The 7nm process of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China's most advanced and largest foundry, will begin small-scale production in the fourth quarter, according to kkj.cn.
Compared with 14nm, SMIC's N+1 process improves performance by 20%, reduces power consumption by 57%, reduces logic area by 63%, and reduces SoC area by 55%, the report cited Dr. Liang Mengsong, co-CEO of SMIC, as saying.
TSMC and Samsung will mass produce 5nm processes this year, and China's advanced processes are still catching up.
The largest wafer foundry, SMIC, mass-produced a 14nm process at the end of last year, which brought 1% of revenue and revenue of $7.69 million, but this process technology can already meet 95% of domestic demand.
The 14nm and improved 12nm processes are SMIC's first-generation FinFET processes. They are also developing more advanced N+1 including N+2 FinFET processes, which are equivalent to low-power, high-performance versions of the 7nm process.
After N+1, there will also be N+2. These two processes perform similarly in terms of power consumption. The difference lies in performance and cost. N+2 is obviously oriented towards high performance and the cost will increase.
As for the EUV lithography machine that has attracted much attention, Liang Mengsong said that under the current environment, N+1 and N+2 generation processes will not use the EUV process. After the equipment is ready, the N+2 process may have several photomasks. With EUV, the subsequent process will switch to EUV lithography on a large scale.
Now the most important thing is when SMIC will be mass-produced at 7nm. The latest news says that SMIC's N+1 FinFET process has been introduced by customers (but no customer list has been announced). Small-scale production will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, earlier than previously reported.
In order to accelerate advanced process capacity, SMIC's capital expenditure will reach US $ 3.1 billion this year (the company's annual revenue is only around US $3 billion), of which US $2 billion will be used for SMIC's 12-inch wafer fab in Shanghai and US $500 million At a 12-inch wafer fab in Beijing.