By Alan Patterson, EETimes (September 20, 2023)
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) is likely to, in the next few years, again defy the U.S. government by manufacturing chips with feature sizes as small as 5 nm, industry insiders told EE Times.
The production of 7-nm silicon by China’s largest chipmaker just days ago has crossed a red line set by the U.S. government to keep its rival nation stalled at the 14-nm node. SMIC’s widely reported breakthrough erodes the U.S. strategy to use export controls and blacklists to halt China’s technological progress, according to Dick Thurston, former chief legal counsel for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).
“I never had any doubt that they would be doing 7 [nm], and I still don’t have any doubt that they’ll do 5 nm without the EUV tools,” he told EE Times.
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