July 21, 2024
China's strategic move to establish AI chip

China’s Mega Factory Plan: Particle Accelerators to Revolutionize AI Chip Production

China is reportedly planning to establish AI chip manufacturing facilities for particle accelerators as a means to bypass sanctions that have impacted the domestic industry, as revealed in a South China Morning Post (SCMP) report.

Utilizing particle accelerators would enable the creation of innovative laser sources, with the electron beam from the accelerator being converted into a high-quality light source necessary for the on-site production of AI semiconductor chips, according to the SCMP.

Scientists from Tsinghua University are reportedly in discussions with authorities in the Xiongan New Area to identify an appropriate location for the factory, with the goal of potentially circumventing current U.S. sanctions, as per the report.

These particle accelerators would replace lithography machines in the semiconductor chip manufacturing process for advanced AI systems.

Presently, the Netherlands-based company Advanced Semiconductor Materials Lithography possesses exclusive technology for such machines, but the U.S. has imposed restrictions on selling these cutting-edge machines to the Chinese market, similar to the restrictions placed on Nvidia, the leading global AI chip manufacturer.

The SCMP report suggests that the proposed Chinese megafactory could accommodate multiple lithography machines. This endeavor reflects China’s ongoing efforts to counter sanctions through domestic initiatives.

Earlier reports in May indicated that Chinese firms were exploring methods to develop AI systems utilizing less advanced semiconductors and alternative chip combinations in response to U.S. sanctions.

Despite the sanctions, Chinese companies have continued to introduce new AI systems following the implementation of landmark AI legislation in the country. Tencent, for instance, unveiled its own ChatGPT competitor in the Chinese market on September 7.

In contrast, the U.S. has been intensifying its presence in the AI manufacturing sector. During a recent visit to Vietnam, the U.S. secured multibillion-dollar deals focusing on AI chips and technology.

Concerns about China gaining a leading edge in AI development have extended beyond the U.S., with European regulators also contemplating their positions on export controls and restrictions concerning China.

Image by freepik

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