Thursday, December 02, 2004

China climbing value chain: chip design

We know all about the billion dollar fabs under construction near Shanghai, but the growing number of chip design firms tend to get less coverage.

WSJ: Morris Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's biggest contract manufacturer of chips, compares China's design industry to an object with "zero speed but infinite acceleration." His company this year opened a nearly $1 billion plant in Shanghai, its first in China, in part to cater to local design companies.

"If you look at the large number of small design companies created here, you are seeing the foundation of an industry created," said Craig Barrett, Intel's chief executive, during a trip to China in November.

As I mentioned before, China's future economic growth will be based on more than just low-cost manufacturing. See also this Guardian article on radical progress in China using fetal cell tissue to treat paralysis.

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