By Anton Shilov, EETimes (July 17, 2020)
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) 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?
There are a number of looming megatrends that will have an effect on society and bring opportunities to high-tech companies. The emergence of 5G networks will drive demand for 5G-enabled applications as well as various SoCs for edge computing, but demand growth will largely depend on rollout of 5G networks. Another developing megatrend is related to artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) applications that could certainly take advantage of 5G, but do not necessary need it right away. 5G, AI, HPC, and edge computing applications will consume a lot of chips, so all foundries are going to land additional orders.
SMIC might have some additional drivers.
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