The Asianometry Newsletter

The Asianometry Newsletter delves into various aspects of Asia's role in global technological advancements, focusing on financials, semiconductor industry developments, historical milestones, and the challenges and innovations within technology sectors. It covers topics from trade scandals and AI hardware limitations to the rise and fall of major Asian corporations.

Technology & Innovation Semiconductor Industry Corporate History & Evolution Trade & Global Dynamics Artificial Intelligence Financials & Economics Government & Policy Material Science

The hottest Substack posts of The Asianometry Newsletter

And their main takeaways
2538 implied HN points • 12 Feb 24
  1. Analog chip design is a complex art form that often takes up a significant portion of the total design cost of an integrated circuit.
  2. Analog design involves working with continuous signals from the real world and manipulating them to create desired outputs.
  3. Automating analog chip design with AI is a challenging task that involves using machine learning models to assist in tasks like circuit sizing and layout.
4737 implied HN points • 10 Jan 24
  1. During the post-World War II era, the Soviet Union acquired Western technologies like modern American equipment, affecting global trade dynamics.
  2. Export controls evolved over time in the United States, influenced by historical events, concerns over national security, and international cooperation.
  3. The Toshiba-Kongsberg Incident in 1980s highlighted the challenges of enforcing trade restrictions, the impact on companies like Toshiba, and the need for effective, fair enforcement measures.
3130 implied HN points • 26 Apr 23
  1. AI models are growing in size, straining the current hardware's ability to support them.
  2. The memory wall problem arises due to limitations in memory capacity and processing speed.
  3. To address AI hardware challenges, innovative solutions like Compute-in-Memory are being explored.
1861 implied HN points • 05 Jul 23
  1. The semiconductor industry shifted to producing 3-D transistors like the FinFET for better control over the channels.
  2. Classical scaling involved shrinking transistor dimensions to improve performance, power, and area gains.
  3. 3-D transistor designs like FinFETs and Gate all around are pushing semiconductor technology forward, but come with added complexity and cost.
2115 implied HN points • 14 Jun 23
  1. FPGAs are integrated circuits that can be reprogrammed for prototyping and niche uses.
  2. The development of FPGAs evolved from PROMs to PLAs to PALs, eventually leading to the emergence of modern FPGAs.
  3. Xilinx and Altera were key players in the FPGA industry, with FPGAs now widely used in various sectors like aerospace, military, and telecom.
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1692 implied HN points • 12 Jul 23
  1. Sharp Corporation, a giant in consumer electronics, faced a 20-year decline due to reliance on the challenging LCD panel business.
  2. Founder Tokuji Hayakawa's journey from a young apprentice to creating iconic products like the Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil and Sharp radios.
  3. Sharp's move towards LCD technology led to financial strain, intense competition, and ultimately being acquired by Foxconn in 2016, marking the first foreign takeover of a major Japanese electronics firm.
1945 implied HN points • 18 Apr 23
  1. Fake chips in critical components pose significant risks in various industries.
  2. Counterfeit semiconductors are a big business, with global implications.
  3. To combat counterfeit chips, there are strategies such as unique ID features and physical uncloneable features that can be implemented in chip designs.
1269 implied HN points • 17 May 23
  1. Vingroup started as an instant noodle company and quickly diversified into real estate, healthcare, education, and more.
  2. Vingroup's venture into electric vehicles with VinFast faces big challenges in the global EV market and technical expertise.
  3. Vingroup's diversification strategy into multiple industries like electronics mirrors other successful conglomerates but comes with risks and challenges.
1438 implied HN points • 12 Apr 23
  1. Optical MEMS, like the DMD, revolutionized high-end theater projection industry
  2. Eidophor projectors used oil film system for bright images in large rooms like theaters
  3. Transition from Eidophor to DMD and DLP marked a significant shift in projection technology
3 HN points • 29 Mar 23
  1. Silicon carbide is a powerful semiconductor with unique properties like wide bandgap and high temperature tolerance.
  2. Silicon carbide-based power electronics are revolutionizing the industry by enabling higher voltages and frequencies with lower power loss.
  3. Challenges in producing silicon carbide wafers have limited its adoption, but recent advancements are making it more commercially viable.
2 HN points • 31 May 23
  1. Intel's founding purpose was to exploit the semiconductor memory market, leading to the creation of the first commercial microprocessor, the Intel 4004, in 1971.
  2. AMD started as a reliable second-source provider for chips, using reverse-engineering to produce the Am9080 and becoming a major seller in the market.
  3. The rivalry between Intel and AMD escalated over time, involving complex legal battles over microcode and patent infringements until a settlement was reached in 1995.
2 HN points • 10 May 23
  1. UMC was Taiwan's first semiconductor company founded by the government to pivot the economy towards integrated circuits.
  2. UMC faced steep competition from TSMC, leading to innovative strategies like OEM foundry and joint ventures.
  3. UMC struggled to keep up with TSMC technically, especially with significant decisions like the 28nm gate technology and faced challenges in global expansions, including incidents in China.
2 HN points • 15 Feb 23
  1. Edge devices are closer to users than data centers and come with constraints like power management and processing speed.
  2. Running AI on the edge requires trade-offs in model size, computation, and performance.
  3. Hardware options for edge AI include CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and ASICs, each with unique uses and drawbacks.