By Anton Shilov, EETimes (July 13, 2020)
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. has begun producing 14nm chips, and has joined the relatively small club of semiconductor makers that can build finFETs. The company is on the verge of a stock offering that could reap in excess of $7 billion to keep investing in its business. But with the Trump Administration preventing SMIC from accessing some of the latest manufacturing equipment, can SMIC keep offering cutting-edge process technologies required by leading developers of system-on-chips (SoCs) in the long run?
SMIC is China’s leading contract maker of semiconductors. It offers the most sophisticated process technologies in the country and is expected to be instrumental to the government’s Made in China 2025 plan. The company is serious about competing against market leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Samsung Foundry in the extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) era, but last year the company could not obtain the EUV scanner it had already purchased because of export requirements.
Meanwhile, U.S. restrictions prohibit leading foundries from selling chips to Huawei Technologies, which now has to find another way to build its processors.
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