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.
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