Anti Chinese

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pre65
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#1 Anti Chinese

Post by pre65 »

There seems to be a growing sense of people grumbling about all things Chinese.

Suggestions I've heard major on sourcing more from the UK , even if it's more expensive.

A while ago I read about an American journalist, who tried to actively avoid Chinese products in his life, and the struggle he had to find, if at all, non Chinese products.

Have we lost the capacity (in the UK) to meet the demand if a Chinese boycott became reality ?
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#2 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by simon »

Light blue touch paper, stand well back...
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Nick
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#3 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by Nick »

Have we lost the capacity (in the UK) to meet the demand if a Chinese boycott became reality
Yes. Without looking at loads of other things, I don't believe there are any UK Semiconductor fabs. There are non Chinese ones, but you are not clear if you mean nothing from China, or only from the UK.
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pre65
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#4 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by pre65 »

Nick wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:20 pm
Have we lost the capacity (in the UK) to meet the demand if a Chinese boycott became reality
Yes. Without looking at loads of other things, I don't believe there are any UK Semiconductor fabs. There are non Chinese ones, but you are not clear if you mean nothing from China, or only from the UK.
Well, I'm not advocating anything, just creating a discussion.

Lets say, firstly, preferably made in the UK, and secondly, preferably non Chinese. Were we still in the EU (technically are we still ?) then EU would be second choice over UK.
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#5 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by IslandPink »

Based on the government's reaction to the senior civil servant who had the audacity to confirm that PPE supplies offered from the EU were ruled out as a 'political decision', I think Boris and Co. are firmly in the camp of cutting off our nose to spite our face.
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#6 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by Nick »

pre65 wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:26 pm
Nick wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:20 pm
Have we lost the capacity (in the UK) to meet the demand if a Chinese boycott became reality
Yes. Without looking at loads of other things, I don't believe there are any UK Semiconductor fabs. There are non Chinese ones, but you are not clear if you mean nothing from China, or only from the UK.
Well, I'm not advocating anything, just creating a discussion.

Lets say, firstly, preferably made in the UK, and secondly, preferably non Chinese. Were we still in the EU (technically are we still ?) then EU would be second choice over UK.
Well again I may be wrong but I don't know of any European fabs.

Edit. Just checked Intel have one in Ireland and there are a couple in France. But don't think there are any in the UK.
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#7 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by jack »

There's plenty of fabs around which are not Chinese, but when it comes to the latest generation of technology, i.e. 7nm, TSMC (Taiwan) and Intel both have that, as do I believe Samsung (Korea)

TSMC are interesting in that all they do is make stuff for other people. As it costs billions to build a modern fab, most companies can't afford to have their own, so having a fab-as-a-service makes sense, especially as new technology requiring upgrades is continuous and adds yet more to the cost.
Last edited by jack on Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#8 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by andrew Ivimey »

Um, what's a 'fab', Teach, please?
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#9 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by IslandPink »

Fabricator ?
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#10 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by jack »

andrew Ivimey wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:31 am Um, what's a 'fab', Teach, please?
A "fab" is the generic term for a plant that fabricates integrated circuits, specifically the manufacturer of the silicon, not necessarily the package it goes into. Intel call their plants FAB 1, FAB 2 etc.

The technology required to produce extremely small devices (smaller = faster for a variety of reasons) is insanely expensive, so even the big chip manufacturers don't want to spend $$$B on building something that is out of date in just a few years. So they use TSMC.
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#11 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by Nick »

Yep, I was just using them as a proxy for all the other things that would be a problem if you wanted to buy only from the UK. All I needed to do was find something that would not be available and no need to find a longer list.

Just getting something as simple as a machined case made in the UK is very hard work. At least getting them made to a standard that I want. There are loads of companies that will bend metal.

Another problem we had was getting some custom laminations made and assembled into a stack for that direct drive turntable I brought to Owston. I think the UK is set up much more as a design house instead of manufacturer.

Another example. There is a company in Hebden Bridge that make very nice shirts and jeans made locally to a very high standard. Only problem is a pair of jeans cost £125. So if you want UK made stuff then that’s the sort of price you are looking at. As someone who does make stuff n the UK (though using components from China in many cases) I think that price for a pair of trousers is ok, but I bet a lot wont.
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#12 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by andrew Ivimey »

Ta muchos for the explanation.

I dont think we could possibly boycott Chinese products successfully. Maybe if we shut down our financial services dealings with them they would notice but we'd still be the massive losers. China sniffs we catch Covid or whatever comes next.

And where would I get my pangolin and bat's giblets soup from, eh?
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#13 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by shane »

Nick wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:58 am Well again I may be wrong but I don't know of any European fabs.

Edit. Just checked Intel have one in Ireland and there are a couple in France. But don't think there are any in the UK.
Plessey’s Roborough fab is still running. The old 6” line in Fab3 is now making micro LEDs using effectively 1.4um tech. 30 years out of date for ICs but revolutionary in LED terms. FAB8, the 8” line, is making integrated chips and sensors. I think they’re still using the same .35um tech they used to use for ICs.

They’re very much a niche player but in a way they’re still doing what they’ve been doing since the 90’s, ie doing really clever things with older technologies.

https://plesseysemiconductors.com/
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#14 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by Nick »

Interesting. Just for reference, 7nm is at the sharp end now. A lot of phone and similar processors are 16nm. The fabs Shane mentioned could make a pentium processor to give you an idea what we could make in the UK.
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#15 Re: Anti Chinese

Post by pre65 »

andrew Ivimey wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:45 am
And where would I get my pangolin and bat's giblets soup from, eh?
Funny you should say that Andrew. :lol:
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