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Who holds the world microelectronics by the throat

Who holds the world microelectronics by the throat

Now Russia has a unique moment - the sanctions of the collective West are tightening, and the inflow of foreign currency into the country continues to grow

Who holds the world microelectronics by the throat

Among industries, where specialization and cooperation of production have reached the highest level, electronics comes first. Production of such end products, like computers, mobile phones and other means of communication, scientific and medical equipment, video surveillance equipment, etc.. P. based on the use of semiconductors, microchips (chips), microprocessors, which are produced by other companies. There is a deep specialization: the number of types of chips and microprocessors with unique technical characteristics is measured in thousands. In its turn, manufacturers of electronic semi-finished products receive raw materials from other companies (silicon, various metals, etc.), expendable materials (eg, refined neon), production equipment, equipment maintenance services, etc..

If you trace all the connections of production from "A" to "Z", then long chains are obtained, sometimes consisting of thousands of links. Electronics began to be called an ecosystem, the industry is highly dependent on the sustainability of this ecosystem. In some chains and some links in the chains, there are a fairly large number of duplicates and competitors., producing similar products. But there are also links, where the production of a product is monopolized within one, maximum two or three companies. And since the economy today depends on electronics, and science, and military (weapons), then the largest corporations and the politicians behind them are trying to use the key elements of the electronic ecosystem to control the entire global electronics market. And through such control, ultimately control the whole world as a whole.

I already wrote about one such key link in the world of electronics - a Taiwanese company TSMC. It has an almost complete monopoly on the microchip contract manufacturing market..

However, although TSMC is habitually called a Taiwanese company, from the point of view of the origin of capital, it, likely, american. Share capital TSMC heavily sprayed. Not a single shareholder has even one percent of the shares. But here is a list of the largest shareholders: Sanders Capital; Capital Research & Management; Massachusetts Financial Services; Walter Scott & Partners Ltd. Fisher Asset Management; The Vanguard Group; JPMorgan Investment Management. These and all subsequent shareholders are American investment funds, banks, holding. therefore TSMC de facto purely American company, which is located in the historical territory of China, out of Beijing's control. By the way, in capital TSMC there is no trace of Chinese capital. It is not surprising, that TSMC executes all commands implicitly, coming from Washington. Stopped all deliveries of chips to Russia and China. Today TSMC working under stress, serving almost exclusively only two clients - American companies AMD and Intel.

Now I want to tell you about another key link in the world of electronics - the Dutch company ASML (Advanced Semiconductor Materials Lithography). Full official name ASML Holding NV. Company production profile: photolithographic equipment (about 55% revenue in recent years); maintenance of such equipment and consulting (25%); equipment for the production of electronic memory (20%). ASML - the world's largest manufacturer of lithographic equipment. No company can do without such equipment, engaged in the production of microcircuits (chips).

AT 2020 year in the world was sold 413 machines for lithography, of them on ASML had to 258 units (62%). Canon – 122 (30%). Nikon – 33 (8%). And if you measure the share ASML in sales value, then the picture in favor of the Dutch company will be even more convincing: ASML – 91%, Canon – 3%, Nikon – 6% If, eg, in the American microelectronics market, we see intense competition between such giants, like intel, AMD and Nvidia, the ASML as if hovering over the world of electronics, being in a state of absolute dominance.

Equipment ASML used in different countries, the company has more 60 service points in 16 countries: Netherlands, USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Great Britain, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

The giant has the closest ties ASML with another giant of microelectronics - TSMC. The Taiwanese company is listed as Buyer No. 1 Dutch company equipment, absorbing in some years more than half of all products of the Dutch partner. can say, that two monopolists form a kind of axis, their coordinated actions can help strengthen some participants in the global microelectronics market and weaken others.

AT 2021 year about 2,2 billion, or 16%, selling ASML went to China, making it the company's third largest geographic market after Taiwan and South Korea.

Among equipment customers ASML there were also Russian companies. Our media reported, that the domestic factory Angstrom-T also in 2008 year planned to buy steppers (lithographers) ASML, but was the purchase made, not reported (according to some sources, equipment purchased, but still not running). It is known, what installation ASML are used on the front line for the production of microcircuits in Zelenograd at the plant "Micron».

Produced ASML equipment (stepper, scanner) - the most complex structure weighing several tens of tons and the size of a bus, made up of many thousands of different components. therefore ASML has cooperative ties with companies from many countries of the world. Number of Tier 1 suppliers – approx. 5000.

The number of employees in the company is over 30 thousand. human. ASML – one of the largest companies in the microelectronics sector in terms of capitalization (over 350 billion. Doll.). Expected, that by the end of this year the capitalization of the Dutch company may reach the 500 billion. Doll. and it will stand on a par with such giants of world microelectronics, like Taiwanese TSMC and American Nvidia.

ASML is a Dutch company by registration only (registered in the jurisdiction of the Netherlands). And in terms of shareholders, it is predominantly American. In the early years of ASML, the Dutch company Philips was the majority shareholder, she is now a minority shareholder. In July 2012 American Intel announced a deal to invest 4,1 billion dollars in ASML in exchange for 15% shares in capital. The following major US investors are named on the ASML official website (equity stake in ASML, %): Capital Research and Management Company – 15,81; Blackrock Inc. – 7,95; Baillie Gifford & Co. – 4,54 On the website of the American stock exchange NASDAQ, we find a whole bunch of ASML shareholders, representing US big business: PRICE T ROWE ASSOCIATES INC., CAPITAL WORLD INVESTORS, CAPITAL INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS, FMR LLC, MORGAN STANLEY, JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, BANK OF AMERICA CORP, FRANKLIN RESOURCES INC et al.

After the start of the sanctions war, Russian microelectronics was clamped on both sides. All deliveries of chips are cut off from the east - from the side of the company TSMC. All deliveries of steppers and scanners were cut off from the west - from the side of the Dutch ASML.

The situation for Russia, let's be honest, shock. At the moment we do not have not only ready-made lithographs, there are not even some of the most important components for their production, in particular suitable lasers and optics. May be, it is possible to buy such equipment in China? But the Chinese themselves got hooked on the needle of imported equipment, the same steppers and ASML scanners (which they are now chopped off).

The situation is shock, but not hopeless. As the experts say, we have good stocks (some were made back in Soviet times). There is something to get rid of. However, these backlogs must be multiplied by large amounts of funding for development work.. And then investments in enterprises of a new industry for Russia - the production of means of production of domestic microelectronics.

Now Russia has a unique moment: Sanctions of the collective West are tightened, and the inflow of foreign currency into the country continues to grow (I have already explained the reasons for the paradox more than once). There is an opportunity to increase state funding for domestic electronics and microelectronics by an order of magnitude. AT 2007 In 2007, we launched the "Strategy for the development of the electronic industry in Russia for the period up to 2025 of the year", now it has been extended to 2030 of the year. However, this program is outdated., it did not assume full import substitution in the industry. The program should be radically revised, having set the task of creating an industry completely independent of foreign suppliers, and fill it with money.

by the way, domestic experts say, that in today's race in the field of microelectronics, Russia should not bet on catching up development. We need breakthrough ideas and asymmetric responses to the challenges of the West. And for this it is necessary to restore the destroyed domestic fundamental science, which once provided our state with leading positions in the world.

A photo: REUTERS

Valentin KATASONOV

A source

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