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Prices for the construction of new factories for the production Prices for the construction of new factories for the production


Prices for the construction of new factories for the production of microcircuit chips are skyrocketing



The chip manufacturing plant South Korea’s Samsung is building in Taylor, Texas, will cost the world’s largest memory chip maker more than $25 billion, up $8 billion from initial estimates, according to Reuters.

According to three people familiar with the matter, the increase in value is primarily due to inflation. A second source said the new cost estimate could rise even more if construction of the Taylor plant is delayed: “The later the plant is completed, the higher the costs will be.”

Samsung, the world’s second-largest contract chipmaker, has announced its Taylor, Texas, plant in 2021. It aims to produce advanced chips for features such as artificial intelligence, 5G and mobile phones and promises to create 2,000 high-tech jobs.

One source told Reuters that the company is rushing to complete the plant by 2024 in order to begin chip production by 2025, allowing the company until 2026 to receive investment tax credits on tools for the plant.

Two sources said Samsung has already spent half of the $17 billion originally planned for the Taylor plant and noted that the company may eventually decide to build additional plants.

Prices for the construction of new factories for the production of microcircuit chips are skyrocketing

US Department of Commerce officials said earlier this month that most government subsidies would only cover up to 15% of the cost of new plants. Meanwhile, over the past three years, the cost of labor has risen sharply along with the price of building materials such as steel.

Last year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, announced it more than tripled its planned investment in a new plant in Arizona to $40 billion.

Meanwhile, Intel announced a $20 billion Ohio chip plant, but the total cost could rise to $100 billion. Also last year, chipmaker Micron said it plans to invest up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a computer chip manufacturing facility in upstate New York.

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Researchers were able to synthesize 5 rare isotopes on Earth. Understanding the origin of heavy elements in the Universe reaches a new level



1708786025 Researchers were able to synthesize 5 rare isotopes on Earth

The research at the Facility for Rare Isotopes (FRIB) at Michigan State University synthesized five new isotopes: thulium-182, thulium-183, ytterbium-186, ytterbium-187 and lutetium-190. This is the first time that scientists have managed to obtain these isotopes on Earth; they have not been found on our planet before.

Researchers were able to synthesize 5 rare isotopes on Earth.  Understanding the origin of heavy elements in the Universe reaches a new level

Illustration of the merger of two neutron stars. Source:NASA / Swift / Dana Berry

Mergers of ultra-dense neutron stars are considered one of the possible scenarios for the formation of heavy elements such as gold and silver. This study brought scientists closer to understanding the processes that occur during such fusions and the formation of heavy elements.

Stars can be considered as nuclear furnaces in which the synthesis of elements from hydrogen to iron occurs. However, to create elements heavier than iron, a special condition is required – the collision of neutron stars.

At the end of the life cycle of massive stars, their iron cores remain, which cannot synthesize heavy elements. The energy that kept these stars from collapsing due to their own gravitational influence is running out. This leads to nuclear collapse and supernova explosions. However, this collapse can be stopped when electrons and protons become a sea of ​​neutrons, which are prevented from merging by an aspect of quantum physics called “degeneracy.” This degeneracy pressure can be overcome if the star’s core has sufficient mass, resulting in the collapse and “birth” of a black hole. But sometimes the initial mass is not enough and the stars “regenerate” into neutron stars.

Moreover, it is not the end of nuclear fusion if the neutron star exists in a binary system with another massive star that also eventually “degenerates” into a neutron star.

These super-dense stars, with masses one to two times greater than the Sun, orbit each other in narrow orbits and emit gravitational waves. Gravitational waves carry away angular momentum from the system, causing the neutron stars to move closer together and emit gravitational waves with greater intensity. This continues until they eventually merge with each other.

Given the extreme nature of the process, neutron star collisions in such binary systems create an extremely aggressive environment. For example, this event releases a substance rich in neutrons. This substance is believed to be important for the synthesis of gold and other heavy elements. Free neutrons can be captured by other atomic nuclei. These atomic nuclei then become heavier, giving rise to superheavy unstable isotopes. These unstable isotopes eventually decay into stable elements such as gold, which are lighter than superheavy elements but heavier than iron.

If scientists could recreate the superheavy elements involved in this process, they could better understand the process of creating gold and other heavy elements. The synthesis of five new isotopes – thulium-182, thulium-183, ytterbium-186, ytterbium-187 and lutetium-190 – allows scientists to recreate the conditions under which heavy elements are formed. They are created by bombarding the dam with platinum ions in FRIB. While it is likely that these particular isotopes are not present in neutron star debris, their creation on Earth is a step toward creating transitional superheavy elements that can later decay into stable elements, including gold.

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Mercedes-Benz plans to diversify its electric strategy: hybrids and electric vehicles will account for only half of sales until 2030



Mercedes Benz plans to diversify its electric strategy hybrids and electric

Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker to scale back its electric vehicle ambitions. In 2021, the company published an electrification plan that would see it sell only battery-electric vehicles from 2030, at least in countries with suitable infrastructure. On February 22, Mercedes presented its annual results for 2023, from which it became clear that the company doubts that markets will be ready to accept only electric vehicles by that date.

Mercedes-Benz plans to diversify its electric strategy: hybrids and electric vehicles will account for only half of sales until 2030

Mercedes-Benz’s next electric car will be the CLA, which uses the efficient powertrain found in the Vision EQXX concept. Source: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes isn’t abandoning electric vehicles, but now says it expects electrified vehicles, including hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, to account for half of all sales in the second half of this decade. The company said it is taking the necessary steps to transition to an all-electric model, but also aims to meet different customer needs by offering options with an all-electric powertrain or electrified internal combustion engines until at least the 2030s.

This change has long been discussed in Mercedes conference rooms. CEO Ola Källenius warned in September 2022 that even Europe would not be ready for an all-electric lineup by 2030.

For electric vehicle fans, this is yet another example of corporate response to declining consumer demand. It is believed that electric vehicles have become one of the new technologies that go through a cycle of hype, first generating high expectations and then disappointment.

Global electric vehicle sales grew 31% in 2023, but that’s half the growth rate achieved in 2022. In the US, automakers such as Ford and General Motors have already admitted that their electric vehicle plans were too ambitious or did not target the right market segments, such as full-size pickup trucks. Even startups like Rivian and Lucid are projecting significant production cuts in 2024.

Car dealers who are skeptical of electric vehicles could be blamed for this. They, receiving record profits, complain that they have to master new technology. But one of the reasons many consumers don’t feel confident buying electric vehicles is discomfort. An electric vehicle owner who can charge at home knows that he will wake up every morning with a fully charged battery, but this contrasts with the need for weekly or more frequent visits to gas stations. In addition, drivers are accustomed to fast refueling, which is problematic for electric vehicles even with fast charging.

Electric vehicles also remain more expensive compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. This is due to the high cost of lithium-ion batteries. Once the price of batteries drops below $100 per kWh, the cost of electric vehicles could become comparable to the price of cars with internal combustion engines.

Battery prices are gradually falling, but not fast enough. In November, BloombergNEF published a study that showed battery prices fell 14% year-on-year, but at more than $130 per kWh, it’s clear why electric vehicles still cost thousands of dollars more than their gas-powered counterparts.

Instead, we can expect more adoption of hybrid electric vehicles and PHEVs (plug-in hybrids). Hybrid vehicles provide a cost-effective alternative to simply burning liquid hydrocarbons and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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Astrophysicists have observed how water in the center of the Orion Nebula is formed and destroyed in a volume equivalent to all the oceans on Earth



Astrophysicists have observed how water in the center of the

An international team of astrophysicists working as part of the PDRs4All Early Release Science program, using observations from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), has discovered the phenomenon of the destruction and re-formation of huge amounts of water in the protoplanetary disk located at the center of the Orion Nebula. This discovery was made possible through a combination of observations and calculations that combined the researchers’ interdisciplinary approach.

Astrophysicists have observed how water in the center of the Orion Nebula is formed and destroyed in a volume equivalent to all the oceans on Earth

Inner region of the Orion Nebula. The image was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument on September 11, 2022. To create this composite image, several images in different filters were combined: F140M and F210M (blue), F277W, F300M, F323N, F335M and F332W (green), F405N (orange) and F444W, F480M and F470N (red). Source: NASA / ESA / CSA / PDRs4All ERS Team / Salomé Fuenmayor image

According to PDRs4All program director and Western Institute of Earth and Space Exploration faculty member Els Peters, they were able to determine that an entire ocean of water evaporates each month as a result of the destruction in the protoplanetary disk, based on just a few pixels of observations and concentrating on narrow lines of spectroscopy data.

Most of the water present in the Earth’s oceans was formed long before the emergence of the Solar System in the cold regions of interstellar space at extremely low temperatures of about -250°C. However, as a result of this research, it became clear that some of the water could be destroyed and re-formed at much higher temperatures of 100–500 ° C, when the young Solar System was a disk of gas and dust revolving around the Sun.

To study this process in detail, astronomers aimed JWST at d203-506, a protoplanetary disk located in the Orion Nebula. As a result of the study, it became clear that the intense ultraviolet radiation emitted by massive stars leads to the destruction and re-formation of water in d203-506, making it a real interstellar laboratory.

“This discovery cannot be described as a search for a needle in a haystack. It’s a needle in a haystack made of needles,” said Kami, a professor of physics and astronomy and a member of PDRs4All.

The results of the study demonstrate the important role of collaboration with quantum dynamics experts from the Madrid Deep Space Communications Facility and the Leiden Observatory. Thanks to their participation, it was possible to understand the processes of formation and destruction of molecules at a distance of more than 1000 light years.

When water is broken down by ultraviolet light, a hydroxyl molecule is released, accompanied by the emission of photons that reach the JWST telescope. As a result of the study, it was found that in a month the equivalent volume of water in the Earth’s oceans is formed and destroyed in the protoplanetary disk d203-506.

However, the research does not end there. James Webb also provided evidence that hydroxyl, a key intermediate in the formation of water, is also formed from atomic oxygen. Likewise, some of the water in our oceans may have gone through a similar cycle.

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