US to Investigate Samsung, Qualcomm and TSMC Over Semiconductors, Circuits - Report

The United States will investigate Samsung, Qualcomm and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) as part of its crackdown in the semiconductor sector. The US regulators will probe units of these companies, according to the US International Trade Commission.

The USITC will probe certain semiconductors manufactured by Samsung and TSMC, and certain integrated circuits from Samsung and Qualcomm following a complaint filed last month by New York-based Daedalus Prime LLC, it said, according to Reuters.

Semiconductor Wikimedia Commons

The Biden administration has been tightening the screws on the Chinese chipmakers. Last week it said it is enforcing more export controls targeting them. The newest measures effectively close China out of manufacturing some key semiconductor chips. The new rules further restrict toolmakers like KLA Corp, Lam Research Corp and Applied Materials Inc from shipping any equipment Chinese-owned factories that make advanced logic chips, Reuters reported.

Qualcomm YouTube grab

In September, the US Commerce Department had slapped new restrictions on chip sales to Chinese companies. As per the department's guidance, US chipmakers must immediately procure a license to supply artificial intelligence chips to Chinese companies. The US says stringent measures are needed to ensure that AI chips are not used by the Chinese for 'military end use'.

Samsung TSMC

The latest move seeks to stop not just American companies from selling key equipment and technology to China but persuade foreign firms to do so.

In another landmark move in July, the US Senate voted to move forward with the CHIPS Act that will provide a $54 billion boost to the country's semiconductor industry. The long-delayed Senate vote fulfilled the chip industry's demand for subsidies that will enable it to compete with China.