News on China's scientific and technological development.


Petrolicious88

Junior Member
Registered Member
No, SMIC does compete internationally, against TSMC (1st) and Samsung (2nd).

For example Apple sourced their smartphone and tablet CPUs from Samsung (South Korea) and later TSMC (Taiwan).
Samsung has an US fab at Austin but it has limited production capacity there. TSMC supposedly plans to build a US fab but currently has none.
The leading US fab company is GlobalFoundries, but they are owned by a Persian Gulf state and don't have enough capital to buy the latest machine tools or to design new processes anymore. So they are stuck at 14nm or 12nm I think. However GlobalFoundries uses a SOI process which is more suitable for telecommunications (radio) or radiation hardened chips than regular silicon so they have clients there. Intel does have fabs too but they are also behind TSMC and Samsung but still ahead of GlobalFoundries. Intel originally did not produce chips for 3rd parties but more recently this past decade they have started producing FPGAs for 3rd parties as they cannot ammortize the cost of their newer fabs with CPU production alone. Intel's business model is basically screwed. GlobalFoundries is a merger of several lagging semiconductor fabs the main of which used to be owned by AMD in the US and Germany. AMD since sold their fabs because they did not have enough capital from PC chip production to justify it and now outsource chip production to TSMC.

SMIC has less advanced manufacturing processes but lower prices than the competition.

Ever since SMIC got ex-TSMC personnel they managed to develop their own 14nm and soon, hopefully, N+1 that should be ~10nm.
They also have a roadmap to produce 7nm chips eventually using their existing DUV immersion lithography tools. Their process should be less efficient at producing chips than TSMC's because it will require more passes (with multiple-patterning). TSMC supposedly uses EUV on the passes which imprint the finer details on chips. China got banned from EUV tool imports and so SMIC had to come up with this less efficient process. 5nm and below it is unlikely they can produce chips with DUV alone. SMIC was ramping up their production lines for 14nm and 10nm production with immersion lithography and Huawei was one of their main customers. So don't say SMIC didn't try to support Huawei. Sometimes people think producing chips is easy but from design to initial manufacturing it takes 18 months time to produce a chip. You also cannot easily transfer a design from, say, TSMC to SMIC or vice-versa, or Samsung to TSMC or vice-versa, etc, because the processes aren't the same. You have to redesign the chip and tapeout. Huawei and SMIC did this for their 14nm smartphone processor the Kirin 710A.

Neither Taiwan nor South Korea produce lithography machine tools. The main DUV lithography tool vendors are in Europe (ASML) and Japan (Nikon) I think. There are other tool vendors but their tools do not support immersion which means they cannot be used at 45nm and below. Immersion lithography uses the same light sources but like the name implies uses water, besides just lenses, to focus the light. ASML is the only world supplier of EUV lithography tools. They are in the Netherlands but their lenses come from Germany and their EUV light sources come from Cymer in the USA. The US can basically cut their supply anytime they wish.

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Thats right. The US has an absolute chokehold on the key technologies needed to manufacture semiconductors. They may not produce the chips, besides intel and few others, but the US produces the foundational technology and software needed to manufacture and design chips.

SMIC and other Chinese chip manufactures have made several important innovations. But these innovations all rest upon the foundational tech that's developed in the U.S.

In order for China to overcome US sanction, it needs to develop new foundational technologies that's completely free of US input. This is extremely hard. We have to see how China does in 3-5 years.
 

Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
Thats right. The US has an absolute chokehold on the key technologies needed to manufacture semiconductors. They may not produce the chips, besides intel and few others, but the US produces the foundational technology and software needed to manufacture and design chips.

SMIC and other Chinese chip manufactures have made several important innovations. But these innovations all rest upon the foundational tech that's developed in the U.S.

In order for China to overcome US sanction, it needs to develop new foundational technologies that's completely free of US input. This is extremely hard. We have to see how China does in 3-5 years.
It is quite interesting.

I get my hand onto an old French designed PC from 88.

It has very interesting mainboard, the PCB traces and pads very different from the USA/IBM/Taiwanese PCBs, not only the finishing, but the lead/fan out of traces, the pads shape.

Visibly the software used to design the PCBs was completely different for the French company than for the USA/Asian manufacturers.

I can't imagine how high investment would be needed now to replace half century worth of toolsets, software, tool manufacturers .
 

Chish

Junior Member
Registered Member
Money follow the customers, and not interesting theories.

USA has the customers.
American consumption of domestic consumables is not growing as fast as many of the developing countries and Trump is manipulating the market by forcing Americans to buy or use local products by means of tariffs, sanctions, penalties, forced ownership (national security).
Here capitalism is working against itself. The rich, manufacturers, traders,investors are maximizing profits out of the locals because of the controlled market. Kind of legalised monopoly.
The consumers have little options but to accept higher cost for less while the same products overseas are getting cheaper, being produced by developing countries in an open market system. More efficient because of scale, large pool of cheap & skilled labor, materials and a world wide supply chain network and demand. Thus American companies have to maintain overseas manufacturing to remain competitive. This doesn't benefit the local Americans and goes against Trump policy.
In conclusion, American would inevitable be undermining its own economy by the very actions Trump is taking to "protect" Americans and at the same time losing world market shares. Many American companies are already feeling the consequences now and are taking legal action against Trump but the damages have already been done. Majority of customers live outside of USA.
 

mderfox

New Member
Registered Member
If SMIC get banned probably they will lead bankruptcy. Their existing fab design many material and equipment have Americans input. In fab business not easy to switch supplier. Find suppliers doesn't have Americans input is almost impossible. Let's take example silicone wafer, its dominate by JP,US,SK and TW. All is this country (and break away province) is pro US. Many chemical processing also dominate by JP. their tech is tailor for western tech.

Its totally different with Huawei plan its seem possible to make breakthrough. I read somewhere Ren said they will go back to basic. Much easier to build up industrial chain without caught on patent dispute. Bear in mind huawei good at camera(optic). Just reverse the process they will get cpu. They also good in building system. Doesn't mean huawei enter equipment maker business, but they can contribute in development equipment.
 

supercat

Junior Member
U.S. judge blocks Trump administration TikTok app store ban
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge in Washington late on Sunday temporarily blocked a Trump administration order that was set to bar Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google from offering Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok for download at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.
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Petrolicious88

Junior Member
Registered Member
I feel sorry for all the Chinese people that rushed into SMIC stocks. The stock will prob tank this week.

This is a heavy blow. SMIC was on the verge of 7nm chips
 
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No, they are not in the same boat. SMIC doesnt need to compete internationally. Huawei still needs to compete internationally, therefore still needs acess to US tech, it has now been granted acess to some US chips, and it shouldnt jeopardize that position.
The US granted these licenses for fear that Chinese chips would forever replace then. Their own words, not mine; they said they need China to keep buying US chip instead of developing their own. Quite frankly, it's too late; nobody in China trusts US tech anymore and everyone is scrambling to develop their own alternatives. Huawei is doing everything it needs to do to for its future and that is continuing to be a threat to US technology. If that's not jeopardizing the position, I don't know what is. Nothing given to you is worth having; you only truly own what you can take/make by your own capabilities.

Learn to wait. Its going to take many years, if ever.
If ever... if they ever needed Portugal to develop something LOL This is China. Don't blink or you'll miss it.
 

daifo

Junior Member
Registered Member
Pretty interesting interview done by carl zha
" I talked to tech industry insider "Mr T" again about the latest escalation in US-China tech war after Trump admin slapped sanction against Chinese semiconductor chip maker SMIC and vetoed TikTok deal. "

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