Chipmakers have "Kill Switch" in case Taiwan is invaded by China

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
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Sep 27, 2016
22,911
Pittsburgh, PA
Would be more surprising if they didn't, tbh.

As the famous historian Dr Strangelove tells us, the whole point of a doomsday device is that you tell people about it, otherwise...
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
21,960
Well I thought was technologically fascinating that they could do this remotely. That was my level of interest more so than China invading Taiwan.
username/profile pic checks out.

Should this be in V&N ? Most geopolitics-related stuff goes there.
What are you, some kinda commie?
 
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cgori

Member
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Oct 2, 2004
4,124
SF, CA
Yea, this is like ... the most unsurprising thing - a kill switch is like step 0 or step 1. What I'd like to know is what countermeasures they put in place to prevent static reverse engineering if someone took physical possession of the litho machines and started to dissassemble them.

I also think the main issue in a geopolitical/invasion type of situation is that the machines wouldn't work past their first maintenance cycle and the availability of qualified personnel to service them would be a _serious_ problem at that point. So the kill switch is actually only helping in a marginal way.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
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Feb 6, 2006
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Row 14
This is an interesting approach. It would keep China from profiting off their chips from a takeover of Taiwan. Interesting

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/worlds-top-chipmakers-push-kill-062241347.html
China wouldn't be able to profit anyway however there are some questions if Xi actually understands this or if the echo chamber he has surrounded himself with has convinced him of some sort of successful reunion by force since DPP won in January. That said even if he is under the delusion that he could turn around and run TSMC (they can't for so many reasons beyond the kill switch), apparently Xi thinks he needs to move by 2027 (TSMC probably won't be really deriskified until 2030s though GlobalFoundry has helped fill some of the gap)
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
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SF, CA
China wouldn't be able to profit anyway however there are some questions if Xi actually understands this or if the echo chamber he has surrounded himself with has convinced him of some sort of successful reunion by force since DPP won in January. That said even if he is under the delusion that he could turn around and run TSMC (they can't for so many reasons beyond the kill switch), apparently Xi thinks he needs to move by 2027 (TSMC probably won't be really deriskified until 2030s though GlobalFoundry has helped fill some of the gap)
I would say that GF isn't the de-risker so much as Samsung. GF pivoted away from leading edge devices and ceded that market to TSMC/Samsung. GF is also competing with the UMC/SMIC types, presumably in the 20-40nm nodes (which to be fair, are probably by volume the largest number of silicon devices shipped at present, but I don't have numbers handy to justify that claim.)