This one caught my interest because Richard Chang is a shaker, mover and risk-taker in China's semiconductor industry. Chang was the founding CEO of SMIC and his latest operation is also a foundry, SiEn (QingDao) Integrated Circuits Co. Ltd. (QingDao, Shandong, China). It was formed in 2018 and we reported that Chang had come to Europe to help get things started. ST process technology is base for Chang's next Chinese foundry.
GateMate is a European designed and manufactured FPGA family from Cologne Chip AG, a long-time provider of telecommunications chipsets and IP. That is significant in the context of a European Union that is seeking to build strategic independence from the US and Asia. Low-cost European FPGA launched with IPCEI support.
A 3D version of Synopys' Design Compiler might seem a trivial next step. But remember it is the EDA communities' steadfast refusal to go 3D that has prevented the mainstream adoption of heterogeneous multi-die packaging for a couple of decades. But now the momentum behind the 'chiplet' movement is strong and Synopsys has responded. Synopsys launches 3D design compiler.
Graphics IP licensor Imagination Technologies Ltd. was sold in 2017 to a US/Cayman Isles private equity company funded by Chinese money. In early 2020 then-CEO Ron Black cried "foul" over moves by China Reform Holdings to nominate four directors to the company (see Management threat stalls China's Imagination coup).
Things were batted around with executives resigning, threatening to resign, and promises from the owners that Imagination would stay based in the UK. Then came the news that Imagination had formed a joint venture BAIC Group Industrial Investment Co. Ltd. the investment arm of Beijing Automotive Group as a principle way of licensing technology into China's automotive sector. At the time, Imagination did not indicate the amount of funding or the proportions that the two parties would hold.
My reaction and Imagination's response to it can be read via these links.
Next: Second half of the year of the pandemic