Monday, May 18th 2020

SMIC Begins Mass-Production of 14nm FinFET SoCs for Huawei HiSilicon

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), the state-backed Mainland Chinese semiconductor foundry, announced that it commenced mass-production of 14 nm FinFET SoCs for Huawei's HiSilicon subsidiary, a mere one month since Huawei shifting chip orders from TSMC to it. The company is manufacturing Kirin 710A is a revision of the original Kirin 710 SoC from 2018, built on SMIC's 14 nm node. The 4G-era SoC is capable of powering mid-range smartphones for Huawei's Honor brand, and uses an Arm big.LITTLE setup of Cortex A53 and Cortex A57 cores. This represents a major milestone not just for SMIC, but also Huawei, which has seen the company's isolation from cutting-edge overseas fabs such as TSMC. Much of Huawei's fate is riding on the success of SMIC's next-generation N+1 node, which purportedly offers a 57 percent energy-efficiency gain over 14 nm FinFET, rivaling sub-10 nm nodes such as 7 nm; enabling Huawei to build 5G-era SoCs.
Source: ExtremeTech
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2 Comments on SMIC Begins Mass-Production of 14nm FinFET SoCs for Huawei HiSilicon

I think this is an important first step for Huawei since they pretty much lost TSMC to produce their chips. Even if they have access to it, that could change very suddenly. So its better they have a backup that will be able to continue producing for them.
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Probably a copy of Samsung's 14nm process, which is about 2/3 the density of Intel's 14nm process. Probably should be called 18nm or similar if they were to all use a consistent standard. Still, SMIC getting beyond 28nm is kind of a big deal, though not exactly a threat to TSMC / Intel / Samgsung / GloFlo right now. With their unlimited state funding, that might eventually change.
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