Does China need to develop a lithography machine with the efforts of the whole country?

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Author: liguangman source: liguangman freezing point review wechat official account id:ligm-479210127 has been authorized to reprint

Recently, there is a view that China cannot develop advanced lithography machines alone. China cannot establish a national system in the development of lithography machines. Instead, it should place its hopes on international cooperation with the United States and the West and rely on globalization and marketization to solve the problems of lithography machine development and high-end chips. Is this view feasible? I think it is harmful that under the situation that globalization is reversed, China’s high-tech industry is comprehensively suppressed, sanctioned and embargoed by the United States, and the United States begins to form a global high-end chip alliance to encircle and suppress China, it still has illusions about the United States and the west, and still hopes to solve the high-end chip problem through cooperation with the United States and the West. This view will continue to restrict and choke China in the chip field, It will also make China fall deeper into the dilemma of high-end chips.

There is good news recently. According to the ranking list of global automobile enterprises’ market value released on June 7, BYD surpassed Volkswagen group with a total market value of 128.8 billion US dollars (about 862.6 billion yuan), ranking third. On June 10, BYD’s A-share price rose again, reaching 348.8 yuan / share at the close, up 8.19%. Its market value exceeded 1trillion yuan for the first time, reaching 1.02 trillion yuan. At present, Tesla, Toyota and BYD are the top three global auto companies in terms of market value. A number of dazzling brands, such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, general motors, Ford, Honda and so on, which once made us unable to rise to the top, are now behind BYD.

Although the market value of BYD still lags behind that of Tesla, which has a market value of $740.58 billion, and Toyota, which has a market value of $227.52 billion, it is not a dream to surpass Toyota to become the second in the world with the current development trend of BYD in the field of new energy vehicles. We should also see other Chinese auto companies that are not in the top 10, but are still very bright, such as Great Wall Motors, SAIC Group, Weilai motors, and ideal cars, which rank 11th, 13th, 16th, and 20th. We should also be glad that a number of Chinese high-tech enterprises are joining the ranks of car manufacturing, such as Huawei and Baidu. I think the performance of Chinese car companies in the new energy car track is very similar to China’s performance in 5g, photovoltaic, high-speed rail, nuclear power and power grid. Once China occupies the track, it will leave behind the enterprises of other countries, not only losing their hegemony, but also forcing them to exit the track. We can be confident that the new energy vehicles of BYD, great wall, Geely, Weilai, ideal and Xiaopeng are going global and becoming the leaders in the field of new energy vehicles. The batteries of Ningde times and BYD are becoming the kings of new energy vehicle batteries. The automatic driving technologies of Huawei and Baidu have also become the leaders of automatic driving technologies.

In the field of traditional automobiles, China once dreamed of using the market for technology to catch up, but ultimately failed to achieve its goal. Instead, it has long lived in the shadow of Japanese, German, Korean and American enterprises. Now, when China no longer relies on Western technology, no longer takes the path of joint venture, no longer relies on OEM to survive, and no longer trades technology at the expense of the market, China’s automobile industry has finally made a major breakthrough in the field of new energy vehicles.

From BYD, Ningde era to the intelligent driving technology of Huawei and Baidu, we can see that China’s new energy automobile and intelligent automobile industry is rising in an all-round way, which is shaking the world. This shock has shaken the dominant position of the automobile industry dominated by the West for nearly a century.

While China’s new energy vehicles are advancing by leaps and bounds, China’s high-end smart phones have encountered a cold winter. Since trump imposed the most prohibitive order on Huawei in the history, China’s high-end mobile phone market has become the home of apple. Huawei has never launched a high-end mobile phone that can compete with apple or even kill apple. Other domestic brands have not come up with a high-end smart phone that can replace Huawei. Recently, it was reported that Huawei’s mate40 had been taken off the shelves of its official website, while the legendary mate50 had not been found. Although Meng Wanzhou had returned from Canada, the sanctions imposed by the United States and the West on Huawei’s high-end chips were still continuing, and there was no sign of an end.

On April 16, 2022, the 2021 global semiconductor industry research report showed that Huawei had dropped from the top 10 suppliers in the global semiconductor industry to the top 25. The revenue of Huawei Hisilicon decreased by 81% in 2021, from US $8.2 billion in 2020 to US $1.5 billion in 2021. The revenue decreased by 42.68 billion yuan.

On March 28, Huawei reported that in 2021, Huawei achieved a revenue of 636.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 28.6%. In the first quarter of this year, Huawei’s revenue was 131billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 13.9%, and its net profit margin was 4.3%, a year-on-year decrease of 6.8%.

The darkest moment in Huawei’s history caused by the strictest sanctions imposed by the United States is coming. The availability of coreless chips is becoming a grim reality for Huawei. High end chips are not only hurting Huawei, but also hurting China’s high-end industries.

So how serious is China’s dependence on chips in the international market? In 2021, China’s imports of integrated circuit chips exceeded 440billion US dollars, or 2.8 trillion yuan. In the same period, China’s imports of goods were worth 17.37 trillion yuan. Chips accounted for 16% of the total import amount, far higher than energy and ranked first. This figure tells us that, first, China is very dependent on chips in the international market. Second, chips are the blood of the modern economy. Almost all industries and industries rely on chips for survival. For example, since the end of last year, the entire automobile manufacturing industry has been seriously cut off because of the lack of chips. Third, the number of high-end chips imported by China has increased year by year.

At present, the high-end lithography machines are stuck in the neck of China’s chips. The sanctions imposed by the United States on China in terms of high-end lithography machines are becoming a noose, which is tightly tied around the neck of China’s chip industry, leaving China’s high-end industry in pain.

Recently, there is a voice in China’s public opinion that it is not feasible to solve the problem of high-end chips by relying on the national system. It is more difficult to build a lithography machine than an atomic bomb. A lithography machine is not only a machine, but an industrial chain. China cannot develop high-end lithography machines with the power of one country. China still needs to take the road of globalization and cooperate with the United States and the west to solve the chip problem, That is to say, China cannot establish a national system in chip development, which must be solved through market forces, globalization and cooperation with the United States and the West.

This is actually a paradox. At present, globalization and the free market have been reversed. In order to maintain its dominant position in the field of high-end chips and integrated circuits, the United States has issued a number of bills to support the chip industry. The government has invested a huge amount of money to support the chip industry. On the one hand, it is to allow the high-end chip manufacturing industry to return to the United States, and on the other hand, it is to establish a global high-end chip industry alliance to contain China. Recently, the United States is setting up a chip Quartet alliance against China, namely chip4, which is composed of the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, China province of China. At the same time, hundreds of high-tech enterprises, institutions and universities in China are also included in the sanctions list. It is almost impossible for China to obtain high-end chip manufacturing equipment such as ultra violet lithography from the international market. If China cannot develop high-end chip manufacturing equipment and materials on its own, China will not be able to achieve a breakthrough in the next few years or even 10 or 20 years. In the field of chips, China will always lag behind the United States and other western countries for 10 or 20 years. As chips have become the blood of modern industry, without high-end chips, China can only struggle in the low-end manufacturing industry forever and become a wage earner in the low-end industries of the United States and Western countries, year after year and generation after generation.

High end aero engines were once regarded as the crown of industrial manufacturing. The development of Chinese military aircraft has been subject to high-end engines for a long time. The United States and other western countries do not sell high-end aero engines to China at all. China can only buy engines from Russia, Ukraine and other countries, with many restrictions. Finally, China set up the China Aero Engine Group Corporation to develop it with the strength of the whole country. During this period, many people thought that China could not develop a top-notch aero engine, but China finally made a major breakthrough. At present, some important fighter models in China have begun to be equipped with engines developed by China. In the future, China’s stealth fighter j-20 will also be equipped with engines developed by China itself. The Beidou navigation satellite, aircraft carrier electromagnetic ejection system, ultra-high speed missile, stealth fighter and other aspects have also been severely sanctioned by the United States. China has not only broken through the key core technical problems, but also surpassed the United States and the West in many aspects by relying on its national system and national strength.

Now the argument that it is impossible for China to develop an advanced lithography machine has come out again. Under the situation that the United States encircles China in an all-round way, some people began to say that it is impossible for China to develop an advanced lithography machine, and advocated that China should still rely on the “globalization” and marketization theories of the United States and the West. At the same time, it is also said that the 28nm chips are enough for more than 80% of China’s industrial demand. In addition to high-end smart phones, more high-end chips are not practical. This understanding is even more short-sighted. The world’s science and technology are developing rapidly, and the importance of chips is becoming increasingly prominent. Industries such as chips will lag behind by one or two generations if they lag behind by one or two years. The global chip trade is rising rapidly, and the annual chip trade volume is as high as trillion US dollars. The United States, South Korea, Japan, Europe and Taiwan, China province of China are still investing heavily in the chip field to seize the commanding heights of advanced processes, The reason why the United States has imposed the most severe sanctions on China in the field of chips is that high-end chips have become the blood of the modern economy. Almost all industrial fields are inseparable from chips. In the future, the demand for high-end chips will increase exponentially. To impose chip sanctions on China is to impose sanctions on China’s core industries and to launch a high-tech war against China. This is both a high-tech war and a national war, If China can not achieve a breakthrough in the field of high-end chips, if China can not develop its own high-end lithography machine, then China will be defeated in the all-round competition in the future.

In my opinion, China should take the following measures in the development of lithography machines:

First, as the lithography machine is an industry with long chain, large investment, long investment cycle and slow effectiveness, it should take the national strength as the main body to tackle key problems. It is necessary to establish the national lithography machine company as the main force of the whole lithography machine industry chain, just like the establishment of China Aero Engine Corporation and China Commercial Aircraft Corporation, reorganize the relevant science and technology and manufacturing forces in state-owned enterprises to form a national key problem solving force.

Second, since the development of the lithography machine involves the whole industrial chain, the state should classify the key materials, technologies and links of the lithography machine, and organize national scientific research institutes, universities and relevant enterprises to participate in the development to tackle key technical problems respectively.

Third, many backbone enterprises among China’s private enterprises have made gratifying achievements in the development of lithography machines, which has laid an important foundation for the development of lithography machines in China. The state should cultivate backbone enterprises among these private enterprises. The national integrated circuit fund should make strategic investment and seed investment in these backbone private enterprises, give full support, and form a basic force for the whole society to participate in tackling key problems.

Everyone knows that the development of a lithography machine is difficult, but it can be as difficult as it can be. It must be done no matter how difficult it is. It is always difficult not to do it. Only by doing it can we know where it is difficult and how to achieve a breakthrough. Now some people still have illusions about the United States. They think that the United States will also make an allowance for China in terms of chips and lithography machines, and will not beat China to death with one stick. They think that the United States’ sanctions against China will also cause losses to the United States, killing thousands of enemies and losing 800. But when the war comes and the two countries collide, the enemy will certainly use the most shameful, despicable, ferocious and obscene means to deal with you until you die. In the field of high-end chips, the United States will never be kind to China, nor will it give up halfway.

We once believed that the United States and the West could trade the market for technology. As a result, the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea have monopolized China’s automobile market for decades. China has not only failed to acquire technology, but also lost the market, Until we rely on our own strength to fight a bloody road in the new energy vehicle track.

It may take us a long time to develop our own lithography machine, but if we don’t develop it, we will always be strangled. That’s the reason. There is always possibility and hope for a long time. If we don’t do it, we will never be able and never see hope.

The road is developed by people. The west can develop a lithography machine and form a lithography industry chain. Why can’t China? It is because of its difficulties that the whole country should do it. It is because of its difficulties that we should calm down and sink down to tackle key problems. We can make breakthroughs in aeroengines, stealth fighters, Beidou navigation system and space station. Can we not develop advanced lithography machines with China’s huge market and national strength and a group of high-quality enterprises and excellent scientific researchers?

Twenty or thirty years ago, who would have thought that we could surpass the United States and the West in nuclear power, high-speed rail, navigation, space station, power grid and other fields? Who would have thought that two years later, China’s space station would become the only space station in space? Who would have thought that China could build a Beidou navigation system that could compete with GPS? A few decades ago, it was said that there were few Chinese made cars on the streets of China, but decades later, China’s new energy vehicles will become the leading force in the global automobile market.

The United States and the West used to lead us for many years in the field of science and technology, but now we should have such confidence that we can do what the United States and the west can do, and we can do what the United States and the West cannot do.

The chip design was once considered unattainable, but Huawei Hisilicon successfully designed the most advanced chip in the world. The American operating system was once considered unattainable and irreplaceable, but Huawei Hongmeng system broke the monopoly of the American operating system at one fell swoop. Now that the United States is at the neck of us in the field of chip manufacturing, we will launch an attack in this field. On the battlefield, we should not give up the attack just because there are enemy blockhouses in front of us. We should surrender our positions and raise the white flag.

What we need to overcome is our inner timidity and fear. We should have full self-confidence. Westerners are not smarter than us. What they can do, we must also do. All we need is time. When the enemy gets stuck in our neck, the only thing we have to do is fight back, otherwise we will be stuck by the enemy.

China must and can break through the high-end chip position. In the field of high-end chips, China has no retreat except for attack and victory.

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