Growth in the Chinese semicoductor market

Senior executives from Chinese foundry SMIC came to Bath to look for partner companies in the South West as it accelerates its process technology to 32nm and 28nm. “We are not looking for customers, we are looking for partners, and that’s a very different approach now,” said Dr Joseph Xie, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

The company had been focussing on the 0.35um and 0.18um technologies for analogue and RF, but in the last year has accelerated the process development, said Xie. A 40nm low leakage logic process is due in production in Q1 next year, followed by a generic logic process in Q3 and a 40nm RF process in Q1 of 2012.

The first tape out of 32nm devices is scheduled for June next year, with production in March 2013.

Part of the push is to meet the booming demand in the Chinese market, said Xie, and the partnership approach is to connect UK chip companies with Chinese manufacturers that are also partnering with SMIC, he added. However, SMIC would not invest directly in UK startups, but work with those other partners if funding was needed.


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