The following article briefly describes 35 different technologies that China must import because it is unable to produce them domestically in sufficient quality or quantity. The article expresses concern that key Chinese industries would be severely hampered if China’s supply of these technologies were to be cut off. This article is a PRC Ministry of Education summary of a series of 35 articles—each profiling a different “stranglehold technology”—that a Chinese government-run newspaper published in 2018.
The Chinese source text is available online at: https://www.edu.cn/rd/zui_jin_geng_xin/202009/t20200924_2016138.shtml
US $1 ≈ 6.5 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of May 13, 2021.
Science and Technology Daily has put out a series of articles reporting on 35 “stranglehold” (“卡脖子”) technologies that are constraining China’s industrial development, attracting widespread attention and discussion. The following are excerpts:
1. Photolithography machines
These “Details” Keep Top Photolithography Machines a Distant Prospect for China
For the photolithography machines that manufacture chips, it is their precision that determines the upper limits of chip performance. In an exhibition of technological accomplishments under the 12th Five-Year Plan [2011-2015], the best photolithography machines produced in China had a processing precision of 90 nanometers. This is equivalent to the level of the Pentium 4 CPU that hit the market in 2004. Overseas, meanwhile, levels of a dozen or so nanometers have already been achieved.
Photolithography machines have two synchronized workpiece tables, one carrying a negative plate, one carrying ﬁlm. The two must always be in sync, with tolerances of under 2 nanometers. When the two tables go from static to dynamic states, the acceleration is like that in a missile launch. In operation, they are like two large airplanes moving in perfect tandem from takeoff to landing, with a knife on one plane stretching out and carving a grain of rice on the other, and no carving mistakes are allowed.