Chinese chip manufacturers and chip designers are currently focusing on mature high-volume process technologies to support local car, consumer electronics, smart phone and IoT manufacturers. However, officials in the country believe that next year local semiconductor manufacturers will begin to increase the use of 14-nanometer and more advanced node chip manufacturing efforts.
For more than two decades, China has been developing its semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. So far, companies such as Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) and Hua Hong Semiconductor have become quite important chip manufacturers, but they are limited to planar process technology (for example, 28 nanometers and thicker).SMIC, the most advanced semiconductor contract manufacturer in China, won Insignificant The revenue share of chips produced using its 14-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process, but as more local (and multinational) chip designers adopt the node, the situation is slowly improving (according to SMIC).
“[Planar] The production capacity will continue to be fully loaded until the end of the year, and the new capacity will be mainly formed in the second half of this year,” said Dr. Haijun Zhao and Dr. Mengsong Liang, co-CEOs of SMIC. read“FinFET’s revenue in the first quarter began to grow from a trough, and new tape-out projects are steadily advancing.”
Thousands of chip designers in China are eager to use FinFET process technology in their products developed for 5G and artificial intelligence applications. Therefore, it is entirely reasonable for government officials to expect demand for SMIC’s 14-nanometer technology to rebound in the next few quarters. .
Wen Xiaojun, director of the Institute of Electronic Information, China Electronics Information Industry Development Research Institute, said in an interview World Wide Web (by Science and Technology Post) Despite the difficulties, domestically produced 14-nanometer chips will be mass-produced before the end of next year.
“I agree with the industry’s predictions,” Xiaojun said. “Although we are facing technical difficulties, we see hope.”
The senior official believes that the 14-nanometer and 12-nanometer nodes are essential for many applications, including system-on-chips (SoC) for entry-level 5G mobile phones and even PC processors.Therefore, if China wants to continue to rely on domestic SoCs to move forward, it must use 14-nanometer and 12-nanometer technologies, and then Develop more advanced processesAt the same time, since it is almost impossible for SMIC to develop more complex nodes and equip high-capacity fabs for 10nm and thinner technologies, the company will have to rely on more advanced packaging methods at some point, not just Only more advanced transistors.
“The rapid development of the localization of 14-nanometer and even 28-nanometer chips means that we have adopted a regression strategy and used mature technology to meet the needs of general-purpose chips.” Xiaojun said, “We do not blindly pursue high-level manufacturing processes. We pay more. Focusing on design and packaging optimization, we use time in exchange for semiconductor applications and the entire industry chain.”
In order to ensure that SMIC’s management and employees are interested in the company’s long-term growth through R&D and innovation rather than short-term gains, its board of directors recently introduced a new incentive method.
“The restrictive equity incentive plan proposed by SMIC not only applies to key management personnel, but also applies to 23% of all employees to align their interests with those of the group,” Huaxing Securities, Wrote in a recent update about SMIC. “The vesting schedule spans four years in four phases, and the final vesting percentage is linked to the sales/earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization target (with the same weight). SMIC considered the status of its entity list when proposing the target, according to the company These goals do not seem radical (under normal circumstances). We believe that the RSU plan is tailored to avoid imbalanced concerns about short-term sales growth/profitability, and to shift to basic research/strategic development in a more balanced manner. Long-term success.”