China’s Largest Chipmaker Copied TSMC’s Chip Designs Say Reports

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China’s Largest Chipmaker Copied TSMC’s Chip Designs Say Reports

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Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China’s largest chip maker, has copied the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) chip manufacturing design for 7 nanometer chip manufacturing technology, according to a research report quoted by the Taiwanese press. .. SMIC’s 7nm process, which first surfaced in 2020, has become a Bitcoin mining computer. It was demolished by Tech Insights earlier this week, confirming that the company has begun production of advanced semiconductors, and is the largest chip maker in the United States, including the world’s largest Intel Corporation, TSMC, and Samsung Foundry. Shortly thereafter, Taiwanese media reported that the SMIC design reflected the TSMC design, and that the company was still difficult to exceed 7nm.

SMIC’s 7nm Bitcoin Miner shocks the industry, but yields and capacity remain questionable

Due to the nature of the chip manufacturing process, which requires printing small circuits on pieces of silicon, companies need advanced machines that can use light of specific wavelengths to advance their technology. These machines use extreme UV light to print small circuits and are manufactured exclusively by the Dutch company ASML, limiting the quantity that chip makers can order.

7nm technology was first introduced in 2016, and over time TSMC, along with other technologies, began using EUV machines for specific parts of the entire manufacturing process. Currently, Taiwan’s fabs are preparing for mass production of 3nnm process technology, and Taiwanese press claims that SMIC has copied the 7nm design.

A United Daily News (UDN) report quotes an image from a recent TechInsights report that states that a 7nm chip built by SMIC is virtually the same as one built by TSMC. The Bitcoin miners in which these chips were found are from the American company MinerVa.

The 7nm MinerVa chip is manufactured by SMIC. Image: TechInsights

The chip in question is the MinerVa 7 processor, which, according to the company, can deliver 105 tera-hash (TH) per second with a power consumption of 3,300 watts. SMIC is refraining from releasing details about chip manufacturing technology, and MinerVa 7 is the first 7nm product announced by the company.

However, as some researchers and industry insiders cited by UDN have explained, the production of 7nm products by SMIC is impressive, but advanced technologies such as 5nm and 3nm without access to EUV machines. It is unlikely that you will proceed to. In the world of high-end chip manufacturing, Intel, TSMC, and Samsung have gone beyond first-generation EUV machines to get machines with wider lenses. Called High-NA (Numerical Aperture), these machines increase the resolution at which an enterprise can print circuits, resulting in higher yields.

The details of SMIC’s 7nm process were first revealed in 2020 when disgruntled executives wrote a strong-language letter to company management. In his letter, he outlined that the company was on track for 7nm risk and mass production in April 2021. He also shared the technological advances in 5nm and 3nm and outlined:The eight most important and most difficult techniques of 5nm and 3nm were also carried out in an orderly manner. “

Judging in his words alone, a Chinese company may once again surprise everyone by quietly manufacturing 5nm and 3nm products. However, the letter arrived before ASML was under new pressure from the US government to stop selling SMICE UV machines earlier this year. Industry experts also believe that while SMIC’s 7nm progress is remarkable, cmpany yields and production rates remain questionable, as 7nm production also requires some EUV. Media reports also suggest that SMIC lost key executives last year due to a failure to procure these machines.

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