integrated circuit", while Noyce "put forward the integrated circuit theory suitable for industrial production". In 1969, the United States Federal Court finally legally recognized the integrated circuit as a "simultaneous" invention.

In the same year, Texas Instruments and Fairchild reached an agreement to recognize each other as part of the patent for the invention of integrated circuits, and any other manufacturer that wants to produce integrated circuits must be licensed from Fairchild and Texas Instruments, respectively. The deal allowed Texas Instruments and Fairchild to make a lot of money from patents in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 2000, Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of integrated circuits. By this time, Noyce had passed away and was unable to share the award. However, unlike Kilby, who has been studying at Texas Instruments all his life, Noyce has not only made remarkable achievements in science, but also achieved great success in business.

The invention of integrated circuits has made great changes in the world in which we live, so much so that some people call it "the most important invention after the wheel". From household appliances to cars and aircraft, from the Internet connected to the world to a smart phone, on the basis of integrated circuits, many great inventions have emerged, which have jointly promoted the progress of human society.

In 1999, the Los Angeles Times named "the 50 most influential people in the economy of this century," tied for first place by Shockley and two inventors of integrated circuits: Noyce and Kilby. Henry Ford, the founder of the automobile industry, Franklin Roosevelt, the American president, and Walt Disney, the founder of the animation kingdom, were behind them.

In 2005, Kilby died at his home in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 81. That year, integrated circuits have grown from a rudimentary chip shown by Kilby in the lab to a huge industry with total sales of $190 billion. As a result, the global electronic terminal equipment market has reached a huge scale of US $1.275 trillion. In the following years, the scale of this industry is still growing at a high speed.

In other words, Shockley, the inventor of the transistor, and Noyce, the inventor of integrated circuits, are all related to one company, Xiantong. The latter is a legend of Silicon Valley, which has made a historic contribution to the whole semiconductor industry and even the whole world.

The story begins in 1955. That year, Shockley, known as the "father of transistors," left Bell Labs and set up his own Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in Santa Clara in the San Francisco Bay area, looking for some of the best scientists and engineers. Ready to industrialize the production of transistors.

At the time, the American electronics community was anxiously watching Shockley's whereabouts. It is said that 300 years ago, when Newton announced that he was going to build a factory in his hometown, the same was true of physics all over the world. Soon, admiring the "father of transistors", the cover letter snowed to Shockley's desk.

The following year, before and after Shockley won the Nobel Prize, eight young scientists joined Shockley's lab one after another, leaving a legacy in Silicon Valley in the United States and in the history of chip development in the world.

This is a rare collection of great geniuses in history, all under the age of 30, at the pinnacle of their ability to gush. Kim Herney (Jean Hoerni), is from the California Institute of Technology; Viktor Greenick (Victor Grinich), is a researcher at the Stanford Institute; Eugene Clare (Eugene Kleiner), 29, the oldest of the eight, is a manufacturing engineer at General Electric. Gordon Moore is from the Johns Hopkins University Laboratory of Applied Physics. Robert Noyce, who is determined to be the most famous scientist, is from Philko Ford, as well as Julia Blank (Julius Blank), Jay.Last and Sheldon Roberts (Sheldon Roberts),. Without Shockley, these people wouldn't be in California, and Silicon Valley would be on fire as soon as Shockley arrived.

When they first arrived at Shockley Labs, they were taken aback: the so-called laboratories were bare white walls, concrete floors and exposed rafters. More importantly, Shockley is also a maverick. The great scientist, who was admired and admired by young people in seminars and speeches, was the most difficult boss to get along with. He knows nothing about management skills, but he is very self-righteous.

According to Moore, Shockley's original goal was to produce transistors for five cents a piece. The price could not be reached by 1980, let alone 1955. After the failure of the product plan, he asked the company to concentrate on basic research. "it is clear that Shockley wants to invent a landmark product and put it into commercial production," Herney said. After the failure of this effort, he still wants to spend everyone's time and energy on creating new things, rather than improving transistor technology.

This aimless approach has left Shockley Labs with no products. As a manager, Shockley gradually isolated himself. His disciples proposed to study integrated circuits, using diffusion methods to place the circuits of several silicon transistors in a transistor-sized position. But Shockley rejected their proposal and buried the bomb.

By 1957, young people had the idea of job-hopping. They found a New York-based photographic equipment company named Fairchild, Fairchild after its founder, but often paraphrased as "fairy boy." Mr. Fairchild is a successful inventor and entrepreneur who has made great achievements in aviation products, photographic equipment and other fields. Noyce told him that the new transistors brought about by the new technological revolution would make a range of consumer products extremely cheap. Fairchild was impressed by the fact that he provided a $3600 venture fund to require eight young people to develop commercial semiconductor devices. So there is Xiantong Semiconductor Company.

In 1957, eight young people officially resigned from Shockley. Shawkley was furious and reprimanded them for the "eight rebels" (traitorous eight). However, with the great success of Xiantong, "eight rebels" not only got rid of the derogatory meaning, but also became a praiseworthy legend that inspired and represented the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley in the coming decades.

We can feel the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley in the United States in some details: at the beginning of the business, the "eight rebels" were distributed in two office areas, one was a garage, the other was a rental house. The rental house was not yet electrified, but there was later the birth of the world's most advanced electronics. They have few ready-made equipment and standards, and everything has to be created on their own. For example, developers need a workbench, but no one knows how high it should be, so they put a phone book on a table until it is stacked to the right place-the size of the crude workbench. It later became an industry standard.

The innovative spirit of eight young people has also been fuelled by the times. At the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union entered the stage of space race, and the Soviet Union sent astronauts into space. The United States caught up with each other and urgently needed to miniaturize all kinds of electronic equipment, which brought great opportunities for the development of fairy children. In January 1958, Blue Giant IBM gave them their first order for 100 silicon transistors for the memory of the company's computers. By the end of this year, the "eight rebels" company had 500000 sales and more than 100 employees, relying on the advantage of technological innovation to become the fastest-growing company in Silicon Valley.

Soon after, Xiantong won a government contract to supply transistors for the militia bomb system. But this time, the fairy boy is in crisis. The samples were handed over to government inspectors to see if they met U. S. military equipment specifications. The results were disappointing. Testers found that Xiantong's samples were so unreliable that some transistors even malfunctioned with a single tap of a pencil.

In response to this situation, a new process was developed by Herney in the "eight rebels". This lithography, now known as the general manufacturing process for chips, was then called "plane processing": manually drawing a layout that occupied the entire wall, then photographed and miniaturized into a translucent film. Then cut the silicon crystal into thin slices like sausages, apply a layer of photosensitive glue, and block the transparent film from irradiating with strong light. Where it is exposed, the glue will solidify, but not where it is not exposed. Finally, the unexposed part is etched with acid and plated with metal or insulation.

Xiantong's parent company is a company that deals in photographic equipment, and Herney's new process uses a technology similar to photographic exposure, which can make more durable transistors in batches. As soon as the new technology was launched, Xiantong immediately became a leader in transistor manufacturing.

The value of this technology is more than that. The "eight rebels" found that some engineers had hoped that transistors and other semiconductor components would be economically and reliably placed on a small wafer, which could be easily realized with the use of new "plane processing" technology. Shortly after Texas Instruments' Kilby invented the world's first integrated circuit, the world's first practical integrated circuit manufacturing process was born in Xiantong.

The birth of commercial integrated circuits brought Xiantong $90 million in sales within a year, a huge number at the time. In the 1960s, Xiantong ushered in its golden age.

From 1960 to 1965, the company's annual sales doubled. In 1966, Xiantong was already the second largest semiconductor company in the world, after Texas Instruments. By 1967, the company had a turnover of nearly $200 million. So much so that people say that entering Xiantong is tantamount to stepping into the gate of the Silicon Valley semiconductor industry.

However, at the height of the fairy child, the crisis began to breed. Because of the problem of profit distribution, Xiantong Semiconductor and the parent company had a contradiction, Xiantong's core backbone also began to think about the future development direction. Do you want to continue to work in Xiantong or start your own business? They resolutely chose the latter. Some of the more famous ones include:

* Bob Wheeler, who left Xiantong in 1966 to join the National Semiconductor Company.

* Charles Spock, who left Xiantong in 1967 to join the National Semiconductor Company as CEO.

* Jerry Sanders, who founded AMD (Adranced Micro Devices, Chaowei Semiconductor with seven fairy child employees in 1969).

* Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, 1968 left fairy boy to start Intel.

With the outflow of a large number of talents, around Xiantong, semiconductor companies have sprung up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain. These new companies spread the flames of technology and innovation to Santa Clara and the entire San Francisco Bay area, where they started a prairie fire. In 1969, a conference of semiconductor engineers was held here, and of the 400 participants, only 24 had never worked for Xiantong.

In 1971, Don Hofler, a reporter for Electronic News Weekly, described how computer chip companies in the Bay area were successful. For the first time, he called the region "Silicon Valley," noting that all Silicon Valley chip companies are inextricably linked to Xiantong. Silicon Valley craze, a bestseller published in the early 1980s, wrote that about half of Silicon Valley's 70 semiconductor companies are direct or indirect "descendants" of Cassiopeia. At that time, he worked for Xiantong Company as a "stepping stone" to the semiconductor industry, which spread all over Silicon Valley.

In this way, Xiantong has opened up a new road of large-scale commercial application of integrated circuits, and also opened a new era of great-leap-forward development of semiconductors for the world. Not only that, it also shows us the value and rich returns of "dare to be the first in the world", which largely strengthens the belief of all the latecomers in the pursuit of innovation.

As Apple founder Steve Jobs likens: Xiantong Semiconductor is like a mature dandelion, and as soon as you blow it, the seeds of entrepreneurship flutter in the wind.

In the star-studded Silicon Valley of the United States, Intel's glory has been shining for 50 years, and Microsoft's Bill Gates called Intel "the king of chips and one of the most valuable companies in the world."

Although it is difficult to predict how long this brilliant light will shine, its past is enough for us to remember.

In 1968, Noyce and Moore left Xiantong Semiconductor to start Intel. Soon after its establishment, the company launched a series of cheap and high-quality memory chips, these products are very popular, in short supply, directly announcing the demise of their previous generation of products-core memory.

Starting with memory chips, Intel gradually "gets rich at home." It continues to improve the design of chips to meet the needs of computer manufacturers and software and hardware product companies to upgrade and improve performance. "change is our lifelong love." Moore argues that only by innovating constantly, winning high profits and reinvesting the money in the next round of technology development, can we survive in a highly competitive market.

For this reason, Intel attaches great importance to the transformation of technology, eliminates the bottleneck between the research department and the manufacturing department, and speeds up the transformation of new products from laboratory to factory and market. By the end of the 1970s, Intel had become the absolute dominant memory chip, enjoying almost 90% of the market share.

The company, which started with $2.5 million and initially had only a dozen employees, had a turnover of more than $1 billion for the first time in 1983. In 2001, Intel's full-year revenue was as high as $26.5 billion, despite the collapse of the dotcom bubble in the United States and the collapse of the NASDAQ. By 2017, the globally recognized dominant chip sector, with revenue of $62.8 billion, net profit of $9.6 billion and stock market capitalization of $236.5 billion.

As a technology company, Intel has been trying to leapfrog through the peaks of technology since its inception.

* in 1969, Intel launched its first product, 3101, which is the world's first bipolar semiconductor storage.

Chip. The production of memory in turn became the most important and profitable business of Intel in its early days.

* in 1971, Intel invented and launched the world's first processor 4004;

* in 1972, Intel introduced the first eight-bit processor 8008;

* in 1978, the 16-bit processor 8086 was successfully produced;

* in 1982, 286 processors were born at Intel;

* in 1985, a 32-bit 386 chip containing 275000 transistors was introduced;

* in 1989, a 486processor containing 1.2 million transistors was displayed in front of the world;

* in 1993, Intel introduced a new processor with 3.1 million transistors, named Pentium (Pentium).

Over the next few years, generations of "Pentium" processors set off a wave of product renewal in the computer industry and most high-tech industries, and computers equipped with Intel processors spread all over the world. Together with home appliances with embedded processor chips, as well as production, transportation and communication tools, they are changing the world around us.

However, history has given Intel a roller coaster experience.

Intel is playing a more and more important role as an industry leader in many fields, such as chips, software, motherboards, networks, cellular phones, system integration, digital imaging and so on. It is not easy to survive in a fast-changing industry such as chips. Even international giants such as Intel have experienced "darkest moments".

In the 1980s, Japan's chip industry rose strongly. The contest began in 1981, in December of this year, in response to Intel's new memory chip, Panasonic launched the corresponding products, not only can read, but also can erase like a blackboard. Because of the latter's low cost and high reliability, the chip quickly occupied the US market, while Intel's single chip price fell from $28 to $6 in a year, suffering heavy losses. Intel can still withstand such a blow at this time, because of the rise of the personal computer market, Intel makes a lot of money on personal computer chips.

But the Japanese offensive came too hard. In addition to the continuous improvement of memory chip technology in Japanese enterprises, gradually catching up with Intel, what is even more terrible is that Japanese chip companies have launched a big price war. In the 1980s, a Japanese chip company sent its salespeople a memo that read: "find Intel's products and offer less than 10% of them, and if they reopen the price, you will discount another 10%." To persevere in the end is to win! "

Pricing is always 10% lower-the competitive strategy of Japanese manufacturers is very simple and effective. Intel's share of sales in the memory chip market plummeted, and by 1985 Intel had been defeated by its Japanese rivals in the market on which it started.

In the end, CEO Moore and CEO Andy Grove made a decisive decision to lead Intel's strategic shift, specializing in personal computer CPU. In the change to save the company, Intel closed seven factories, laid off 8000 employees and lost more than $180 million-its first loss since Intel was founded.

In the first year of the transition, in 1985, Intel launched 386 microprocessors and announced that it would not license the technology to other manufacturers. Previously, IBM, Intel's biggest customer, had been asking Intel to share its designs with other chipmakers so that Intel could not dominate. As soon as 386 was launched, it was highly praised and quickly became popular in the market. IBM could not withstand the pressure and was forced to re-sign the agreement with Intel. Microsoft, a new software company, completely changed computing technology by using 386chips. In 1990, it launched the sensational Windows 3.0 operating system, which opened the Wintel era of Microsoft + Intel alliance.

The 386 processor became a milestone, and Intel became the dominant player in the CPU market. In the automotive, telecommunications, photocopier and other fields, Intel chips also open up territory. Guangford, a company, ordered 1.3 million microprocessors from Intel over the course of the year to control fuel ratios, sparks and other functions of the engine.

In 1989, Intel continued its efforts to launch the 486 processor. With 486, Intel overtook all Japanese chip companies to take the top spot in the chip industry. In 1992, Intel had sales of $5.8 billion and profits of more than $1 billion for the first time. At the same time, Intel and Microsoft gradually replaced IBM, as the leader of the entire computer industry.

In 1993, Intel launched the Pentium processor. The speed of this series of processors has made Intel lose its hat of being a low-performance processor. Although Intel is no longer named after numbers, it is still used to calling the processors it drives X86 series. By 1999, Intel's market value had reached a peak of US $509 billion, equivalent to half of China's GDP that year, more than India's total GDP, and was really called a "rich and adversarial country."

At its peak, Intel accounted for 85.2 per cent of the global CPU market. In other words, of every 10 personal computers around us, up to two are not equipped with Intel chips. Intel basically did what it said in its slogan-give each PC a Pentium core.

For a long time since the birth of integrated circuits, the list of the world's major chip manufacturers has long been dominated by American companies. When Intel encountered Waterloo in the 1980s, people began to pay attention to the sudden rise of Japanese chip companies. By the second half of the 1980s, among the top 10 IC manufacturers in the world, there were three in the United States, six in Japan and one in South Korea. Even the capital of the list had been taken away by Japan Electric Co., Ltd. (NEC Corporation).

Why can Japan's chip industry rise rapidly?

Looking back on this period of history, we will find that the industrial structure of Japan changed dramatically from 1970 to 1985, the "heavy growth" industry represented by the iron and steel industry fell into a downturn, and the "light, thin and short" industries such as chips and household appliances grew rapidly. At the end of the 20th century, the international community has extensively studied the chip and other industries in Japan, and discussed the "Japanese model".

After the analysis, people believe that Japan mainly benefits from several reasons:

* first, in the 1950s and 1960s, the United States supported the development of Japanese industry during the Cold War and fully opened up semiconductor technology to Japan, laying the foundation for its rapid development in the future.

* second, the emergence of microprocessors in the 1970s, the rise of personal computers, and the continuous growth of demand in the chip market;

* third, the Japanese government and industry have actively undertaken the transfer of the US chip industry, and have also engaged in a "national system" in the process of creating their own "core", and they have done a very good job.

Led by the government, a number of competitive non-governmental enterprises and national scientific research institutes will be combined to form a technological innovation alliance to jointly develop key common technologies-an important means for Japan to promote independent innovation. To put it simply, it means that "industry, government, and learning" cooperate with each other. Among them, the "very large scale Integrated Circuit Technology Research portfolio" vigorously promoted by the Ministry of Trade, Trade and Industry of Japan (now the Ministry of economy, Trade and Industry) is considered to have laid the foundation for the competitiveness of Japan's semiconductor industry in one fell swoop.

In 1964, IBM announced the advent of the third generation of computers using integrated circuits, which made the Japanese government deeply aware of the huge gap in the computer field of its own enterprises. Two years later, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan launched a large-scale project on the development of ultra-high performance electronic computers.

The goal of this project is very clear, that is, to develop a third generation of high-performance computers that can compete with IBM. In the project, the total amount of subsidies paid directly by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to the participating enterprises amounted to 10 billion yen. However, as IBM has developed computers that use large-scale integrated circuits and very large-scale integrated circuits, the Japanese government and enterprises have realized that it is impossible to surpass IBM without a breakthrough in the key technologies of integrated circuits.

Although there is only one word difference in name between VLSI (VLSI) and VLSI (LSI), there is a great difference in production technology. It must use electron beam or X-ray projection exposure, develop new photosensitive materials and precision detection devices, as well as large-caliber silicon wafer, dust removal technology and so on. All this, for Japanese companies at that time, was almost unheard of.

According to the experience of the United States, IBM, Intel and other giants continue to invest a lot of R & D funds over the years to achieve technological breakthroughs and form extremely complex patent protection. It is obviously difficult for late-developing enterprises to raise and dare to invest matching funds in a short period of time. How to solve these problems has become an urgent issue in front of the Japanese government, industry and academia.

In the 1970s, Japan's semiconductor industry as a whole lagged behind the United States for more than 10 years. At that time, there was a consensus in Japan that the gap between the integrated circuit and computer industries and the United States must be narrowed, and the government should take extraordinary measures to act in concert with enterprises and scientific research institutions. To this end, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan has set up a special office called the "Electronic Information Unit" under the Bureau of Mechanical Information Industry, and has also set up a "VLSI Research and Development Policy Committee," including a number of industry and academic circles. And put forward the "next generation of computers with VLSI development promotion grant" budget.

After full gestation, from 1976 to 1979, Japan began to implement the landmark "VLSI Technology Research portfolio". The project is led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan, with Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Toshiba and Nippon Electric as the backbone. In conjunction with the Electrical Technology Laboratory of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan, the Electronic Comprehensive Research Institute of the Japanese Industrial Technology Research Institute and the computer Comprehensive Research Institute, a total of 72 billion yen has been invested to break through the core common technologies in the chip industry.

In history, Japan has set up a variety of "research combinations", but this is the first time that competing enterprises have sent people together. This combination not only focuses on the advantages of talents, but also promotes the exchange and inspiration of enterprises that do not communicate with each other in technology.

Over the past four years, the number of patent applications for the VLSI Technology Research portfolio has reached 1210, and the number of trade secrets applications has reached 347. Participating enterprises can use the patents of the "research portfolio" free of charge, so the overall technical level has been rapidly improved. Among them, the biggest achievement is the development of the key precision equipment in the chip processing process-the reduced projection lithography machine.

"VLSI Technology Research combination" formed three independent teams, followed different technical routes, and finally made major breakthroughs. These technological breakthroughs have established a dominant position for Japan in the field of lithography and even the whole field of chip production equipment. Before 1980, almost all of Japan's reduced projection lithography machines were imported from the United States, but by 1985, the international market share of the equipment made in Japan surpassed that of the United States. By the year 2000, with the exception of AMSL of the Netherlands, the manufacturers of this key equipment were all Japanese companies.

Not only that, before the launch of the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio," about 80 percent of Japan's semiconductor production equipment was imported from the United States, but by the mid-1980s, all semiconductor production equipment had been localization, and by the end of the 1980s, Japan's semiconductor production equipment has a world market share of more than 50%.

In the aspect of large aperture of wafer, the "VLSI technology research combination" has also made a considerable breakthrough. In the mid-1970s, the industry once thought that the limit of wafer diameter was 6 inches, but the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio" first developed an 8-inch wafer in 1980, and made an in-depth study of the technical problems in the production of large aperture wafer.

All these studies provided a strong support for the rise of the semiconductor material production industry in Japan in the 1980s. In 1985, the world market share of semiconductor materials in Japan reached 60%, and two years later, it further rose to more than 70%. Up to now, Japanese semiconductor materials still dominate the world, drinking water to think of the source, can not but be attributed to the establishment of the "VLSI technology research portfolio".

Over the past four years, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan has funded the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio" as high as 29.1 billion yen, accounting for 40% of the total operating cost of 72 billion yen, and the rest will be shared equally by the participating enterprises. The purpose of the funding of the Ministry of Trade and Industry is very clear, that is, to support only the research and development of common basic technologies.

Under the guidance of this train of thought, the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio" emphasizes that the choice of topics must highlight the basic and common characteristics-which is also the common requirement of participating enterprises. Only by studying such issues will the participating enterprises be interested, and there is no need to worry about being "poached" by their competitors in the process of joint research and development.

Interestingly, the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio" also has a side effect: when participating enterprises use jointly developed and mastered technologies for commercial production, the opportunity to find that the best use of these technologies is memory chips. It is not very practical in the field of CPU. This led to a long time later, Japanese companies in the memory sector all the way to a strategic location, but has never formed a general climate on the CPU.

As Nippon Electric, Fujitsu, Hitachi and others are catching up in the field of memory chips, the global sales share of Japanese companies has climbed from 10% in the mid-1970s to 55% in the late 1970s, not only surpassing that of the United States. Moreover, many American semiconductor companies, such as Intel and Motorola, have been forced to withdraw from the competition in the memory field.

There is no doubt about the effectiveness of the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio". In 1979, Japan's international trade surplus in integrated circuits began to show a surplus, while the trade surplus between integrated circuits and the United States appeared in 1980. By 1986, the international market share of Japanese semiconductor products began to surpass that of the United States. Over the next 10 years, with the exception of a few years, Japan's international market share has been higher than that of the United States. Japan has six of the top 10 companies, with Japan Electric, Toshiba and Hitachi in the top three. This situation was not fundamentally reversed until Microsoft launched Windows95, Intel in 1995 with its improved Pentium processor.

The rise of the Japanese semiconductor industry has not only brought it huge commercial profits, but also made the reputation of "made in Japan" rapidly improved. In turn, related industries in the United States have been hit hard. The United States believes that as a result of the setback in the development of the semiconductor industry, it is likely that all aspects of the computer, communications, and even defense industries will lag behind. As a result, American business and political circles have accused Japan of subsidizing enterprises and practicing unfair competition by setting up a "research portfolio."

Since then, the economic and trade friction between Japan and the United States has entered the stage of semiconductor warfare. The United States carries out trade protection by means of anti-dumping, anti-investment, anti-M & A, etc., with a maximum tariff of 100% on the relevant products, and finally ends with the price control of Japanese exports to the United States. As a result, Japan's chip industry has gone from prosperity to decline, showing the other side of the global chip storm.

The development of South Korean chip industry can be described as "inspirational".

Compared with the United States and Japan, South Korea started more than 10 years later, and it took only more than 20 years for the chip industry to grow from scratch to become one of the most powerful chip countries in the world. Without the support of various preferential policies of the government and the support of huge funds from the private sector and enterprises, this rise would be unthinkable.

South Korean chip industry originated in the early 1980s, concentrated in Samsung, Hyundai and LG three major enterprises. Earlier, in the mid-1960s, American semiconductor companies such as Xiantong and Motorola transferred some of their production capacity to South Korea in order to reduce labor costs; in the 1970s, Japanese semiconductor companies such as Sanyo and Toshiba also began to invest in South Korea. But overall, South Korea has been playing a labor-intensive assembly base.

The "oil crisis" in the 1970s triggered drastic changes in the world market environment. The export ratio of South Korea's light industrial products has dropped sharply, and the original economic growth model has been threatened. In this context, Samsung and other large companies began to transform to advanced industries such as semiconductors.

1983 was a turning point in the history of South Korea's semiconductor industry. This year, Samsung Group founder Li Bingzhe decided to make a large investment in the production of memory chips, which is considered a very bold decision. Li Bingzhe bet astronomical money and the risk of Samsung bankruptcy, eventually laying the foundation for Samsung to become one of the leading players in the chip industry.

Li Bingzhe has made many business decisions that have stunned subordinates and the outside world. In the 1960s, he made a grand plan to build a large-scale electronics industry base in South Korea, which was even larger than the largest Sanyo electronics industry base in Japan at that time. To this end, he bought more than 200 acres of land in the remote suburbs of Suwon, South Korea, which puzzled his subordinates who had been with him for many years.

Looking at the puzzled eyes of his subordinates, Li Bingzhe pointed to the barren land and said, "can't you see that this land will soon become a large-scale electronics industry base?" Can't you see the grand blueprint of the high-tech industry that will feed our people in the future? Now, you may think that this land is really too big, but please believe me, in the near future, this land will be far from enough for our use. "

Samsung Electronics Industry Base initially relied on Japanese companies to do some assembly work. Samsung tried to learn the latter's electronic product technology, but Japan took absolute confidentiality measures against the core technology, whenever it came to technology-related topics. They will let Samsung's South Korean employees avoid it. Li Bingzhe is very calm about this, he advised Samsung employees: the Japanese do this is normal, after all, the loss of technology means the loss of the future market. However, the more the Japanese are prepared, the more Samsung employees will have to grit their teeth to learn technology.

In fact, many of Li Bingzhe's decisions seem bold, but in fact they have been carefully investigated and weighed. In the late 1970s, Japanese semiconductors began to rise, and Li Bingzhe often went to Japan to visit academic and industrial authorities. In early 1980, Li Bingzhe, who was in his late twilight years, had a long talk with Inaba Hidezo, a famous economist and designer of Japan's postwar renaissance. Inaba Hidezo's sentence opened Li Bingzhe's words: "Semiconductors will dominate the market in the future." Because exquisite and lightweight products are the demand of the market. "

Samsung founder Li Bingzhe and the original Samsung Chamber of Commerce

In 1983, Li Bingzhe made up his mind to lead Samsung to "sha" into the semiconductor industry. He chose the 64KBDRAM memory chip, which was already in excess of demand, as the entry point. Although the opponent is strong, the risk is big, but Li Bingzhe believes that Samsung can fight the price war, once wins, the prospect will be very broad.

The decision was very difficult. If it fails, Samsung, which has invested astronomical money, will be doomed.

The night of March 14, 1983 was particularly long, and Li Bingzhe recalled that when he started his own business alone at the age of 26, he once again experienced a complex mixture of excitement and tension. Li Bingzhe, who had been walking back and forth in the room all night, came to the table, took a deep breath, picked up the phone and dialed the South Korean Central Daily: "the Samsung Group has decided to formally develop a new semiconductor cutting-edge technology project from March 15. Please report for us. "

Samsung dared to make such a decision at the time, obviously inseparable from the support of the South Korean government behind it. In the seventies and eighties of the 20th century, the South Korean government issued a number of laws and formulated relevant industrial policies to support the semiconductor and other electronic industries. Although Li Bingzhe did not fully follow the government's industrial guidance based on entrepreneurs' more keen judgment of the market, the South Korean government has greatly improved the survival probability of semiconductor companies such as Samsung by means of government orders and tariff protection.

In 1982, there were fewer than 1000 personal computers in South Korea, and the South Korean government ordered 8360 personal computers at a time to create demand for memory chips. With the stimulus and demonstration of the government, the personal computer market in South Korea has developed rapidly, and the demand in 1983 has increased tenfold over the previous year.

After making a full push into the memory chip, Samsung began a series of moves. First, it bought 64KBDRAM technology from Japan's Meiguang Company, which was in financial trouble at the time, and its processing technology was obtained from Sharp of Japan. Foreign technology licensing plays a vital role, in the process, Samsung gradually familiar with progressive process innovation, coupled with long-term experience in reverse engineering, quickly entered the fast track of development.

In addition to the introduction of technology, Samsung has also recruited a large number of Korean talent from the United States. Japan's Toshiba is Samsung's most respected object, Li Bingzhe visited Toshiba, then poached Toshiba's production minister. Interestingly, Zhang Zhongmou, who had just returned from the United States to Taiwan, was once strongly invited to join Samsung.

When Samsung launched the 64KB DRAM in 1984, the global semiconductor industry was at a low ebb, with memory prices plummeting from $4 to 30 cents a piece, compared with Samsung's production cost of $1.30. That means Samsung loses $1 for every piece of memory it sells. At a low ebb, Intel pulled out of memory chips, Japanese companies such as Nippon Electric slashed capital spending, while Samsung, like gamblers, ramped up its bets, counter-cyclical investments, continued to expand capacity and developed larger memory chips. By the end of 1986, Samsung Semiconductor had a cumulative loss of $300 million and a complete deficit in equity capital.

During that period, Li Bingzhe received daily reports from various departments, most of which were about the Samsung Group's fiscal deficit. Almost every department has a report like this: "since the first and second production lines of semiconductors have been put into operation, the Samsung Group has had a fiscal deficit for the third year in a row. The deficit amounts to hundreds of billions of won. We are really unable to afford such a huge fiscal deficit, and if we continue, the Samsung Group will soon be in danger of going bankrupt. "

The senior management of the company also persuaded Li Bingzhe: it would be better to take advantage of the fact that we have not lost all of it yet, so that we can leave a way back for ourselves. But Li Bingzhe is still desperate. "under the current situation, what we still have to do is to continue to strengthen technological development and expand the production scale of the factory." He said. This idea, later evolved into an important business philosophy of Samsung, that is, the "anti-cyclical law"-the price downturn to expand production capacity, crush competitors; take advantage of monopoly to raise market prices.

In the danger, the South Korean government once again played the role of "white horse knight". From 1983 to 1987, South Korea implemented the Semiconductor Industry Revitalization Plan, in which the government invested a total of US $346 million in loans and stimulated US $2 billion in private investment. In this process, the South Korean government to promote the "government + consortia" economic development model. In order to promote the development of the chip industry, the South Korean government even did not hesitate to use the war reparations provided by Japan to South Korea during the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea.

Samsung survived the bottom of the valley and came in an instant. In 1987, the signing of the Japan-US semiconductor agreement led to a rebound in memory prices, and Samsung made up for demand in the global semiconductor market and began to make a rapid profit. Li Bingzhe's "big gamble" was a great success. In 1992, Samsung overtook Nippon Electric to become the world's largest memory chip manufacturer. Korean companies learned from the price war once used by Japanese companies and beat their teachers.

This is only the first step for Samsung to lead South Korea's semiconductor industry to the first echelon in the world. Since 1995, Samsung has repeatedly launched a "anti-cycle law" price war, which has led to the bankruptcy of most manufacturers in the memory chip field, and it has gradually grown into a giant in this field.

In an article, the Economist commented that the development of South Korean industry in the 1980s benefited from domestic policy support programs, because such huge resources were concentrated in a small number of consortia. They can quickly enter the field of capital-intensive memory chip production and ultimately overcome the huge financial losses in the initial stage of production.

Of course, we have to mention the semiconductor trade conflict between the United States and Japan in the late 1980s. The two sides took retaliatory measures such as levying anti-dumping duties, which provided an important "window of opportunity" for South Korean enterprises. The development model of large consortia in South Korea has triggered the common development of many upstream and downstream enterprises. It can be said that the current Korean chip industry is by Samsung, Hynix (later renamed Hynix Semiconductor) and other enterprises of large-scale investment, led to the development and rise of the whole industry. This is also an obvious feature of South Korea's economic development.

Samsung founder Li Bingzhe made a difficult decision in 1983, which led to a sharp change in the pattern of the world chip industry over the next 20 years. Under the leadership of Samsung, South Korea overtook Japan as the largest producer of memory chips in the world in 1998. The industrial center of memory chips in the world has been transferred from Japan to South Korea until today.

As Japan overtook the United States and South Korea overtook Japan, a chip company based in Taiwan quietly rose. Unlike previous chip companies, the company magnified the advantage of low labor costs in East Asia to the extreme and embarked on a unique path of "contract manufacturing".

In 1985, Zhang Zhongmou, 54, quit his well-paid position in the United States and returned to Taiwan. Two years later, with the support of the relevant local departments in Taiwan, he founded the world's first professional contract manufacturer, Taiwan Integrated Circuit Manufacturing Company (TSMC), in Hsinchu Science Park.

This inconspicuous enterprise at that time created a new business model of vertical division of labor, which quickly became an industrial trend, allowing integrated circuit enterprises with a global vertical division of labor to spring up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain, and then specialize in the technology industry. Accelerate the prosperity of the semiconductor industry today.

Before returning to Taiwan, Zhang Zhongmou was the No. 3 figure in Texas Instruments, a veteran American chip giant. He was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in 1931 and moved to Hong Kong and Chongqing as a teenager. In 1949, Zhang Zhongmou, 18, entered Harvard University in the United States and transferred to MIT the following year to specialize in mechanical engineering.

Zhang Zhongmou, 27, entered Texas Instruments in 1958. By the time he left in 1985, Texas Instruments was already a leader in the chip industry, with 60,000 employees worldwide. Zhang Zhongmou also became one of the first Chinese to enter the top management of large American companies.

A few decades ago, chip enterprises were all from design, to manufacturing, packaging and testing, and to the consumer market. Zhang Zhongmou saw the trend of separation between semiconductor design companies and manufacturers. TSMC, which he founded, is firmly on the contract route.

For the just-started TSMC, talent, technology and orders are the key to development. In order to find talent, Zhang Zhongmou urged General Electric Semiconductor President Decker to join, and struggled to catch up with the launch of technical certification, quickly strive for the opportunity to contract for Intel. In the process of trying to contract manufacturing for Intel, a dramatic thing happened: when Intel's CEO Grove inspected TSMC, it found that TSMC's products had as many as 200 defects, which made Grove "back off." Zhang Zhongmou to turn the tide, to Intel executives to lay down the guarantee, will quickly solve the problem of defects. A few weeks later, the number of defects was reduced to 20. In a few weeks, it'll be reduced to four.

On June 13, 2015, the president of Taiwan Asian University awarded an honorary doctor to Zhang Zhongmou, chairman of TSMC (first from right).

Gradually, chip designers found that it took at least 12 weeks to hand over the chip to a Japanese company, six weeks to a Singaporean company, and only four weeks to TSMC. As a result, more and more chip design companies in Silicon Valley are gradually handing over high-level chips to TSMC for production. This is a short story that took place in the second half of the last century, in the context of industrial transfer, but TSMC firmly seized the opportunity of industrial transfer and achieved the highest industrial production capacity and management capacity, forming the only family. No semicolon "monopoly. According to external evaluation, starting with TSMC, wafer contract manufacturing has become an industry.

Of course, Zhang Zhongmou's vision and decision are impressive, but Taiwan's local authorities have also supported the rise of the chip industry in Taiwan, and even the rise of the chip industry in Taiwan.

In the early 1970s, the relevant local departments in Taiwan paid for the purchase of technology from the American Radio Company and handed it over to the "Electronic Research Institute" under the Taiwan "Industrial Research Institute" for digestion, absorption, and innovation. After the formation of preliminary independent technology, TSMC and another company called Lianhua Electronics were set up under the leadership of the relevant departments in Taiwan, and the accumulated independent technology was transferred to these two enterprises free of charge by the "Electronic Research Institute."

According to the textual research of scholars, the relevant departments in Taiwan even initially contributed directly to TSMC and Lianhua Electronics and persuaded several large enterprises to participate in them. It was not until the mid-1980s when Taiwan's integrated circuit industry became profitable that the authorities gradually withdrew and switched to entrepreneurs.

In 1997, TSMC listed on the New York Stock Exchange, where it had revenue of $1.3 billion and a profit of $535 million. In 2009, Zhang Zhongmou, who returned to TSMC, predicted that the mobile terminal market such as mobile phones would be on the rise, investing heavily for three years in a row, taking the lead in the 40nm and 28nm process, and becoming a rival manufacturer with Intel and Samsung Electronics.

In 2013, TSMC had $1.985 billion in revenue and 46 per cent of the wafer foundry market, making it the world's largest foundry of chips.

In the selection of the benchmark Enterprise Award of "World" magazine in Taiwan, TSMC has been at the top of the list for 11 years in a row. CNN commented that Zhang Zhongmou was a symbol of Taiwan's economic rise.

Today, the global chip industry is still bustling, "King" has been changing. But as the article begins, what remains the same is that there is always the brilliant light of innovators that shine on the way forward.

This article comes from the look out think tank, the original title "sensational whole China" Huawei is blocked "behind, is the United States and China, Japan, South Korea" life and death scuffle for decades! "

Key Words:  Huawei  5G  US  production capacity 

Behind the sensational "Huawei blockade" in China is the "life-and-death scuffle" between the United States and China, Japan, and South Korea for decades!

Translation 01:34:55PM May 18, 2019 Source:Lookout think tank
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM News: a few days ago, relevant US government departments issued a series of sanctions against Huawei, including signing an executive order prohibiting US companies from buying telecommunications equipment and services provided by "foreign competitors." Huawei will be included in the control of the "list of entities" and so on.

In response, in the early morning of May 17, he Tingbo, president of Hayes Semiconductor, a chip company owned by Huawei, released an internal letter to employees saying that Huawei had made the assumption of extreme survival many years ago, and that one day, All advanced chips and technologies in the United States will not be available, and Huawei will continue to serve its customers.

He Tingbo said that Hayes will launch the "spare tire" program to fulfill the company's commitment to continuous customer service, in order to ensure the strategic safety of most of the company's products and the continuous supply of most of the products. "this is a historical choice. All the spare tires we have built, all become regular employees overnight! "

The importance of chips is needless to say, whether it is small to daily life-related television, washing machines, mobile phones, computers and other household consumer goods, It is still inseparable from all kinds of CNC machine tools in traditional industries and guided missiles, satellites, rockets, warships, and so on in the national defense industry.

And from Intel, Japan Electric, Toshiba, Samsung to TSMC. The gladiator of the global chip industry has been fighting, which is one of the reasons why the United States has kept a close eye on Huawei and has repeatedly restricted and suppressed it.

However, as the Huawei President's Office said, no hardship can stop us from moving forward.

Today, Uncle Ku shares an article that will take you to understand the small chips of the great era and review the continuous "secret war" for more than 70 years.

In order to look at the books of the think tank, this paper is compiled from "Core": the Game and Breakthrough of China's Chip Industry, published by the people's Post and Telecommunications Publishing House in August 2018, originally entitled "Chip Wind and Cloud of the Great Times". The fact that the original text is abridged does not mean to look at the views of think tanks.

Since the 1940s and 1950s, the United States has gradually occupied the top of the global technology and high-end industries. At a time when other countries are either immersed in war or rebuilt in ruins, the United States has brought together a large number of top talent to hatch one product after another with a complete scientific research system and industrial production chain.

In 1946, the halo of the world's first general-purpose computer, called the Enniak (ENIAC), now looks like a strange behemoth.

It weighs more than 30 tons and covers an area of more than 170 square meters. It is equipped with 18000 electronic tubes, thousands of diodes, resistors and other components, and has as many as 500000 soldering points with circuits. The surface of the machine was covered with electricity meters, wires and lights. What makes people laugh and cry is its power consumption, which is said to exceed 174 kilowatt hours, and the lights in the whole town dim every time it is used. To make matters worse, the tubes burned out every 15 minutes on average, forcing scientists to replace them with sweat.

Nevertheless, Enniak was calculated 200000 times faster than the manual calculation at the time and 1000 times faster than the relay computer. The U. S. military also got a taste of it, because it took only three seconds to calculate the trajectory of the shell, compared with 200 people who had to calculate it by hand for two months.

In the operation of the behemoth, it is the use of vacuum tubes to achieve the calculation, and the storage medium of the memory is a kind of punch card. Although the computer "unique skill", but because the size is too large, the information storage speed is too slow, people's desire to reduce the computer size and improve the computing speed is more and more intense.

The history of the development of science and technology has proved that the crisis in the field of technology is often an opportunity for scientific research. Speeding up the solution of the bulky and unstable problems of vacuum tubes has soon become the direction of scientists.

In 1947, Bell Laboratories in the United States invented transistors, which solved the limitations of previous electron tubes in terms of volume, power consumption, life, and so on, and played an important role in promoting the development of military, aviation, aerospace, and computers. It also sounded the horn of the invention of integrated circuits.

Let's start with the "greatest invention of the century"-the transistor.

The invention of the transistor is inseparable from a man named William Shockley.

On the morning of December 23, before the Christmas holiday of 1947, William Shockley drove to Bell Labs, more than 30 kilometers from New York City, and hurried through the empty corridor to his office on the second floor. About an hour later, his colleagues John Barding and Walter Bratton arrived, checking around a plastic wedge wrapped in gold foil and doing some calculations from time to time.

That afternoon, they were going to demonstrate to the team in charge of Bell Labs a new invention, an amplifier without an electron tube.

It began to rain outside the window. The heads of the laboratory came to the office, and the room looked a little crowded. In front of them, in addition to oscilloscopes, signal generators, transformers, microphones, headphones, electric meters, conversion switches and other common instruments, is the mysterious plastic wedge. Bratton turned on the power, and from the waveforms on the screen, the signal changed significantly after the amplifier.

Bratton said a few words casually into the microphone, with a look of surprise on the face of the head of Bell Labs, who was wearing headphones. These leading scientists in the world have a hunch that the history of science is opening a new chapter in front of them.

The mysterious device was later named the transistor. Compared with the power-consuming tubes that fill the house, transistors are a magical elf. Its appearance sounded the horn for the birth of a series of electronic devices such as integrated circuits and modern computers.

1. The birth of Integrated Circuits

With transistors, the birth of integrated circuits sees the dawn. In the 1950s, more and more engineers began to imagine the concept of integrated circuits-placing a group of microtransistors, resistor, capacitance and other components on a small chip. Connect into an electronic circuit-this integration will greatly improve work efficiency.

In the end, it was Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce who independently completed the development of integrated circuits and were recognized as the co-inventors of integrated circuits.

When the transistor was invented, Kilby had just received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois. The new invention deprived him of all the tube technology he had chosen in college, but it did not diminish the young man's enthusiasm for electronic technology, but strengthened his determination to become an electrical engineer.

In 1958, Kilby, 34, joined Texas Instruments, which gave him plenty of time and pretty good experimental conditions, allowing him to devote all his energy to miniaturizing circuits. Soon after, all the employees went on vacation, and as a new employee, Kilby was not yet eligible for a long vacation, so he stayed alone in the lab. After carefully studying some electronic circuit diagrams and designs, Kilby suddenly came up with the idea that all the active and passive components in the circuit can be made by making transistors on the same substrate.

By the time his colleagues returned from vacation, Kilby had completed the design of the new plan. On September 12, 1958, Kilby successfully realized the idea of integrating electronic devices into a semiconductor material. He integrated transistors, resistors, capacitors, etc., on a tiny plate, and connected the components in a very thin wire by hot welding. In an area of no more than 4 square millimeters, about 20 components are integrated.

This day is regarded as the birthday of integrated circuits.

Jack Kilby filed a patent with the United States Patent Office on February 6, 1959. the miniature solid assembly made up of semiconductor components has since been named "integrated circuit".

When the news that Kilby made integrated circuits out of germanium spread to Silicon Valley, Robert Noyce of Xiantong Semiconductor proposed that planar processing technology could be used to achieve mass production of integrated circuits. Just six months later, Noyce invented the world's first silicon integrated circuit, which is more practical and easier to produce than germanium integrated circuits. The integrated circuit, which is developed by using advanced plane processing technology, has also applied for an invention patent.

Thanks to Noyce's invention, Xiantong's integrated circuits soon became more attractive than gold. Xiantong's huge computer, which originally covers an area of 170 square meters, can be replaced by a microprocessor the size of a matchbox. Sales rose from a few thousand dollars to $130 million in 1968.

As the cradle of the semiconductor industry, Xiantong is known as the "West Point military Academy" of integrated circuits. At the same time, Noyce co-founded Intel, the shining star of the technology industry, to this day. Intel is still a leader in the integrated circuit industry.

Even in heroic Silicon Valley, Noyce is a man of talent, wealth and achievement.

"excuse me, how did you invent integrated circuits?"

"I invented integrated circuits because I was a lazy man. At that time, I considered that it was too difficult to connect electronic parts with wires, hoping that the simpler the better. Moreover, the integrated circuits I began to design were very small and easy to do. " Robert Noyce came to China in 1984 to talk about the invention of integrated circuits at the age of 32.

2. Share the glory

In 1966, Kilby and Noyce were awarded the Balantine Medal by the Franklin Society of America. Kilby was praised as "the inventor of the first integrated circuit", while Noyce "put forward the integrated circuit theory suitable for industrial production". In 1969, the United States Federal Court finally legally recognized the integrated circuit as a "simultaneous" invention.

In the same year, Texas Instruments and Fairchild reached an agreement to recognize each other as part of the patent for the invention of integrated circuits, and any other manufacturer that wants to produce integrated circuits must be licensed from Fairchild and Texas Instruments, respectively. The deal allowed Texas Instruments and Fairchild to make a lot of money from patents in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 2000, Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of integrated circuits. By this time, Noyce had passed away and was unable to share the award. However, unlike Kilby, who has been studying at Texas Instruments all his life, Noyce has not only made remarkable achievements in science, but also achieved great success in business.

The invention of integrated circuits has made great changes in the world in which we live, so much so that some people call it "the most important invention after the wheel". From household appliances to cars and aircraft, from the Internet connected to the world to a smart phone, on the basis of integrated circuits, many great inventions have emerged, which have jointly promoted the progress of human society.

In 1999, the Los Angeles Times named "the 50 most influential people in the economy of this century," tied for first place by Shockley and two inventors of integrated circuits: Noyce and Kilby. Henry Ford, the founder of the automobile industry, Franklin Roosevelt, the American president, and Walt Disney, the founder of the animation kingdom, were behind them.

In 2005, Kilby died at his home in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 81. That year, integrated circuits have grown from a rudimentary chip shown by Kilby in the lab to a huge industry with total sales of $190 billion. As a result, the global electronic terminal equipment market has reached a huge scale of US $1.275 trillion. In the following years, the scale of this industry is still growing at a high speed.

In other words, Shockley, the inventor of the transistor, and Noyce, the inventor of integrated circuits, are all related to one company, Xiantong. The latter is a legend of Silicon Valley, which has made a historic contribution to the whole semiconductor industry and even the whole world.

The story begins in 1955. That year, Shockley, known as the "father of transistors," left Bell Labs and set up his own Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in Santa Clara in the San Francisco Bay area, looking for some of the best scientists and engineers. Ready to industrialize the production of transistors.

At the time, the American electronics community was anxiously watching Shockley's whereabouts. It is said that 300 years ago, when Newton announced that he was going to build a factory in his hometown, the same was true of physics all over the world. Soon, admiring the "father of transistors", the cover letter snowed to Shockley's desk.

The following year, before and after Shockley won the Nobel Prize, eight young scientists joined Shockley's lab one after another, leaving a legacy in Silicon Valley in the United States and in the history of chip development in the world.

This is a rare collection of great geniuses in history, all under the age of 30, at the pinnacle of their ability to gush. Kim Herney (Jean Hoerni), is from the California Institute of Technology; Viktor Greenick (Victor Grinich), is a researcher at the Stanford Institute; Eugene Clare (Eugene Kleiner), 29, the oldest of the eight, is a manufacturing engineer at General Electric. Gordon Moore is from the Johns Hopkins University Laboratory of Applied Physics. Robert Noyce, who is determined to be the most famous scientist, is from Philko Ford, as well as Julia Blank (Julius Blank), Jay.Last and Sheldon Roberts (Sheldon Roberts),. Without Shockley, these people wouldn't be in California, and Silicon Valley would be on fire as soon as Shockley arrived.

When they first arrived at Shockley Labs, they were taken aback: the so-called laboratories were bare white walls, concrete floors and exposed rafters. More importantly, Shockley is also a maverick. The great scientist, who was admired and admired by young people in seminars and speeches, was the most difficult boss to get along with. He knows nothing about management skills, but he is very self-righteous.

According to Moore, Shockley's original goal was to produce transistors for five cents a piece. The price could not be reached by 1980, let alone 1955. After the failure of the product plan, he asked the company to concentrate on basic research. "it is clear that Shockley wants to invent a landmark product and put it into commercial production," Herney said. After the failure of this effort, he still wants to spend everyone's time and energy on creating new things, rather than improving transistor technology.

This aimless approach has left Shockley Labs with no products. As a manager, Shockley gradually isolated himself. His disciples proposed to study integrated circuits, using diffusion methods to place the circuits of several silicon transistors in a transistor-sized position. But Shockley rejected their proposal and buried the bomb.

By 1957, young people had the idea of job-hopping. They found a New York-based photographic equipment company named Fairchild, Fairchild after its founder, but often paraphrased as "fairy boy." Mr. Fairchild is a successful inventor and entrepreneur who has made great achievements in aviation products, photographic equipment and other fields. Noyce told him that the new transistors brought about by the new technological revolution would make a range of consumer products extremely cheap. Fairchild was impressed by the fact that he provided a $3600 venture fund to require eight young people to develop commercial semiconductor devices. So there is Xiantong Semiconductor Company.

In 1957, eight young people officially resigned from Shockley. Shawkley was furious and reprimanded them for the "eight rebels" (traitorous eight). However, with the great success of Xiantong, "eight rebels" not only got rid of the derogatory meaning, but also became a praiseworthy legend that inspired and represented the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley in the coming decades.

We can feel the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley in the United States in some details: at the beginning of the business, the "eight rebels" were distributed in two office areas, one was a garage, the other was a rental house. The rental house was not yet electrified, but there was later the birth of the world's most advanced electronics. They have few ready-made equipment and standards, and everything has to be created on their own. For example, developers need a workbench, but no one knows how high it should be, so they put a phone book on a table until it is stacked to the right place-the size of the crude workbench. It later became an industry standard.

The innovative spirit of eight young people has also been fuelled by the times. At the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union entered the stage of space race, and the Soviet Union sent astronauts into space. The United States caught up with each other and urgently needed to miniaturize all kinds of electronic equipment, which brought great opportunities for the development of fairy children. In January 1958, Blue Giant IBM gave them their first order for 100 silicon transistors for the memory of the company's computers. By the end of this year, the "eight rebels" company had 500000 sales and more than 100 employees, relying on the advantage of technological innovation to become the fastest-growing company in Silicon Valley.

Soon after, Xiantong won a government contract to supply transistors for the militia bomb system. But this time, the fairy boy is in crisis. The samples were handed over to government inspectors to see if they met U. S. military equipment specifications. The results were disappointing. Testers found that Xiantong's samples were so unreliable that some transistors even malfunctioned with a single tap of a pencil.

In response to this situation, a new process was developed by Herney in the "eight rebels". This lithography, now known as the general manufacturing process for chips, was then called "plane processing": manually drawing a layout that occupied the entire wall, then photographed and miniaturized into a translucent film. Then cut the silicon crystal into thin slices like sausages, apply a layer of photosensitive glue, and block the transparent film from irradiating with strong light. Where it is exposed, the glue will solidify, but not where it is not exposed. Finally, the unexposed part is etched with acid and plated with metal or insulation.

Xiantong's parent company is a company that deals in photographic equipment, and Herney's new process uses a technology similar to photographic exposure, which can make more durable transistors in batches. As soon as the new technology was launched, Xiantong immediately became a leader in transistor manufacturing.

The value of this technology is more than that. The "eight rebels" found that some engineers had hoped that transistors and other semiconductor components would be economically and reliably placed on a small wafer, which could be easily realized with the use of new "plane processing" technology. Shortly after Texas Instruments' Kilby invented the world's first integrated circuit, the world's first practical integrated circuit manufacturing process was born in Xiantong.

The birth of commercial integrated circuits brought Xiantong $90 million in sales within a year, a huge number at the time. In the 1960s, Xiantong ushered in its golden age.

From 1960 to 1965, the company's annual sales doubled. In 1966, Xiantong was already the second largest semiconductor company in the world, after Texas Instruments. By 1967, the company had a turnover of nearly $200 million. So much so that people say that entering Xiantong is tantamount to stepping into the gate of the Silicon Valley semiconductor industry.

However, at the height of the fairy child, the crisis began to breed. Because of the problem of profit distribution, Xiantong Semiconductor and the parent company had a contradiction, Xiantong's core backbone also began to think about the future development direction. Do you want to continue to work in Xiantong or start your own business? They resolutely chose the latter. Some of the more famous ones include:

* Bob Wheeler, who left Xiantong in 1966 to join the National Semiconductor Company.

* Charles Spock, who left Xiantong in 1967 to join the National Semiconductor Company as CEO.

* Jerry Sanders, who founded AMD (Adranced Micro Devices, Chaowei Semiconductor with seven fairy child employees in 1969).

* Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, 1968 left fairy boy to start Intel.

With the outflow of a large number of talents, around Xiantong, semiconductor companies have sprung up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain. These new companies spread the flames of technology and innovation to Santa Clara and the entire San Francisco Bay area, where they started a prairie fire. In 1969, a conference of semiconductor engineers was held here, and of the 400 participants, only 24 had never worked for Xiantong.

In 1971, Don Hofler, a reporter for Electronic News Weekly, described how computer chip companies in the Bay area were successful. For the first time, he called the region "Silicon Valley," noting that all Silicon Valley chip companies are inextricably linked to Xiantong. Silicon Valley craze, a bestseller published in the early 1980s, wrote that about half of Silicon Valley's 70 semiconductor companies are direct or indirect "descendants" of Cassiopeia. At that time, he worked for Xiantong Company as a "stepping stone" to the semiconductor industry, which spread all over Silicon Valley.

In this way, Xiantong has opened up a new road of large-scale commercial application of integrated circuits, and also opened a new era of great-leap-forward development of semiconductors for the world. Not only that, it also shows us the value and rich returns of "dare to be the first in the world", which largely strengthens the belief of all the latecomers in the pursuit of innovation.

As Apple founder Steve Jobs likens: Xiantong Semiconductor is like a mature dandelion, and as soon as you blow it, the seeds of entrepreneurship flutter in the wind.

In the star-studded Silicon Valley of the United States, Intel's glory has been shining for 50 years, and Microsoft's Bill Gates called Intel "the king of chips and one of the most valuable companies in the world."

Although it is difficult to predict how long this brilliant light will shine, its past is enough for us to remember.

In 1968, Noyce and Moore left Xiantong Semiconductor to start Intel. Soon after its establishment, the company launched a series of cheap and high-quality memory chips, these products are very popular, in short supply, directly announcing the demise of their previous generation of products-core memory.

Starting with memory chips, Intel gradually "gets rich at home." It continues to improve the design of chips to meet the needs of computer manufacturers and software and hardware product companies to upgrade and improve performance. "change is our lifelong love." Moore argues that only by innovating constantly, winning high profits and reinvesting the money in the next round of technology development, can we survive in a highly competitive market.

For this reason, Intel attaches great importance to the transformation of technology, eliminates the bottleneck between the research department and the manufacturing department, and speeds up the transformation of new products from laboratory to factory and market. By the end of the 1970s, Intel had become the absolute dominant memory chip, enjoying almost 90% of the market share.

The company, which started with $2.5 million and initially had only a dozen employees, had a turnover of more than $1 billion for the first time in 1983. In 2001, Intel's full-year revenue was as high as $26.5 billion, despite the collapse of the dotcom bubble in the United States and the collapse of the NASDAQ. By 2017, the globally recognized dominant chip sector, with revenue of $62.8 billion, net profit of $9.6 billion and stock market capitalization of $236.5 billion.

As a technology company, Intel has been trying to leapfrog through the peaks of technology since its inception.

* in 1969, Intel launched its first product, 3101, which is the world's first bipolar semiconductor storage.

Chip. The production of memory in turn became the most important and profitable business of Intel in its early days.

* in 1971, Intel invented and launched the world's first processor 4004;

* in 1972, Intel introduced the first eight-bit processor 8008;

* in 1978, the 16-bit processor 8086 was successfully produced;

* in 1982, 286 processors were born at Intel;

* in 1985, a 32-bit 386 chip containing 275000 transistors was introduced;

* in 1989, a 486processor containing 1.2 million transistors was displayed in front of the world;

* in 1993, Intel introduced a new processor with 3.1 million transistors, named Pentium (Pentium).

Over the next few years, generations of "Pentium" processors set off a wave of product renewal in the computer industry and most high-tech industries, and computers equipped with Intel processors spread all over the world. Together with home appliances with embedded processor chips, as well as production, transportation and communication tools, they are changing the world around us.

However, history has given Intel a roller coaster experience.

Intel is playing a more and more important role as an industry leader in many fields, such as chips, software, motherboards, networks, cellular phones, system integration, digital imaging and so on. It is not easy to survive in a fast-changing industry such as chips. Even international giants such as Intel have experienced "darkest moments".

In the 1980s, Japan's chip industry rose strongly. The contest began in 1981, in December of this year, in response to Intel's new memory chip, Panasonic launched the corresponding products, not only can read, but also can erase like a blackboard. Because of the latter's low cost and high reliability, the chip quickly occupied the US market, while Intel's single chip price fell from $28 to $6 in a year, suffering heavy losses. Intel can still withstand such a blow at this time, because of the rise of the personal computer market, Intel makes a lot of money on personal computer chips.

But the Japanese offensive came too hard. In addition to the continuous improvement of memory chip technology in Japanese enterprises, gradually catching up with Intel, what is even more terrible is that Japanese chip companies have launched a big price war. In the 1980s, a Japanese chip company sent its salespeople a memo that read: "find Intel's products and offer less than 10% of them, and if they reopen the price, you will discount another 10%." To persevere in the end is to win! "

Pricing is always 10% lower-the competitive strategy of Japanese manufacturers is very simple and effective. Intel's share of sales in the memory chip market plummeted, and by 1985 Intel had been defeated by its Japanese rivals in the market on which it started.

In the end, CEO Moore and CEO Andy Grove made a decisive decision to lead Intel's strategic shift, specializing in personal computer CPU. In the change to save the company, Intel closed seven factories, laid off 8000 employees and lost more than $180 million-its first loss since Intel was founded.

In the first year of the transition, in 1985, Intel launched 386 microprocessors and announced that it would not license the technology to other manufacturers. Previously, IBM, Intel's biggest customer, had been asking Intel to share its designs with other chipmakers so that Intel could not dominate. As soon as 386 was launched, it was highly praised and quickly became popular in the market. IBM could not withstand the pressure and was forced to re-sign the agreement with Intel. Microsoft, a new software company, completely changed computing technology by using 386chips. In 1990, it launched the sensational Windows 3.0 operating system, which opened the Wintel era of Microsoft + Intel alliance.

The 386 processor became a milestone, and Intel became the dominant player in the CPU market. In the automotive, telecommunications, photocopier and other fields, Intel chips also open up territory. Guangford, a company, ordered 1.3 million microprocessors from Intel over the course of the year to control fuel ratios, sparks and other functions of the engine.

In 1989, Intel continued its efforts to launch the 486 processor. With 486, Intel overtook all Japanese chip companies to take the top spot in the chip industry. In 1992, Intel had sales of $5.8 billion and profits of more than $1 billion for the first time. At the same time, Intel and Microsoft gradually replaced IBM, as the leader of the entire computer industry.

In 1993, Intel launched the Pentium processor. The speed of this series of processors has made Intel lose its hat of being a low-performance processor. Although Intel is no longer named after numbers, it is still used to calling the processors it drives X86 series. By 1999, Intel's market value had reached a peak of US $509 billion, equivalent to half of China's GDP that year, more than India's total GDP, and was really called a "rich and adversarial country."

At its peak, Intel accounted for 85.2 per cent of the global CPU market. In other words, of every 10 personal computers around us, up to two are not equipped with Intel chips. Intel basically did what it said in its slogan-give each PC a Pentium core.

For a long time since the birth of integrated circuits, the list of the world's major chip manufacturers has long been dominated by American companies. When Intel encountered Waterloo in the 1980s, people began to pay attention to the sudden rise of Japanese chip companies. By the second half of the 1980s, among the top 10 IC manufacturers in the world, there were three in the United States, six in Japan and one in South Korea. Even the capital of the list had been taken away by Japan Electric Co., Ltd. (NEC Corporation).

Why can Japan's chip industry rise rapidly?

Looking back on this period of history, we will find that the industrial structure of Japan changed dramatically from 1970 to 1985, the "heavy growth" industry represented by the iron and steel industry fell into a downturn, and the "light, thin and short" industries such as chips and household appliances grew rapidly. At the end of the 20th century, the international community has extensively studied the chip and other industries in Japan, and discussed the "Japanese model".

After the analysis, people believe that Japan mainly benefits from several reasons:

* first, in the 1950s and 1960s, the United States supported the development of Japanese industry during the Cold War and fully opened up semiconductor technology to Japan, laying the foundation for its rapid development in the future.

* second, the emergence of microprocessors in the 1970s, the rise of personal computers, and the continuous growth of demand in the chip market;

* third, the Japanese government and industry have actively undertaken the transfer of the US chip industry, and have also engaged in a "national system" in the process of creating their own "core", and they have done a very good job.

Led by the government, a number of competitive non-governmental enterprises and national scientific research institutes will be combined to form a technological innovation alliance to jointly develop key common technologies-an important means for Japan to promote independent innovation. To put it simply, it means that "industry, government, and learning" cooperate with each other. Among them, the "very large scale Integrated Circuit Technology Research portfolio" vigorously promoted by the Ministry of Trade, Trade and Industry of Japan (now the Ministry of economy, Trade and Industry) is considered to have laid the foundation for the competitiveness of Japan's semiconductor industry in one fell swoop.

In 1964, IBM announced the advent of the third generation of computers using integrated circuits, which made the Japanese government deeply aware of the huge gap in the computer field of its own enterprises. Two years later, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan launched a large-scale project on the development of ultra-high performance electronic computers.

The goal of this project is very clear, that is, to develop a third generation of high-performance computers that can compete with IBM. In the project, the total amount of subsidies paid directly by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to the participating enterprises amounted to 10 billion yen. However, as IBM has developed computers that use large-scale integrated circuits and very large-scale integrated circuits, the Japanese government and enterprises have realized that it is impossible to surpass IBM without a breakthrough in the key technologies of integrated circuits.

Although there is only one word difference in name between VLSI (VLSI) and VLSI (LSI), there is a great difference in production technology. It must use electron beam or X-ray projection exposure, develop new photosensitive materials and precision detection devices, as well as large-caliber silicon wafer, dust removal technology and so on. All this, for Japanese companies at that time, was almost unheard of.

According to the experience of the United States, IBM, Intel and other giants continue to invest a lot of R & D funds over the years to achieve technological breakthroughs and form extremely complex patent protection. It is obviously difficult for late-developing enterprises to raise and dare to invest matching funds in a short period of time. How to solve these problems has become an urgent issue in front of the Japanese government, industry and academia.

In the 1970s, Japan's semiconductor industry as a whole lagged behind the United States for more than 10 years. At that time, there was a consensus in Japan that the gap between the integrated circuit and computer industries and the United States must be narrowed, and the government should take extraordinary measures to act in concert with enterprises and scientific research institutions. To this end, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan has set up a special office called the "Electronic Information Unit" under the Bureau of Mechanical Information Industry, and has also set up a "VLSI Research and Development Policy Committee," including a number of industry and academic circles. And put forward the "next generation of computers with VLSI development promotion grant" budget.

After full gestation, from 1976 to 1979, Japan began to implement the landmark "VLSI Technology Research portfolio". The project is led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan, with Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Toshiba and Nippon Electric as the backbone. In conjunction with the Electrical Technology Laboratory of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan, the Electronic Comprehensive Research Institute of the Japanese Industrial Technology Research Institute and the computer Comprehensive Research Institute, a total of 72 billion yen has been invested to break through the core common technologies in the chip industry.

In history, Japan has set up a variety of "research combinations", but this is the first time that competing enterprises have sent people together. This combination not only focuses on the advantages of talents, but also promotes the exchange and inspiration of enterprises that do not communicate with each other in technology.

Over the past four years, the number of patent applications for the VLSI Technology Research portfolio has reached 1210, and the number of trade secrets applications has reached 347. Participating enterprises can use the patents of the "research portfolio" free of charge, so the overall technical level has been rapidly improved. Among them, the biggest achievement is the development of the key precision equipment in the chip processing process-the reduced projection lithography machine.

"VLSI Technology Research combination" formed three independent teams, followed different technical routes, and finally made major breakthroughs. These technological breakthroughs have established a dominant position for Japan in the field of lithography and even the whole field of chip production equipment. Before 1980, almost all of Japan's reduced projection lithography machines were imported from the United States, but by 1985, the international market share of the equipment made in Japan surpassed that of the United States. By the year 2000, with the exception of AMSL of the Netherlands, the manufacturers of this key equipment were all Japanese companies.

Not only that, before the launch of the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio," about 80 percent of Japan's semiconductor production equipment was imported from the United States, but by the mid-1980s, all semiconductor production equipment had been localization, and by the end of the 1980s, Japan's semiconductor production equipment has a world market share of more than 50%.

In the aspect of large aperture of wafer, the "VLSI technology research combination" has also made a considerable breakthrough. In the mid-1970s, the industry once thought that the limit of wafer diameter was 6 inches, but the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio" first developed an 8-inch wafer in 1980, and made an in-depth study of the technical problems in the production of large aperture wafer.

All these studies provided a strong support for the rise of the semiconductor material production industry in Japan in the 1980s. In 1985, the world market share of semiconductor materials in Japan reached 60%, and two years later, it further rose to more than 70%. Up to now, Japanese semiconductor materials still dominate the world, drinking water to think of the source, can not but be attributed to the establishment of the "VLSI technology research portfolio".

Over the past four years, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Japan has funded the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio" as high as 29.1 billion yen, accounting for 40% of the total operating cost of 72 billion yen, and the rest will be shared equally by the participating enterprises. The purpose of the funding of the Ministry of Trade and Industry is very clear, that is, to support only the research and development of common basic technologies.

Under the guidance of this train of thought, the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio" emphasizes that the choice of topics must highlight the basic and common characteristics-which is also the common requirement of participating enterprises. Only by studying such issues will the participating enterprises be interested, and there is no need to worry about being "poached" by their competitors in the process of joint research and development.

Interestingly, the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio" also has a side effect: when participating enterprises use jointly developed and mastered technologies for commercial production, the opportunity to find that the best use of these technologies is memory chips. It is not very practical in the field of CPU. This led to a long time later, Japanese companies in the memory sector all the way to a strategic location, but has never formed a general climate on the CPU.

As Nippon Electric, Fujitsu, Hitachi and others are catching up in the field of memory chips, the global sales share of Japanese companies has climbed from 10% in the mid-1970s to 55% in the late 1970s, not only surpassing that of the United States. Moreover, many American semiconductor companies, such as Intel and Motorola, have been forced to withdraw from the competition in the memory field.

There is no doubt about the effectiveness of the "VLSI Technology Research portfolio". In 1979, Japan's international trade surplus in integrated circuits began to show a surplus, while the trade surplus between integrated circuits and the United States appeared in 1980. By 1986, the international market share of Japanese semiconductor products began to surpass that of the United States. Over the next 10 years, with the exception of a few years, Japan's international market share has been higher than that of the United States. Japan has six of the top 10 companies, with Japan Electric, Toshiba and Hitachi in the top three. This situation was not fundamentally reversed until Microsoft launched Windows95, Intel in 1995 with its improved Pentium processor.

The rise of the Japanese semiconductor industry has not only brought it huge commercial profits, but also made the reputation of "made in Japan" rapidly improved. In turn, related industries in the United States have been hit hard. The United States believes that as a result of the setback in the development of the semiconductor industry, it is likely that all aspects of the computer, communications, and even defense industries will lag behind. As a result, American business and political circles have accused Japan of subsidizing enterprises and practicing unfair competition by setting up a "research portfolio."

Since then, the economic and trade friction between Japan and the United States has entered the stage of semiconductor warfare. The United States carries out trade protection by means of anti-dumping, anti-investment, anti-M & A, etc., with a maximum tariff of 100% on the relevant products, and finally ends with the price control of Japanese exports to the United States. As a result, Japan's chip industry has gone from prosperity to decline, showing the other side of the global chip storm.

The development of South Korean chip industry can be described as "inspirational".

Compared with the United States and Japan, South Korea started more than 10 years later, and it took only more than 20 years for the chip industry to grow from scratch to become one of the most powerful chip countries in the world. Without the support of various preferential policies of the government and the support of huge funds from the private sector and enterprises, this rise would be unthinkable.

South Korean chip industry originated in the early 1980s, concentrated in Samsung, Hyundai and LG three major enterprises. Earlier, in the mid-1960s, American semiconductor companies such as Xiantong and Motorola transferred some of their production capacity to South Korea in order to reduce labor costs; in the 1970s, Japanese semiconductor companies such as Sanyo and Toshiba also began to invest in South Korea. But overall, South Korea has been playing a labor-intensive assembly base.

The "oil crisis" in the 1970s triggered drastic changes in the world market environment. The export ratio of South Korea's light industrial products has dropped sharply, and the original economic growth model has been threatened. In this context, Samsung and other large companies began to transform to advanced industries such as semiconductors.

1983 was a turning point in the history of South Korea's semiconductor industry. This year, Samsung Group founder Li Bingzhe decided to make a large investment in the production of memory chips, which is considered a very bold decision. Li Bingzhe bet astronomical money and the risk of Samsung bankruptcy, eventually laying the foundation for Samsung to become one of the leading players in the chip industry.

Li Bingzhe has made many business decisions that have stunned subordinates and the outside world. In the 1960s, he made a grand plan to build a large-scale electronics industry base in South Korea, which was even larger than the largest Sanyo electronics industry base in Japan at that time. To this end, he bought more than 200 acres of land in the remote suburbs of Suwon, South Korea, which puzzled his subordinates who had been with him for many years.

Looking at the puzzled eyes of his subordinates, Li Bingzhe pointed to the barren land and said, "can't you see that this land will soon become a large-scale electronics industry base?" Can't you see the grand blueprint of the high-tech industry that will feed our people in the future? Now, you may think that this land is really too big, but please believe me, in the near future, this land will be far from enough for our use. "

Samsung Electronics Industry Base initially relied on Japanese companies to do some assembly work. Samsung tried to learn the latter's electronic product technology, but Japan took absolute confidentiality measures against the core technology, whenever it came to technology-related topics. They will let Samsung's South Korean employees avoid it. Li Bingzhe is very calm about this, he advised Samsung employees: the Japanese do this is normal, after all, the loss of technology means the loss of the future market. However, the more the Japanese are prepared, the more Samsung employees will have to grit their teeth to learn technology.

In fact, many of Li Bingzhe's decisions seem bold, but in fact they have been carefully investigated and weighed. In the late 1970s, Japanese semiconductors began to rise, and Li Bingzhe often went to Japan to visit academic and industrial authorities. In early 1980, Li Bingzhe, who was in his late twilight years, had a long talk with Inaba Hidezo, a famous economist and designer of Japan's postwar renaissance. Inaba Hidezo's sentence opened Li Bingzhe's words: "Semiconductors will dominate the market in the future." Because exquisite and lightweight products are the demand of the market. "

Samsung founder Li Bingzhe and the original Samsung Chamber of Commerce

In 1983, Li Bingzhe made up his mind to lead Samsung to "sha" into the semiconductor industry. He chose the 64KBDRAM memory chip, which was already in excess of demand, as the entry point. Although the opponent is strong, the risk is big, but Li Bingzhe believes that Samsung can fight the price war, once wins, the prospect will be very broad.

The decision was very difficult. If it fails, Samsung, which has invested astronomical money, will be doomed.

The night of March 14, 1983 was particularly long, and Li Bingzhe recalled that when he started his own business alone at the age of 26, he once again experienced a complex mixture of excitement and tension. Li Bingzhe, who had been walking back and forth in the room all night, came to the table, took a deep breath, picked up the phone and dialed the South Korean Central Daily: "the Samsung Group has decided to formally develop a new semiconductor cutting-edge technology project from March 15. Please report for us. "

Samsung dared to make such a decision at the time, obviously inseparable from the support of the South Korean government behind it. In the seventies and eighties of the 20th century, the South Korean government issued a number of laws and formulated relevant industrial policies to support the semiconductor and other electronic industries. Although Li Bingzhe did not fully follow the government's industrial guidance based on entrepreneurs' more keen judgment of the market, the South Korean government has greatly improved the survival probability of semiconductor companies such as Samsung by means of government orders and tariff protection.

In 1982, there were fewer than 1000 personal computers in South Korea, and the South Korean government ordered 8360 personal computers at a time to create demand for memory chips. With the stimulus and demonstration of the government, the personal computer market in South Korea has developed rapidly, and the demand in 1983 has increased tenfold over the previous year.

After making a full push into the memory chip, Samsung began a series of moves. First, it bought 64KBDRAM technology from Japan's Meiguang Company, which was in financial trouble at the time, and its processing technology was obtained from Sharp of Japan. Foreign technology licensing plays a vital role, in the process, Samsung gradually familiar with progressive process innovation, coupled with long-term experience in reverse engineering, quickly entered the fast track of development.

In addition to the introduction of technology, Samsung has also recruited a large number of Korean talent from the United States. Japan's Toshiba is Samsung's most respected object, Li Bingzhe visited Toshiba, then poached Toshiba's production minister. Interestingly, Zhang Zhongmou, who had just returned from the United States to Taiwan, was once strongly invited to join Samsung.

When Samsung launched the 64KB DRAM in 1984, the global semiconductor industry was at a low ebb, with memory prices plummeting from $4 to 30 cents a piece, compared with Samsung's production cost of $1.30. That means Samsung loses $1 for every piece of memory it sells. At a low ebb, Intel pulled out of memory chips, Japanese companies such as Nippon Electric slashed capital spending, while Samsung, like gamblers, ramped up its bets, counter-cyclical investments, continued to expand capacity and developed larger memory chips. By the end of 1986, Samsung Semiconductor had a cumulative loss of $300 million and a complete deficit in equity capital.

During that period, Li Bingzhe received daily reports from various departments, most of which were about the Samsung Group's fiscal deficit. Almost every department has a report like this: "since the first and second production lines of semiconductors have been put into operation, the Samsung Group has had a fiscal deficit for the third year in a row. The deficit amounts to hundreds of billions of won. We are really unable to afford such a huge fiscal deficit, and if we continue, the Samsung Group will soon be in danger of going bankrupt. "

The senior management of the company also persuaded Li Bingzhe: it would be better to take advantage of the fact that we have not lost all of it yet, so that we can leave a way back for ourselves. But Li Bingzhe is still desperate. "under the current situation, what we still have to do is to continue to strengthen technological development and expand the production scale of the factory." He said. This idea, later evolved into an important business philosophy of Samsung, that is, the "anti-cyclical law"-the price downturn to expand production capacity, crush competitors; take advantage of monopoly to raise market prices.

In the danger, the South Korean government once again played the role of "white horse knight". From 1983 to 1987, South Korea implemented the Semiconductor Industry Revitalization Plan, in which the government invested a total of US $346 million in loans and stimulated US $2 billion in private investment. In this process, the South Korean government to promote the "government + consortia" economic development model. In order to promote the development of the chip industry, the South Korean government even did not hesitate to use the war reparations provided by Japan to South Korea during the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea.

Samsung survived the bottom of the valley and came in an instant. In 1987, the signing of the Japan-US semiconductor agreement led to a rebound in memory prices, and Samsung made up for demand in the global semiconductor market and began to make a rapid profit. Li Bingzhe's "big gamble" was a great success. In 1992, Samsung overtook Nippon Electric to become the world's largest memory chip manufacturer. Korean companies learned from the price war once used by Japanese companies and beat their teachers.

This is only the first step for Samsung to lead South Korea's semiconductor industry to the first echelon in the world. Since 1995, Samsung has repeatedly launched a "anti-cycle law" price war, which has led to the bankruptcy of most manufacturers in the memory chip field, and it has gradually grown into a giant in this field.

In an article, the Economist commented that the development of South Korean industry in the 1980s benefited from domestic policy support programs, because such huge resources were concentrated in a small number of consortia. They can quickly enter the field of capital-intensive memory chip production and ultimately overcome the huge financial losses in the initial stage of production.

Of course, we have to mention the semiconductor trade conflict between the United States and Japan in the late 1980s. The two sides took retaliatory measures such as levying anti-dumping duties, which provided an important "window of opportunity" for South Korean enterprises. The development model of large consortia in South Korea has triggered the common development of many upstream and downstream enterprises. It can be said that the current Korean chip industry is by Samsung, Hynix (later renamed Hynix Semiconductor) and other enterprises of large-scale investment, led to the development and rise of the whole industry. This is also an obvious feature of South Korea's economic development.

Samsung founder Li Bingzhe made a difficult decision in 1983, which led to a sharp change in the pattern of the world chip industry over the next 20 years. Under the leadership of Samsung, South Korea overtook Japan as the largest producer of memory chips in the world in 1998. The industrial center of memory chips in the world has been transferred from Japan to South Korea until today.

As Japan overtook the United States and South Korea overtook Japan, a chip company based in Taiwan quietly rose. Unlike previous chip companies, the company magnified the advantage of low labor costs in East Asia to the extreme and embarked on a unique path of "contract manufacturing".

In 1985, Zhang Zhongmou, 54, quit his well-paid position in the United States and returned to Taiwan. Two years later, with the support of the relevant local departments in Taiwan, he founded the world's first professional contract manufacturer, Taiwan Integrated Circuit Manufacturing Company (TSMC), in Hsinchu Science Park.

This inconspicuous enterprise at that time created a new business model of vertical division of labor, which quickly became an industrial trend, allowing integrated circuit enterprises with a global vertical division of labor to spring up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain, and then specialize in the technology industry. Accelerate the prosperity of the semiconductor industry today.

Before returning to Taiwan, Zhang Zhongmou was the No. 3 figure in Texas Instruments, a veteran American chip giant. He was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in 1931 and moved to Hong Kong and Chongqing as a teenager. In 1949, Zhang Zhongmou, 18, entered Harvard University in the United States and transferred to MIT the following year to specialize in mechanical engineering.

Zhang Zhongmou, 27, entered Texas Instruments in 1958. By the time he left in 1985, Texas Instruments was already a leader in the chip industry, with 60,000 employees worldwide. Zhang Zhongmou also became one of the first Chinese to enter the top management of large American companies.

A few decades ago, chip enterprises were all from design, to manufacturing, packaging and testing, and to the consumer market. Zhang Zhongmou saw the trend of separation between semiconductor design companies and manufacturers. TSMC, which he founded, is firmly on the contract route.

For the just-started TSMC, talent, technology and orders are the key to development. In order to find talent, Zhang Zhongmou urged General Electric Semiconductor President Decker to join, and struggled to catch up with the launch of technical certification, quickly strive for the opportunity to contract for Intel. In the process of trying to contract manufacturing for Intel, a dramatic thing happened: when Intel's CEO Grove inspected TSMC, it found that TSMC's products had as many as 200 defects, which made Grove "back off." Zhang Zhongmou to turn the tide, to Intel executives to lay down the guarantee, will quickly solve the problem of defects. A few weeks later, the number of defects was reduced to 20. In a few weeks, it'll be reduced to four.

On June 13, 2015, the president of Taiwan Asian University awarded an honorary doctor to Zhang Zhongmou, chairman of TSMC (first from right).

Gradually, chip designers found that it took at least 12 weeks to hand over the chip to a Japanese company, six weeks to a Singaporean company, and only four weeks to TSMC. As a result, more and more chip design companies in Silicon Valley are gradually handing over high-level chips to TSMC for production. This is a short story that took place in the second half of the last century, in the context of industrial transfer, but TSMC firmly seized the opportunity of industrial transfer and achieved the highest industrial production capacity and management capacity, forming the only family. No semicolon "monopoly. According to external evaluation, starting with TSMC, wafer contract manufacturing has become an industry.

Of course, Zhang Zhongmou's vision and decision are impressive, but Taiwan's local authorities have also supported the rise of the chip industry in Taiwan, and even the rise of the chip industry in Taiwan.

In the early 1970s, the relevant local departments in Taiwan paid for the purchase of technology from the American Radio Company and handed it over to the "Electronic Research Institute" under the Taiwan "Industrial Research Institute" for digestion, absorption, and innovation. After the formation of preliminary independent technology, TSMC and another company called Lianhua Electronics were set up under the leadership of the relevant departments in Taiwan, and the accumulated independent technology was transferred to these two enterprises free of charge by the "Electronic Research Institute."

According to the textual research of scholars, the relevant departments in Taiwan even initially contributed directly to TSMC and Lianhua Electronics and persuaded several large enterprises to participate in them. It was not until the mid-1980s when Taiwan's integrated circuit industry became profitable that the authorities gradually withdrew and switched to entrepreneurs.

In 1997, TSMC listed on the New York Stock Exchange, where it had revenue of $1.3 billion and a profit of $535 million. In 2009, Zhang Zhongmou, who returned to TSMC, predicted that the mobile terminal market such as mobile phones would be on the rise, investing heavily for three years in a row, taking the lead in the 40nm and 28nm process, and becoming a rival manufacturer with Intel and Samsung Electronics.

In 2013, TSMC had $1.985 billion in revenue and 46 per cent of the wafer foundry market, making it the world's largest foundry of chips.

In the selection of the benchmark Enterprise Award of "World" magazine in Taiwan, TSMC has been at the top of the list for 11 years in a row. CNN commented that Zhang Zhongmou was a symbol of Taiwan's economic rise.

Today, the global chip industry is still bustling, "King" has been changing. But as the article begins, what remains the same is that there is always the brilliant light of innovators that shine on the way forward.

This article comes from the look out think tank, the original title "sensational whole China" Huawei is blocked "behind, is the United States and China, Japan, South Korea" life and death scuffle for decades! "

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