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Shanghai chips away at high tech industry
( 2004-01-19 11:22) (China Daily by Zou Huilin)

With the development of two new, state-of-the-art products Shanghai could become one of the top chip manufacturing centres in the world, officials say.

Two new leading-edge chips, Hanxin No 2 and Hanxin No 3, are faster and energy-saving than the previous product Hanxin No 1, officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology said yesterday. Both were designed by Shanghai Jiaotong University and launched nine months after Hanxin No 1.

The two new designs mark a solid step towards the development of digital signal processor chip technology with locally owned intellectual property rights, said ministry officials.

Digital signal processors and central processing units are the two core elements of the chip industry. The new progress shows how Shanghai could become an industry leader, said Li Wuqiang, vice-division chief of the ministry.

The Hanxin No 2 is a 24-bit processor with a maximum frequency of 150 megahertz, using 0.18-millimetre chip technology.

Chen Jin, director of the digital signal processor design project with Shanghai Jiaotong University, said many leading manufacturers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, are using Hanxin No 2 in their system integration chips.

Hanxin No 3 is a 32-bit processor with a maximum frequency of 300 megahertz. Hanxin No 3 is sponsored by the State 863 Plan, which sponsors science and technology developments.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Shanghai) Corporation have already expressed an interest in mass producing Hanxin No 1 and Hanxin No 3. Worldwide giant IBM plans to use the product in future designs.

Total use of digital signal processor chips will amount to 1.3 billion yuan (US$157 million) by 2005, Chen said.

Chen and his 100-staff team, have started developing two more new products, Hanxin No 4 - a 128-bit processor and Hanxin No 5-which uses both digital signal processing and central processing unit technologies.

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