As SMIC promised, during the fourth quarter of this year they would be capable of reaching 7nm, and it took them two weeks to make it known that they have already been able to achieve such lithography for the development of cheap chips, which is a milestone for both the company and the Chinese semiconductor industry, as they are looking to catch up with the world’s most important foundries such as TSMC, Samsung Foundry or GlobalFoundries.
Unfortunately, this manufacturing process known as N + 1 is not ready for mass production yet, something we knew would not arrive until next year, but the problem is that this mass production may never see the light due to the veto of the United States. This move seriously threatens forecasts that SMIC will be the third-largest foundry in the world by 2021.
According to SMIC, its 7nm promise a 20% performance improvement over its 14nm at the same clock speed or complexity, or match the performance of its 14nm but reducing power consumption by 57 percent. When it comes to transistor density, it increases by up to 2.7x.
This manufacturing process is comparable to GlobalFoundries’ 12nm LP +, Samsung Foundry’s 8nm LPP, or TSMC’s 7nm (N7, 7nm non-EUV 1st Gen). Due to this, it is focused on low consumption or cost devices.