Germany Carl Zeiss, heart of Dutch ASML Lithography Equipment.


Appix

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I read again what you wrote in early pages, and they proved to be truth, 7 nm can be achieved without EUV, and SMIC is doing it. Double Thumbs for you
Are you sure?
Published reports that SMIC is preparing a 7-nanometer production process are incorrect. The error is understandable, however, as it is based on favorable comparisons SMIC has been making between its newest process technology (called N+1) and rivals’ 7nm processes.

With Donald Trump’s trade war nowhere near a resolution, Chinese semiconductor designers are shut out of the world’s most advanced manufacturing facilities. That puts pressure on Chinese foundries — particularly SMIC, the largest fabrication facility in China — to catch up. SMIC’s most advanced line in production has a 14 nm process. Had the company jumped from 14nm to 7nm, that would have been an extraordinary leap.

That’s not quite what’s going on, however. During SMIC’s recent fiscal year report conference, the company’s co-CEO Mengsong Liang revealed a new version of the 14nm process the company calls N+1. A SMIC spokesman told EE Times China that N+1 was expected to go into limited production in the fourth quarter.

In comparison with SMIC’s existing 14nm process, the spokesman explained, N + 1 performance is improved by 20 percent, power consumption is reduced by 57 percent, logic area can be reduced by 63 percent, and the entire SOC (system on chip) area can be reduced by 55 percent.

SMIC says that in terms power and stability, N+1 is comparable to 7nm processes on the market, but of course those aren’t the only relevant benchmarks. SMIC reports that the performance of N+1 improves on in-house processes by about 20 percent, but that still leaves it at about 35 percent in terms of the market benchmark for performance.

Therefore, you can call it 7nm in terms of power and stability, but it is not as good as 7nm in terms of performance, SMIC said.

“Our target for N+1 is low-cost applications, which can reduce costs by about 10 percent relative to 7nm. So this is a very special application,” the SMIC spokesman told EE Times China.

The spokesman also said that EUV is not necessary for N+1. If SMIC is able to get EUV equipment from its supplier, ASML, EUV might be useful for the proposed next process, which SMIC is referring to as N+2.

EUV is the next-generation lithography technology. Samsung, for example, just opened a new fab with an EUV production capability. ASML is based in the west, however, so if the Trump trade war continues, it might be unavailable to SMIC, underscoring yet another difficulty for SMIC to keep pace with other leading foundries.

Steve Gu is chief analyst of EE Times China.
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tidalwave

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Are you sure?


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TSMC first gen 7nm is using DUV conventional lithography. so yes SMIC is trying mimic that.

But the problem is US can potentially sanction SMIC for manufacturing chips for Huawei due to using US equipments.
Its better for Huawei directly get involved into EUV lithography and manufacturing because its a blacklisted entity by US government. It's not too late for them to get involved and got to start somewhere. They should for their own sake in the future.
 
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Appix

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TSMC first gen 7nm is using DUV conventional lithography. so yes SMIC is trying mimic that.

But the problem is US can potentially sanction SMIC for manufacturing chips for Huawei due to using US equipments.
Its better for Huawei directly get involved into EUV lithography and manufacturing because its a blacklisted entity by US government. It's not too late for them to get involved and got to start somewhere. They should for their own sake in the future.
Do you have any knowledge what SMIC will do after the introduction of first gen 7nm in the 4th quarter? Do they have a way to progress further without ASML EUV lithography?
 

tidalwave

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Do you have any knowledge what SMIC will do after the introduction of first gen 7nm in the 4th quarter? Do they have a way to progress further without ASML EUV lithography?
They have N+1, then N+2 all related to 7nm .. More of less keep refining. Without EUV. It will stops at 7nm and also N+1, N+2 cost more than TSMC 's true EUV 7nm.

That means Huawei has to give up its leading edge cellphone business if unable to get TSMC manufacturing.
 
They have N+1, then N+2 all related to 7nm .. More of less keep refining. Without EUV. It will stops at 7nm and also N+1, N+2 cost more than TSMC 's true EUV 7nm.

That means Huawei has to give up its leading edge cellphone business if unable to get TSMC manufacturing.
You meant cost more in production cost? bit would it cost more once you take into account capital cost (depreciation and interest) ?
 

tidalwave

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You meant cost more in production cost? bit would it cost more once you take into account capital cost (depreciation and interest) ?
if using true EUV 7nm will require less layers and less mask. The 7nm using conventional DUV will require more layers.
So, more manufacturing cost.
 

Appix

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They have N+1, then N+2 all related to 7nm .. More of less keep refining. Without EUV. It will stops at 7nm and also N+1, N+2 cost more than TSMC 's true EUV 7nm.

That means Huawei has to give up its leading edge cellphone business if unable to get TSMC manufacturing.
Are there no companies, research universities and research institutions in the whole of China which are trying to find a solution for this problem/challenge of having no access to Western EUV lithography?
 
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tidalwave

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Are there no companies, research universities and research institutions in the whole of China which are trying to find a solution for this problem/challenge of having no access to Western EUV lithography?
Theres no Chinese company out there doing it because the scope is too large, they don't know how much investment needed.
A few academic institutions doing some EUV optics system design but don't go into any manufacturing tech research.
The only way going forward is for the government declare it as national project and starts to assign specific tasks to institutions and companies.

I have not able to make the government understand the significance of this project. Otherwise they would have pool the resource just like fighting the virus. Mobilizing entire country resource is the only way that can make this happen

A few VCs and companies won't able to pull it off.
 
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if using true EUV 7nm will require less layers and less mask. The 7nm using conventional DUV will require more layers.
So, more manufacturing cost.
yeahhh but after you take into account extra capital required i.e depreciation and interest .... the total cost might be higher than DUV

So, the main point here is I believe with EUV, the performance is better and also can go lower than 7nm
 

tidalwave

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SMIC ordering more conventional lithography equipment from ASML for its 14nm production expansion. So, needless to say China pretty dependent on foreign tech on its IC production. The EUV project will enable China to shake up its status quo through industrialization of needed fundamental science tech.
Too many Chinese stuffs and research only live on papers.
 

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