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Chinese chipmaker SMIC makes breakthrough in '7nm-like process'

news.cgtn.com, Oct. 14, 2020 – 

Innosilicon, a Chinese company focusing on customized chip design services, announced it has completed a chip tape-out and testing based on the FinFET N+1 technology of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), China's largest chipmaker.

A tape-out is the final phase of a chip design process before they are sent for manufacturing.

FinFET N+1, SMIC's next-generation chip foundry node, is very similar to the advanced 7nm process used by other world leading chipmakers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung in terms of performance, although it's still 35 percent inferior, according to SMIC co-CEO Liang Mengsong.

Moreover, the N+1 foundry node may enable SMIC to break its reliance on top-level Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) machine made by Dutch microchip machine maker ASML, according to Liang. ASML is subject to U.S. export control as its products contain American technology.

Innosilicon said on its website that all the IPs are homegrown, and its functionality passed the test in one go following months of collaborative efforts with SMIC, paving the way for volume production of the latest manufacturing node.

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