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US To Block New Advanced Chip Fabs In China!

US To Block New Advanced Chip Fabs In China!

The US aims to block the construction of new advanced chip fabs in China and countries of concern like Russia.

Here is what you need to know…

 

US To Fund Building Of Advanced Chip Fabs!

The US Congress just passed the historic CHIPS and Science Act (HR 4346) – a massive $280 billion bill designed to bolster innovation and tech hubs in the United States.

The legislation passed with a Senate vote of 64-33, and a House vote of 243-187, approving :

  • $76 billion of funding to revive and boost chip production in the United States
  • $81 billion for the National Science Foundation over 5 years, for research, equipment and STEM education
  • Almost $10 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology

TSMC, Intel and Samsung are expected to benefit from the billions of dollars of funding, which would subsidise their construction of new advanced chip fabs in the United States.

Read more : AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

 

US To Block New Advanced Chip Fabs In China!

There is however a big caveat in the legislation that the White House is expected to sign – any company that receives funding will be barred from building new advanced chip fabs in China and other countries of concern, like Russia.

The CHIPS and Sciences Act specifically bars companies that receive federal funding from “materially expanding” production of chips more advanced than 28 nanometres (28 nm) in countries of concern like China and Russia, for 10 years.

28 nm chips are not state-of-art, with production first starting more than 10 years ago – in 2011. However, they are still used in many applications, and China is free to keep producing these chips.

This move though will essentially limit development of advanced chips in China, by blocking foreign chipmakers from investing in more advanced fabs.

Intel had earlier lobbied hard against this move. In late 2021, Intel wanted to expand production in China but was pressured to sell its Dalian wafer plant to South Korea’s SK Hynix. Intel now only has chip packaging and testing facilities in China.

But that changed, and now Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is a big proponent of the bill, even suggesting that it might forego building its Ohio mega fab and shift it to Europe if the legislation did not pass.

Read more : China Bans Taiwan Food Over Pelosi, But Not Chips!

Currently, the only semiconductor companies investing in fabs in China are Samsung and TSMC. So if they choose to accept US funding, both companies will have to stop building fabs that can produce chips that are more advanced than 28 nm.

Of the potential recipients of US funding, TSMC is the only company making relatively advanced chips in China. Its Nanjing fabs currently make 28 nm and more advanced 16 nm chips.

Unless TSMC spurns US funding, it won’t be able to invest in more advanced fabs in China. This will force China to rely on its own SMIC to develop more advanced chipmaking technologies.

While SMIC has had some success with a 7nm process using older DUV technology, it came at the expense of yield and chip complexity.

Unless China is somehow able to develop its own EUV technology, it’s pretty much end game for more advanced chip production in China… for ten years.

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

 

US Quietly Expands Chip Equipment Ban To Fabs In China

In addition to the looming CHIPS Act, the US government also expanded its ban on the sale of machines for fabricating advanced chips.

The US government had earlier banned the sale of tools that allow China to manufacture chips at 10 nm or smaller. That ban was just extended to include tools that would allow the manufacture of chips 14 nm or smaller.

American equipment makers like LAM Research and KLA Corp. have received letters about this expanded ban, which appears to be limited to logic chips (like computer processors), but not memory chips.

According to the US Commerce Department, the move was meant to impair China’s ability to manufacture advanced chips :

The Biden Administration is focused on impairing PRC efforts to manufacture advanced semiconductors to address significant national security risks to the United States.

However, this move appears to be merely officiating what is already being practiced – the US Commerce Department had already declined many licences to sell 14nm fab equipment.

The Biden Administration is also pushing the Netherlands and Japan to ban ASML Holdings NV and Nikon Corp from selling advanced chip making equipment to China.

 

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Nikon Malaysia Ceases Operation On 1 January 2021!

Nikon Malaysia today announced that they were calling it quits, and will shut down on 1 January 2021.

Here is what you need to know about Nikon’s decision to cease having an official presence in Malaysia…

 

Nikon Malaysia Ceases Operation On 1 January 2021!

Nikon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. today announced that they will cease operations on 1 January 2021, with their last business day on 31 December 2020.

That marks the end of almost 19 years of presence in Malaysia – Nikon Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. was established in April 2001.

The writing has been on the wall for sometime now… the photography market has been hammered by the ubiquitousness of smartphone cameras, and even mirrorless cameras cannot stop the haemorrhage.

As sad as it may be for Nikon users, it comes to no surprise that Nikon Malaysia has decided to call it quits.

 

Two Distributors Take Over Nikon Business In Malaysia

Don’t worry if you are a Nikon fan. They are not leaving you high and dry.

You will still be able to purchase Nikon cameras and lenses, and get your photography gear serviced.

From 1 January 2021 onwards, Nikon business in Malaysia will be handled by two authorised distributors :

 

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Nikon Z7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Preview + Showcase!

After years of development, Nikon finally launched their first-ever full-frame mirrorless camera – the Nikon Z7. In our preview, we will take a close look at the Nikon Z7, and the special Nikon Z7 and NIKKOR Z lens showcase!

 

The Nikon Z7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

The Nikon Z7 is built around a full-frame FX-format BSI CMOS sensor with 45.7 megapixels, and a sensitivity range of ISO 64-25,600. It also boasts the latest EXPEED 6 processor. Let’s take a closer look at the Nikon Z7, and its key features!

New BSI CMOS Sensor

The Nikon Z7 features a new backside illumination (BSI) CMOS sensor with built-in focal-plane phase-detection autofocus pixels. This BSI CMOS sensor has an effective pixel rate of 45.7 megapixels, and supports a sensitivity range of ISO 64-25,600, although it can be adjusted to ISO 32-102,400.

Hybrid AF System

The Nikon Z7 has 493 focus points, covering about 90% of the imaging area both horizontally and vertically. Its hybrid AF system uses an FX-optimised algorithm to automatically switch between focal-plane phase detection AF, and contrast-detect AF with focusing.

Full-Frame Electronic Viewfinder

The electronic viewfinder used in the Nikon Z7 has a 3,960K dot OLED panel, and covers approximately 100% of the frame with a 0.8X magnification. It also boasts a fluorine coat to repel dirt and oil.

Professional Video Recording Features

The Nikon Z7 supports recording of 4K videos at 30 fps, and 1080p videos at up to 120 fps. It also supports 4K video recording with a full-pixel readout using the DX movies format.

Active D-Lighting, electronic image stabilisation, and focus peaking can be used with both 4K and 1080p video recording. Nikon’s N-log can also be used with 10-bit HDMI output.

First In-Body Image Stabilisation

The Nikon Z7 comes with Nikon’s first in-body image stabilisation that compensates for movement in five axes. The vibration reduction is equivalent to a shutter speed increase of approximately 5 stops.

Other Key Features

  • Same level of strength and durability, as well as dust- and drip- resistance, as the Nikon D850
  • A 8-cm / 2-in. touch-sensitive LCD monitor with 2100k-dots, with a tilting mechanism
  • Silent photography eliminates shake and noise caused by shutter release
  • Peaking stack image function enables confirmation of focus depth after shooting using focus shift
  • High-speed continuous shooting (extended) at approximately 9 fps
  • Interval timer photography that makes 8K time-lapse movie creation possible
  • An extended low-light metering range allows users to easily capture scenes such as the transition from sunset to starry night sky, using aperture-priority auto mode
  • Built-in Wi-Fi  for direct connection to a smart device using SnapBridge, or the transfer of images and movies to a computer
  • Support for existing digital SLR camera accessories such as the WT-7A/B/C Wireless Transmitter (available separately) for transferring images and movies at high speed over a wired or wireless LAN, and radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, which makes flexible multi-flash photography possible

 

The Nikon Z7 + NIKKOR Z Lens Showcase

Here is a video of the really interesting Nikon Z7 and NIKKOR Z lens showcase. Check it out!

 

Nikon Z7 Price + Availability

The Nikon Z7 is available starting 27 September 2018, with the following suggested retail prices (SRP):

  • Nikon Z7 body only : $3,399.95 | RM 14,688
  • Nikon Z7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens : $3,999.95 | RM 17,858

Here are some direct purchase links (accurate as of 20 September 2018) :

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  • Nikon Z7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f4 S : $3,996.95
  • Nikon Z7 with NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S and FTZ Mount Adaptor : $4.240.85
  • Nikon Z7 with NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S and FTZ Mount Adaptor : $4.490.85
  • NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S Lens : $996.95
  • NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Lens : $846.95
  • NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S Lens : $596.95
  • Nikon FTZ Mount Adaptor : $246.95
  • Nikon EN-EL15b Li-Ion Battery : $64.95

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The Official Nikon Z7 + Nikon Z6 Tech Briefing + Showcase!

Nikon today officially unveiled the Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 – their first-ever full-frame mirrorless cameras, as well as the new line of NIKKOR Z lenses.

Here is the official Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 tech briefing, as well as a photo showcase by celebrity photographer Keda Z, and a Nikon Z7 and NIKKOR Z lens showcase!

 

The Official Nikon Z7 + Nikon Z6 Tech Briefing

Albert Yap, Assistant Manager of International Customer Support, Nikon Singapore, gave the tech briefing on the new Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 cameras, as well as the new NIKKOR Z lenses.

The Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 cameras are based on the new Nikon Z Mount. The Z Mount has a 55 mm diameter, with a very short 16 mm flange focal distance. This allows Nikon to fit a full-frame FX-format sensor into a very thin form factor.

The Nikon Z7 is designed for large format photography, boasting a 45.7 MP sensor with 493 AF points. It has an expanded ISO range of 64 to 25,600, and can take burst shots of up to 9 frames per second.

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The Nikon Z6, on the other hand, is designed for high-speed and/or low-light photography. It has a 24.5 MP sensor with just 273 AF points, but a wider ISO range of 100 to 51,200. It can take burst shots of up to 12 frames per second.

Both cameras will support all existing F-mount lenses, using the new Nikon FTZ mount adaptor, with full capabilities intact. FTZ, incidentally, stands for F To Z or F-mount To Z-mount.

These new Nikon full-frame mirrorless cameras also introduce new in-body 5-axis image stabilisation, whose performance Nikon says is equivalent to 5 stops of shutter speed.

They also now support full-frame recording of 4K video at 30 frames per second, and 1080p videos at up to 120 frames per second. Professional videographers will love its support for an external recorder, and 10-bit N-Log (4:2:2) gamma recording.

 

Nikon Z7 Photo Showcase by Keda Z

Celebrity photographer Keda Z presented his photo showcase using the Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera. He also shared his experience using Nikon’s new full-frame mirrorless camera, in comparison to the larger Nikon DSLR cameras he regularly uses.

 

The Nikon Z7 + NIKKOR Z Lens Showcase

Here is a video of the really interesting Nikon Z7 and NIKKOR Z lens showcase. Check it out!

 

NIKKOR Z S-Line Lenses

The Nikon Z mount will have a new range of NIKKOR Z lenses. They feature a Control Ring, which can be programmed for different purposes, instead of just for manual focus. These are S-Line lenses, which means they are higher-quality lenses with a Nano Crystal Coat and a stepping motor for smoother and quieter operation.

Here is a list of new NIKKOR Z lenses coming up. They are all S-Line lenses.

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2018 NIKKOR Z Lenses

  • NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S
  • NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S
  • NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S

2019 NIKKOR Z Lenses

  • NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct
  • NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S
  • NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S
  • NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
  • NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S
  • NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S

2020 NIKKOR Z Lenses

  • NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S
  • NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S
  • NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

 

Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 Price + Availability

The Nikon Z7 is available starting 27 September 2018, with the following suggested retail prices (SRP):

  • Nikon Z7 body only : $3,399.95 | RM 14,688
  • Nikon Z7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens : $3,999.95 | RM 17,858

The Nikon Z6 is available in late November 2018, with the following suggested retail prices (SRP)

  • Nikon Z6 body only : $1,995.95
  • Nikon Z6 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens : $2,599.95

Here are some direct purchase links (accurate as of 20 September 2018) :

  • Nikon Z7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f4 S : $3,996.95
  • Nikon Z7 with NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S and FTZ Mount Adaptor : $4.240.85
  • Nikon Z7 with NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S and FTZ Mount Adaptor : $4.490.85
  • Nikon Z6 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f4 S : $2,596.95
  • NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S Lens : $996.95
  • NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Lens : $846.95
  • NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S Lens : $596.95
  • Nikon FTZ Mount Adaptor : $246.95
  • Nikon EN-EL15b Li-Ion Battery : $64.95

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