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Chinese chipmaker SMIC getting closer to 7nm

The Chinese government is working on phasing out all foreign hardware from Chinese institutions within the next three yearsDomestic Chinese companies are working hard on improving their manufacturing technology in order to reach the goal of independence from imported hardware. Now, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation – or SMIC – has accomplished something similar to 7nm in terms of power and stability.

So to be clear, SMIC hasn't reached 7nm yet. The company is still working with 14nm nodes and will continue to do so for some time. However, SMIC has made significant progress when it comes to its 14nm process – a new process that SMIC calls “N+1”. The company itself compares the new manufacturing technology with 7nm and says that major improvements have been made when it comes to power and stability.

Image credit: AnandTech

According to EEtimes, the improvements come in the magnitude of 20% higher performance, 57% reduced power consumption and 63% smaller logic area compared to SMIC's previous 14nm manufacturing technology. In spite of the big gains made in “N+1”, it is still 35% behind the market performance of 7nm chips. SMIC is looking to start limited production of N+1 chips in the fourth quarter of this year.

So to sum it up, SMIC hasn't reached 7nm yet – but the company has accomplished something similar with its new N+1 technology, at least when it comes to power consumption and stability. It will be interesting to see how the manufacturer continues its development over the coming months and years.

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KitGuru says: The Chinese government is set on achieving independence from foreign technology within the next three years. Do you think it's possible? What do you think we can see from the Chinese market in the future?

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