According to a report published on 10th March, Chinese foundry SMIC has reached impressive yields of as much as 90-95% for its flagship 14nm process which is roughly the same as TSMC’s rival offering. The foundry is presently running at full capacity for all its process nodes, with orders for some of the more mature processes booked up until 2022.
SMIC CEO, Liang Mong Song had earlier reported that the foundry’s 28nm, 14nm, 12nm, and N+1 (a supposed 7nm competitor) nodes are all in volume production, with risk production for the more advanced 7nm process slated for April 2021. As for as the most cutting-edge 5nm and 3nm process nodes are concerned, research has already started and the development can only begin once enough EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography machines are purchased.
SMIC earlier purchased DUV lithography equipment from ASML in the first week of March for a considerable $1.2 billion. The agreement was initially signed way back in early 2018 but was delayed by more than two years. SMIC has nearly ten 300mm and 200mm foundries spread across various Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.