SMIC is preparing to switch to a new N+1 process

Production of the new process should start in the fourth quarter.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China's most advanced and largest semiconductor manufacturer, is preparing to move from a 14nm process to what it calls the N+1. Limited production of the new process is due to begin in the fourth quarter.

Recently, the manufacturer spoke in some detail about N+1, specifying that the new process has already attracted customers for whom it will be used to produce consumer solutions, including application processors and chips responsible for connection, for TVs, mobile and portable devices.

Recognizing that it is a 14-nanometer process, SMIC says it is capable of competing with Samsung's 7-nanometer and TSMC processes in some respects.

In particular, compared to the current 14-nanometer process, it offers a 20 percent improvement in performance and a 57 percent reduction in power consumption. The size of the logical elements is reduced by 63 percent and the total area of the SoC is reduced by 55 percent. These figures bring the N+1 to the level of 7-nanometer processes of competitors, except for the performance. On the other hand, this is compensated for by the lower cost, in particular due to fewer masks.

In the N+1 process and the following N+2 lithography in the hard ultraviolet range (EUV) is not used. But in time it is planned to convert the formation of some layers in N+2 to EUV.

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