China accelerates technology development to build up its IC sector.
China’s IC industry gears up for further development after research yielded its first MOSFET with a 22nm gate length. Makers are waiting for improvements in production techniques, which will pave the way for mass manufacture and provide technical leverage for future endeavors. The last includes the plan to venture into the 16nm and below processes.
The Institute of Microelectronics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or IMECAS achieved the breakthrough, which includes an advanced high-k/metal gate module. The latter technology for the last is widely adopted in 22nm production to realize lower device power consumption and cost.
During the research period, IMECAS worked on addressing challenges in manufacturing and integration processes, which cover interface, gate, and source and drain engineering, to comply with standards in industrial applications. It applied for 1,369 patents, including 424 international ones.
The national government lent support to the pilot R&D on 22nm core technologies, which began in 2009. Spearheaded by IMECAS, the project involved the Peking University, Tsinghua University and Fudan University. The goal is to reduce reliance on imported chips and raise the country’s competitiveness in the business.
To date, the key players using the 22nm process are Intel in its 3D tri-gate transistors, and the IBM and AMD partnership in SRAM chips. Global Foundries, IMEC, Samsung, Toshiba and TSMC have released their respective technology versions.
Local manufacturers such as Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co. Ltd continue working on 28nm products. They highlight chip features, which are 55 percent better in terms of performance than 45nm variants, and consume 60 percent less power.
Last year, the supplier introduced China’s first such chip, which is the world’s second quad-core model next to the APQ8064 from Qualcomm. Fuzhou Rockchip’s RK3188 integrates a Cortex-A9 processor and targets mainly tablet PCs.
IGBTs: China sector prepares for upscale development
Power transistors & transistor modules: Suppliers highlight SMD, IGBT types
Note: All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.