SMIC plans for $9 billion Shanghai wafer fab
When completed the wafer fab could be the largest in China. The company made the announcement by way of a filing with stock exchanges on Friday. It is listed in Shanghai and Beijing.
The wafer fab is reportedly targeting 28nm manufacturing processes even though SMIC is bringing up a 14nm FinFET process and claims to have a so-called N+1 process equivalent to about 8nm. However, SMIC has been targeted by the US government as a company that others need special licenses to supply. This is thought to have prevented access to extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) machines from ASML Holding NV (see US lobbied hard to deny China EUV lithography) that are vital for leading-edge chip manufacturing.
The factory will be built as joint venture between SMIC and the Pilot Free Trade Zone Lin-Gang Special Area Administration in Shanghai. SMIC will own 51 percent of the venture and the Shanghai municipal government 25 percent. Third-party investors will be sought to take up the remainder of the stake, the statement said.
The 300mm Shanghai fab is expected to have a production capacity of 100,000 wafer starts per month and expects to avoid US sanctions by focusing on 28nm and earlier nodes. No indication was given of the time line for the construction and commissioning of the wafer fab.
The latest announcement is in addition to plans for wafer fabs in Beijing and Shenzhen.
During Q2, SMIC’s net profit increased fourfold year-on-year to $687.8 million, while revenue grew 43.2 percent to $1.3 billion.
SMIC’s chairman Zhou Zixue resigned on 3 September citing personal health reasons, with CFO Gao Yonggang named acting chairman.
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