LONDON – The Institute of Microelectronics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMECAS) in Beijing China has announced it has made a high-K metal-gate MOSFET with a gate length of 22 nanometers, according to Xinhua, the Chinese government news agency.
The home-designed and built device shows "world-class performance and low power dissipation," IMECAS was quoted as saying. However, no further details were provided.
The introduction of China-developed 22-nm IC technology would save China money in importing foreign chips or process technology and boost China-made IC's competitiveness, Xinhua quoted IMECAS as saying.
Leading-edge 22/20-nm process technology is just starting to be introduced in the commercial sector and is valued for its ability to reduced power consumption of smartphones and tablet computers, thereby providing longer battery life.
The construction of a 22-nm transistor as an academic and prototype exercise puts China's internally-developed technology at two to four years behind the west. Intel has a commercial 22-nm FinFET process that is in production and foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) is expected to ramp 20-nm bulk planar CMOS process in 2013.
For many years China was denied access to leading-edge electronic manufacturing technology from external sources under CoCom export regulations and the follow-on Wassennaar Arrangement. However, in recent years China has gradually been catching up through a combination of licensing of external processes and self-education. China's indigenous foundry chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (Shanghai, China) is able to offer a commercial 40-nm CMOS manufacturing process.
China began work on leading-edge transistor fabrication as one of its major national scientific projects in 2009, according to Xinhua.
I believe China will catch up very soon. The paces of scientists are moving faster and faster. What matters now is who has the money and people to work on this? China surely has the money and probably can also attract and incubate the top grade scientists!
This is nothing. So they basically use their lab tools to build one 22nm MOSFET. Then what? How are they going to ramp this up to SMIC's production line? Most of their (SMIC) tools/processes/engineers are not ready for 22nm. Not even close. Let alone yield.
I regard this news solely as for propaganda purposes.
In my view, this trend was inevitable. Almost want to say "I told you so."
Why wouldn't China be capable of developing leading-edge processes? As long as their government isn't deliberately creating obstacles to progress, as it was in the past, a country with a huge population and a strong work and education ethic can't help but become competitive against anyone else.
And this can only accelerate if the people gradually take more control from their government.
This is the first I have heard of China trying to develop its own leading edge process technology.
Of course, there is a long path from an academic's achievement to a full blown working process at a fab, so I assume China still needs a lot of ecosystem development.
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