Monday, December 7th 2020

China Develops Tools for 28 nm Silicon Manufacturing

When the US decided to impose sanctions on all US-made technology use in foreign countries (China), the Chinese semiconductor manufacturing industry seemed at the time that it would just completely stop. Without the tools to manufacture silicon, Chinese manufacturers would need to turn to other countries to search for a possible solution. That, however, turned out impossible as the US administration has decided to stop the silicon from going into the hands of Chinese companies, by making a condition that any US-made technology can not get to China. Many of the parts for silicon manufacturing are designed in the US, so they have the power to restrict the use.

Today, in a surprising turn of events, we have information that Shanghai Micro Electronic Equipment (SMEE) has developed a deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography scanner that is set for delivery in 2021. With a plan to deliver it in the fourth quarter of 2021, SMEE has designed this DUV scanner for the production of 28 nm node. While not being the most advanced node available to date, it is a significant start for Chinese technology independence. ASML, the producer of such scanners, used to be one of the few options there, however, it just gained a competitor. China will deliver its new silicon on a 28 nm process at the end of 2021. Pictured below, you can see how the scanner from SMEE looks like.
Source: Tom's Hardware
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35 Comments on China Develops Tools for 28 nm Silicon Manufacturing

#3
TheoneandonlyMrK
FlankerBaby steps
That's not a baby step , that's a unicorn sized leap.

How?! Is this patently possible?!.
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#4
TheEndIsNear
All that stolen tech is starting to pay off
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#5
AceKingSuited
ASML is loser in the lame trade war between Trump and China. Now the Chinese are going to come out with a competent competitor to ASML/Samsung. It's only 28nm now but eventually it will go down to 7nm and they only need to sell in the Chinese market to keep growing and improving on the product then they will export it when it's good enough. I'm sure ASML would have been happy just selling their EUV to China and not create a competitor but the trade was squashed that.
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#6
HTC
Here's a potential scenario:

What if, whatever China ends up developing, turns out to actually be BETTER than current tools? Obviously comparing their 28nm VS TSMC's 28nm VS Samsung's 28nm.

Imagine: later on when they are better @ the current top *insert node here*, US would be left out of it ... and the tables would have turned ...

Not that i find it likely: i find it VERY unlikely, but still ... it would be hilarious if it did ... Karma @ work, if you will ...
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#7
the54thvoid
What's that old adage? Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

Yeah, the approach to dealing with tech advancement is to understand the nature of the competitor. China has a massive resource base. It has a very ambitious education programme, better than many Western countries. They're not some 3rd world country that'll crumble under pressure. The nation's endured huge pressure and is now developing things it's own way. It has stolen IP, on a grand scale, but knowing that, and knowing they have ambition, it is akin to shooting yourself in the foot to cut them off and 'force them' to resort to invention. The strict trade embargo has only served to accelerate China's vision. The mistake was to think a country with a space programme and nuclear weapons couldn't push forward with their own advanced tech. Dumb move. But good for competition.
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#9
TheEndIsNear
They haven't "developed" anything. It's already been done and they stole it. They would be a 3rd world country if the greed of the 90's didn't ignore the happenings in '89 and now the countries government is worse than ever. Everyone loves a good ethnic cleansing, human rights abuses and reeducation camps. Our country is so stupid.
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#10
Caring1
TheEndIsNearEveryone loves a good ethnic cleansing, human rights abuses and reeducation camps. Our country is so stupid.
Like you said, everyone!
Those are global issues.
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#11
Vayra86
TheEndIsNearThey haven't "developed" anything. It's already been done and they stole it. They would be a 3rd world country if the greed of the 90's didn't ignore the happenings in '89 and now the countries government is worse than ever. Everyone loves a good ethnic cleansing, human rights abuses and reeducation camps. Our country is so stupid.
Once you understand it, you can develop and improve it. Its that simple. Knowledge is hard to keep under lock and key... the moment you deal with someone, you spread it.

China is not unique in that sense, just very good at learning from others. We are to blame for our own leniency in that regard. If we cared so much about our secrets why did we throw so many away? Why do we prioritize financial gain over knowledge and preserving it?

Its a bit of a crybaby loser approach if you ask me. What 'we' need against China is a stance, and the US is taking it. Is it the best one? I think its the only one. China isn't here for our best interests. Yes they will have technology. Okay. So what about that world market and what about production? Can we do with less? Can we look past the horizon to find some way to move forward? If we can't, we might as well subject to Mr. Pooh today.

I'm still hoping the EU is taking steps in the same direction but so far its slow, late, and minor. Takes a while to get started... but its starting. But with that comes a fundamental think about our approach to consumerism. No more el cheapo AliExpress, Amazon, etc. for you. Shit's finite and its time we get the message.
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#12
AceKingSuited
the54thvoidWhat's that old adage? Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

Yeah, the approach to dealing with tech advancement is to understand the nature of the competitor. China has a massive resource base. It has a very ambitious education programme, better than many Western countries. They're not some 3rd world country that'll crumble under pressure. The nation's endured huge pressure and is now developing things it's own way. It has stolen IP, on a grand scale, but knowing that, and knowing they have ambition, it is akin to shooting yourself in the foot to cut them off and 'force them' to resort to invention. The strict trade embargo has only served to accelerate China's vision. The mistake was to think a country with a space programme and nuclear weapons couldn't push forward with their own advanced tech. Dumb move. But good for competition.
If anyone is doubting the Chinese can come up with an alternative; they are mistaken. They were restricted on the GPS and later on the European satellite system so they went ahead and launch their own. They were not allowed to join the international space station and now they just completed a landing and lifting off from the moon. Only the 3rd country to ever bring material back from the moon. They are formidable and understand that it's a competition. The US government is who is mistaken thinking that a little trade war is going to derail their progress because it won't and we might as well work with rather than against them. Keep your enemies closer so you can keep and eye on them. The multinationals know it, the CEOs know it but the US politicians have been blind to this fact, some are still living in the past. See Trump's MAGA and trying to restore fossil fuels while the world is moving to renewables.
TheEndIsNearThey haven't "developed" anything. It's already been done and they stole it. They would be a 3rd world country if the greed of the 90's didn't ignore the happenings in '89 and now the countries government is worse than ever. Everyone loves a good ethnic cleansing, human rights abuses and reeducation camps. Our country is so stupid.
It's more than just the tech. Even if they stole the "blueprints", they still have to find a way to understand how the processes and tools work together. It takes years to get the tooling and process correct. If it's so simple as the tech, then Intel with it's vast amounts of money wouldn't be having issues at 7nm and below.
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#13
silentbogo
TheEndIsNearThey haven't "developed" anything. It's already been done and they stole it.
Well, it's not like SMEE didn't exist or didn't do anything for 13 years, before ASML leak. You can't just steal documentation and blindly recreate something, you still need expertise, knowhow, tech base, and something to build upon (like their previous 90nm litho). Given how much time and resources they spent on this immersion litho tech, I doubt they needed anything from ASML to accomplish this.
If anything, SMEE is behind the schedule.
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#14
Khonjel
Frankly speaking since none of us here in this forum have anything to lose, gg china. And IF china surpasses west in tech, they as well as might brace for "leaks"
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#15
Lomskij
I think it might have been a wrong use of word "developed", if they recreated an existing process with the help of the engineers that they have scooped from TSMC.
It's similar to their space program, with most of the "newly developed" stuff being just rebadged Russian space crafts. I mean, Russians trained the Chinese astronauts how to use the equipment...
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#16
DeathtoGnomes
AceKingSuitedThe US government is who is mistaken thinking that a little trade war is going to derail their progress
You obviously dont understand why there is a trade war to begin with. Its not about derailing their progress at all. The "competition" bans were/are a result of what China DID, & STILL DOING, to the US, spying via embedded electronics and malware. Or did you forget the Supermicro motherboard thingy? Call me provincial, but a lot of this is China's doing it to itself, including recovering from it by developing its own tools now.
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#17
jimmyxxx
DeathtoGnomesYou obviously dont understand why there is a trade war to begin with. Its not about derailing their progress at all. The "competition" bans were/are a result of what China DID, & STILL DOING, to the US, spying via embedded electronics and malware. Or did you forget the Supermicro motherboard thingy? Call me provincial, but a lot of this is China's doing it to itself, including recovering from it by developing its own tools now.
Is not like the NSA is doing the same thing ;)
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#18
Fourstaff
Hmm, I am still using Ivy Bridge at 22nm. Possibility of me ending up with a Chinese processor just increased ever so slightly.
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#19
XL-R8R
This thread will also go down a rabbit hole lol





But, good luck to China; the western world player this game incorrectly and will pay the price at some point shortly.



Edit - me too @Fourstaff :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#20
qcmadness
Nikon can't do it.
I am awaiting how China can do this without stealing IP.
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#21
kittyXray
Wrong. Japan had the entire tech stack 30 years ago when Intel was only able to do RAM. Then you know who stepped in with a baton. There is no tech that Japan can't do only the ones they are not allowed to do.
They said to China that do not repeat their mistakes, Lol......
qcmadnessNikon can't do it.
I am awaiting how China can do this without stealing IP.
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#22
silentbogo
DeathtoGnomesOr did you forget the Supermicro motherboard thingy?
You mean that f$%^ed up hoax to blow up Supermicro stock and their reputation along the way? The one where CIA and FBI held at arm's length as long as they could? The one that got debunked a hundred times by industry specialists and tech media? The one that's yet to produce even a slight whiff of something resembling an actual evidence? And the one Bloomberg never retracted or apologized for?
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#23
Gruffalo.Soldier
I'm the only one
Few years and china will deffo be sticking it's fingers up to the USA and the west. America are fools if they think China are bumpkins, they will soon find out the error of underestimating China, that has a big lot of tech companies at their disposal and a whole lot of manufacturing ability. I am deffo buying popcorn, so I am ready to laugh at the US and eat popcorn when china screws them. It might take a while, but they certainly will.
Vayra86I'm still hoping the EU is taking steps in the same direction but so far its slow, late, and minor. Takes a while to get started... but its starting. But with that comes a fundamental think about our approach to consumerism. No more el cheapo AliExpress, Amazon, etc. for you. Shit's finite and its time we get the message.
I hate the way our GOV kisses Americas arse re- china. I think Britain should make its own mind up instead of following the American blind fools, with their paranoid anti China bullshit.
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#24
thesmokingman
FlankerBaby steps
In a couple years they'll leapfrog Intel. lmao
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#25
Th3pwn3r
tiggerFew years and china will deffo be sticking it's fingers up to the USA and the west. America are fools if they think China are bumpkins, they will soon find out the error of underestimating China, that has a big lot of tech companies at their disposal and a whole lot of manufacturing ability. I am deffo buying popcorn, so I am ready to laugh at the US and eat popcorn when china screws them. It might take a while, but they certainly will.



I hate the way our GOV kisses Americas arse re- china. I think Britain should make its own mind up instead of following the American blind fools, with their paranoid anti China bullshit.
I really shouldn't say you've been drinking China's Kool-Aid but it seems you have. You probably lack knowledge of this but it's not just paranoid anti China bullshit, the EU is taking measures with our without the United States to combat what China has been doing. President Elect Biden is expected to partner with the EU in said measures. I will say though that not only China steals intellectual property and such, we had Steve Jobs doing that the best.
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