For semiconductor chips, I believe everyone is familiar with them. It is the cornerstone of the development of many industries and the embodiment of a country’s technological level. Especially in this era, whether it is a mobile phone, a computer, or other equipment, it needs the support of related chips. Its importance has been further magnified, and our country has also been committed to achieving the goal of rising domestic chips!
Judging from the current situation, the domestic chip design has reached the top level. For example, the Kirin chip independently designed by Huawei HiSilicon has a very eye-catching performance. For example, some time ago, ZTE announced the good news that 7nm chips have made great progress, and the development of 5nm chips is also planned.
This fully shows that domestic chip design companies are not lost to foreign countries. As long as they overcome technical problems in the field of chip manufacturing, they can complete the independent production of chips. But what is helpless is that the complexity and difficulty of chip manufacturing are beyond people’s imagination. Our country has persisted in research for decades, but there is still no major breakthrough.
At present, the most advanced chip foundry in China is SMIC. After the N+1 process is perfected, it can produce 7nm chips. However, compared with the world’s leading TSMC, SMIC still has a big gap. You know, TSMC not only has the ability to mass-produce 5nm chips but is also developing next-generation 3nm or even 2nm chips!
Everyone knows that the existing chips use silicon-based semiconductor materials. Although the cost is very low, there is an obvious feature or difficulty, that is, it relies heavily on precision equipment such as lithography machines. The lithography machine is known as “the jewel in the crown of human industry”. It is the core machine in the chip manufacturing process, and it is also a technical problem that has always plagued our country!
The world’s top lithography machines are concentrated in the Netherlands ASML company, which occupies an irreplaceable important position in the entire semiconductor industry. The reason why TSMC has become the world’s largest foundry is that it has the full support of ASML, and because of the existence of the “Wassenaar Agreement”, our domestic chip companies in mainland China do not enjoy this treatment at all!
However, fortunately, the country has realized the truth of “buying is worse than making”, so it has begun to comprehensively deploy lithography machines. Some time ago, both Huawei and the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced relevant decisions, aiming to independently develop more advanced domestic lithography machines. More importantly, the Chinese chip “breaks the ice” again recently, with the appearance of 8-inch graphene wafers, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has contributed!
“Break the ice” again
The so-called graphene wafer is a carbon-based chip material. Unlike traditional silicon-based chips, carbon-based chips have greatly improved both in stability and performance. Research in this area has been ongoing in China, and now it has finally achieved Made some breakthroughs. Recently, the Shanghai Microsystems team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced the good news of the appearance of 8-inch graphene wafers!
It is understood that graphene wafers are a new type of chip, based on the most common carbon element. Once it is officially put into mass production, it will break the monopoly of silicon-based chips. In fact, many countries around the world are studying carbon-based chips, but only our country can produce 8-inch graphene wafers!
The development of silicon-based chips follows Moore’s Law, and its performance will double every 18 to 24 months. But Moore’s Law has its limits. The semiconductor industry generally believes that 1nm is the highest process that silicon-based chips can achieve. If silicon-based chips stagnate by then, there will be new materials to replace it, and carbon-based chips are the best choice!
It now appears that with the efforts of the research team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the research and development progress of domestic carbon-based chips has been in a leading position in the world. The appearance of 8-inch graphene wafers represents that the domestic chip industry has found another development direction. As long as the breakthrough continues, it will definitely be able to complete the “changing lanes and overtaking”. The rise of “China Core” is just around the corner!