AnandTech reports SMIC is expected to start mass production of 14nm FinFET in the first half of this year. SMIC is the largest Chinese foundry and the rollout of its 14nm node comes at least a couple of quarters earlier than expected. Chinese-language reports claim SMIC has achieved a yield of 95 percent at 14nm, and that it will produce a 14nm smartphone SoC for an unnamed client in the first half of 2019.
Analysts say that SMIC’s 14 nm capacity will be relatively small when compared to the industry leaders, all of whom run multiple leading-edge fabs. SMIC currently has two fabs that can process 300 mm wafers using 28 nm and larger fabrication processes. The same fabs will be used for 14 nm projects too, but given their capacities and SMIC’s very high fab utilization rate (94.1% in Q2 2018), do not expect them to make loads of 14 nm SoCs. And for these reasons, along with prepping 14nm for its current fabs, the company is building a large $10 billion fab that will be used for its leading-edge manufacturing technologies in the future.
SMIC is hard at work on a 10nm and EUV-enabled 7nm process.