Research Article Archive Versions 3 Vol 2 (2) : 19020205 2019
Current Status of the Integrated Circuit Industry in China ― IC Manufacturing Industry
: 2019 - 05 - 17
: 2019 - 06 - 28
7014 136 0
Editorial Introduction
China's IC industry has been flourishing in recent years, huge market demand together with government investments are the major driving forces for this development. The status and development momentum of the Chinese IC industry also attracted wide interest and attention of international counterparts. A group of domestic IC experts are invited by the JoMM to write a series of articles about China's IC industry, including the history, current status, development, and related government policies. Information in these articles is all from public data from recent years. The purpose of these articles is to enhance mutual understanding between the Chinese domestic IC industry and international IC ecosystem. The following article is the third one of this series, the status quo of China's IC industry. The IC industry chain is very long including design, manufacturing, special equipment, materials, packaging and testing. The article series are arranged in accordance with this scope.
1.   Introduction
The integrated circuit is a product featured with fast revolution and high technologies. Speaking of the current international market structure, IC companies are struggling with intellectual property dominance, the key IC industrial product global organizations presents the characteristics of multinational monopoly. Integrated circuit multinational companies’ sales, manufacturing and R & D strategies are in the direction of globalization.
As the largest integrated circuit market in the world, the self-sufficient ability of integrated circuits in China is low, and the pain of lacking core needs to be addressed urgently. With the rapid development of automotive electronics, smart phones and other cutting-edge applications, the domestic integrated circuit market has expanded rapidly.
At present, integrated circuits are still among the cores of communication, multimedia and computer technology. High added value, technology intensive, strong competitiveness and huge output value are the advantages of integrated circuit industry. Integrated circuit industry has great potential and vitality, and it is a well-deserved high-growth industry. Therefore, we must vigorously develop the integrated circuit industry, so as to promote the progress of economic construction in China and accelerate the process of information industrialization.
The integrated circuit design industry in China is highly market-oriented. On the one hand, there are many domestic enterprises engaged in integrated circuit design, and the competition is fierce; on the other hand, many IC design enterprises from abroad have poured into the Chinese market, among which there are plenty of well-known design companies with strong capital and technical strength, which further intensified the competition in Chinese market.
As the foundation and core of the information industry, the integrated circuit is the basic, leading and strategic industry of the whole world of the national economy and the society. In recent years, China's electronic industry has continued to grow at a high speed, and the integrated circuit industry has experienced a period of rapid development.
2. A Survey of Domestic Integrated Circuit Manufacturers
The followings are brief review of the major leading manufacturers that representing the development of integrated circuits in China:
2.1.Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC)
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (''SMIC", NYSE code: SMI, HK Ex stock code: 981), SMIC was established in 2000. Its headquarters is located in Shanghai, China. It is one of the leading IC chip contract manufacturers in the world, and it is also the largest and most advanced integrated circuit chip manufacturing enterprise in mainland China. Its main business is to manufacture integrated circuit chips for customers according to the integrated circuit design of the customer or the third party. The founder of the company is Dr. Rujing Zhang who used to work for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company(TSMC). At present, the vast majority of the company's executives are Taiwanese. It is one of the world's leading integrated circuit wafer contract manufacturers, SMIC provides 0.35μm~28nm wafer foundry and technical services to global customers.
SMIC has a 300mm chip factory and three 200mm chip factories in Shanghai. There are two 300mm chip factories in Beijing, a 200mm chip factory in Tianjin, a 200mm chip factory in Shenzhen and a packaging and testing plant in Chengdu. SMIC also provides customer service and marketing offices in the United States, Europe and Japan, as well as representative offices in Hong Kong. In addition, SMIC International manages a 200mm chip factory on behalf of Chengdu Cension Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation Ltd., and also manages a 300mm chip factory on behalf of Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (XMC).
Semiconductor manufacturing is a capital expenditure industry, the lack of capital expenditure capacity can easily lead to the company gradually fall behind the advanced process competitors. The company's R & D investment has continued to grow, with R & D spending of $318 million in 2016, R & D investment accounting for 10.92 percent of revenue, and R & D investment of $219 million in 2017, accounting for 14.18 percent of revenue. SMIC continues to increase R & D investment, 28nm process will gradually release, meanwhile it has started the development of 14nm process. SMIC is expected to start trial production in 2019, and the technological gap with international factories will gradually narrow.
In the whole production process and the whole service from R & D to mass production, SMIC integrates a comprehensive quality and control system. In addition, its diverse laboratories and tools can be used for chemical and raw material analysis, product failure analysis, yield improvement, reliability inspection and monitoring, and equipment calibration.
In order to ensure the consistency of product quality and the customer flexibility of different customers, SMIC adopts the concept of "one big factory", that is, in all SMIC factories, each chip factory optimizes the equipment and process parameters in order to meet the standard and yield requirement of testing (WAT) for the same wafer acceptance.
2.2.Shanghai Huahong (Group) Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Huahong (Group) Co., Ltd. was established in 1996, the company is the result and carrier the national "909" project.
While constructing and operating the first deep submicron ultra-large-scale 8-inch integrated circuit production line in China, Huahong Group gradually becomes the core of chip manufacturing business. It has gradually become an integrated circuit industry group with the common development of integrated circuit system integration and application services, chip manufacturing process research and development, chip design, electronic component trade, venture capital at home and abroad and other business platforms.
With the mission of "building the '909' project and promoting the development of the information industry", Huahong Group is committed to playing the main role of the state-owned industrial group in the fields of 8-inch characteristic process chip manufacturing, integrated circuit process research and development public platform, AFC and RFID system application, integrated circuit design service and so on. Huahong Group is a senior sponsor of World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, successfully realizing the largest application of RFID technology in the field of tickets in the world, and has been well received by all parties. At present, Huahong Group is actively promoting the "909" project upgrade-12-inch integrated circuit production line project construction.
After years of construction and development, Huahong Group has not only promoted the development of integrated circuit industry in China, but also made remarkable achievements in chip manufacturing, chip design, system and application services, process research and development, electronic component trade and venture capital (including overseas investment). It offers contract (foundry) technology, product process, chip design, AFC system and other products and services to the society and users.
2.3.China Resources Microelectronics Limited (“CR Micro”)
China Resources Microelectronics Limited (“CR Micro”) is a high-tech enterprise belonging to China Resources (Holdings) Co., Ltd. (CR) which is engaged in investment, development and operations management of microelectronics business, and it is also one of the largest and most influential comprehensive microelectronics enterprises in China, been included in the top 100 electronic information enterprises continuously by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology since 2004.
CR Micro takes it as its own responsibility to revitalize the national microelectronics industry and focuses on the fields of simulation, power semiconductors and the like, and is dedicated to becoming a leading enterprise embracing a culture of innovative spirit, excellent performance and industrial leadership in the Chinese semiconductor industry, to provide products and systematic solutions of extraordinary quality to the benefit of a harmonious and efficient society.
CR Micro operates a business of integrated circuit design, mask manufacture, wafer fabrication, package testing and discrete devices, currently holding 5 production lines of 6-8 inch wafer fabrication, 2 production lines of package testing, 1 production of mask manufacture and 3 design companies, and it is the only enterprise possessing the complete semiconductor industry chain in China.
With the increase of the enterprise scale, CR Micro also values its social responsibility, continuously carrying out environmental protection as well as energy-saving and emission-reducing measures. It has been awarded titles such as Advanced Unit of Energy-saving in “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” by Jiangsu Province, Category II Enterprise of “Resources-saving Type and Environment-friendly Type” by Wuxi City Government, and has been elected a top “Green” enterprise for four successive years according to the Environmental Behavior rating of The Yangtze River Delta region.
2.4.Hynix-STMicroelectronics Co., Ltd. (Wuxi)
Hynix Semiconductor was founded in 1983 as a modern electronics industry co., Ltd., officially listed in Korea in 1996, acquired LG Semiconductor in 1999, and changed its name to Hercules Semiconductor in 2001, which was separated from Hyundai Group. In October 2004, the system IC business was sold to Citigroup as a professional memory manufacturer. It is the world's second-largest DRAM manufacturer.
Hynix-STMicroelectronics Co., Ltd. is a wholly foreign-owned world-class memory company established by the joint venture of the South Korean (strain) Hynix semiconductor and the European STMicroelectronics Co., Ltd. in the export processing zone of Wuxi New Area of Jiangsu. Its main product includes 8-inch and 12-inch integrated circuit wafer, the application range covers memory, consumer products, mobile devices, SOC and system IC and other fields. The company will use the world's most advanced technology to produce DRAM and NAND flash memory.
The project is the only industrial project approved by the State Council in Wuxi. The total investment is 3.5 billion dollars. This project has the largest domestic semiconductor monomer investment and the most advanced technology, as well it’s the largest wholly foreign-owned project in Jiangsu Province. As a joint venture between two important groups in the semiconductor industry, Hynix-STMicroelectronics Co., Ltd. is bound to take a steady pace and move forward on the road of prosperity.
2.5.HeJian Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.
HeJian Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. is located in Suzhou Industrial Park. It is a first-class wafer manufacturer with strong foreign capital and manufacturing cutting-edge integrated circuits. The first 8-inch wafer plant was officially put into production in May 2003 with a total investment of more than $1.2 billion and a maximum monthly output of 60,000 tablets. At present, HeJian technology is the fastest in the same industry in China to achieve monthly, quarterly profit and loss balance, and employ high efficiency production capacity and high level of process technology to create a sustained profit and excellent performance of wafer industry enterprises. It has introduced the upstream and downstream industries into Suzhou Industrial Park to form a clustering effect, completed the first step in the layout of integrated circuit industry in China, and planned to establish a number of wafer manufacturing plants.
HeJian Technology adheres to the business philosophy of customer satisfaction and growing together with customers, and provides customers with comprehensive and competitive services, including multi-project wafer (MPW) services, IP services, BOAC, Mini-library and so on. Senior, professional technical and business team in new product development, scheme design, delivery time, quality improvement and good rate to provide strong support to customers. The long-term commitment to promote the overall development of the Chinese semiconductor industry has established a cooperative relationship with a number of design companies. Through cooperation with the technical production of HeJian technology, these design companies have made significant achievements in the market development and the operation of the company. Lili also provides preferential MPW services for industrialization bases, and signs school-enterprise cooperation agreements with many famous universities in China to implement the strategy of localization of talents and provide perfect training programs for employees. At the same time, HeJian technology also actively practices social responsibility, actively participates in social public welfare activities, and supports the education of vulnerable groups and poor areas.
In the future, HeJian technology will actively expand the mainstream product market, develop more advanced and special application technology, and continue to expand capacity to meet the expanding market demand. At the same time, HeJian technology cooperates with the head office UMC to carry out business promotion in the mainland to facilitate customers to obtain the 6-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch full-range customer-oriented wafer solutions provided by the group in a timely manner.
2.6.Shougang NEC Electronics Co., Ltd.
Shougang NEC Electronics Co., Ltd. (SGNEC) is a joint venture of Shougang and NEC Electronics Corporation. It is committed to semiconductor integrated circuit manufacturing and sales manufacturers. The company was founded in December 1991, the assembly line was put into production in April 1994 and the diffusion line was put into operation in April 1995.
The company has a complete production line of semiconductor integrated circuit production (including wafer manufacturing and IC packaging). Its main products are MCU (microcomputer control unit) circuit, remote control circuit, display drive circuit, general LIC and so on. At the same time, the company targets at domestic customers to carry out the labor business of foundry products. Manufacturing level: 6-inch wafer 0.35 μm, can handle 15,000 pieces per month. IC package: QFP series and many other package types, totaling 200 million pieces/year.
2.7.Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation Limited (ASMC)
Shanghai Advanced Semiconductor is a leading manufacturer of analog chips. It mainly produces imitating-true semiconductors and bipolar high-content mixed-signal semiconductors, and has a leading position in automotive electronics, MEMS and IGBT. ASMC’s customers include some of the world's leading manufacturers of integrated devices and non-production line semiconductor companies. Shanghai advanced semiconductor production standards and special semiconductors, designed by the company's customers, products for a variety of end-market applications, including computers, communications and consumer electronics. In 2009, Shanghai Advanced Semiconductor obtained VDA6. 3 quality system certification, now has an "A" qualified supplier to provide services for the international automotive market.
The company provides customers with a wide range of processing technologies. Comprises the following steps of: simulating a bipolar, BICMOS and HVMOS processing technology of a semiconductor, and a non-volatile storage memory technology for manufacturing an intelligent ID card. With the flexible manufacturing mode of various processing technologies, ASMC can support the customer's specific manufacturing requirements. At present, there are one 5-inch, 6-inch, 8-inch and MEMS independent production lines in Shanghai Pudong New River Basin.
2.8.TSMC (Shanghai) China Company Limited
TSMC (Shanghai) China Company Limited (TSMC Shanghai) is located in Songjiang Science and Technology Park of Shanghai. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of TSMC, and it is also an important part of its global layout. TSMC will use its rich success experience to help customers eliminate all kinds of difficulties from design to final listing, provide customers with the most complete product solutions, and establish a long-term and deep partnership with customers. TSMC is the largest and most trusted wafer manufacturing service partner in the world, and is also the best pipeline for obtaining the best wafer manufacturing service in China and the world. TSMC Shanghai is facing the mainland domestic customers, providing high-quality production, operation and design services, and the antenna of its business team has spread throughout the country.
TSMC is the world's leading and largest professional integrated circuit manufacturing service company. In the generation of advanced process technology, it has become a trend for many companies to produce and manufacture outside the company. When the development of integrated circuit industry begins to enter such a new model, TSMC undoubtedly has an excellent strategic position and the best profit advantage.
TSMC was established in Xinzhu Science Industrial Park on February 21, 1987. It is the first professional integrated circuit manufacturing service company in the world. As a global leader, TSMC provides the most advanced process technology in the industry and has the most complete component database (Library), intelligent (IP), design tool (Design Tools) and design reference process (Reference Flow). In the field of professional wafer manufacturing services.
In 2004, TSMC and its investment, the total capacity of the joint venture, has reached 4.8 million pieces of eight-inch wafer (estimated) for the whole year. The plant area in Taiwan includes a six-inch wafer factory (fab2), five eight-inch wafer factories (fab2, fab5, fab6, fab7 and fab8), two twelve-inch wafer factories (fab12, fab14).
2.9.Shanghai Huahong Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Huahong Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. opened on September 23, 2003. The total investment for the first phase of the project was $1.63 billion. At present, it has built two 12-inch factory buildings, one of which has been put into production at the A line (8-inch line). By the end of 2004, it produced 27,000 pieces of 8-inch silicon wafers. It is available in 0.25/0.22/0.18/0.15/0.12 μm processes, including: logic, mixed-signal, RF, high-voltage devices, and mask memory, static memory, flash memory, embedded flash memory, and more.
Shanghai Huahong Grace Semiconducor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. ("Huahong Grace"), formed by the new merger of Shanghai Huahong NEC Electronics Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd., is the world's leading 8-inch foundry. HuaHong Grace has three 8-inch integrated circuit production lines in Zhangjiang and Jinqiao, Shanghai, with a monthly capacity of 124,000. The company is headquartered in Shanghai, China, providing sales and technical support in Taiwan, Japan, North America and Europe.
HuaHong and Grace signed a legally binding merger agreement on September 13, 2011. The trading structure of the merger is all-stock trading. Under the terms of the merge agreement, HuaHong issued new shares to Grace's existing shareholders in exchange for all Grace's issued shares.
Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a leader in advanced 8-inch semiconductor production technology in China, focusing on high-quality manufacturing services and high value-added technologies. It has an 8-inch chip-generation factory with world-class leadership in NOR flash technology, and provides advanced technology platform for logic, non-volatile memory, mixed signal, radio-frequency, high-voltage device and static memory, and the capacity of the wafer is 44,000 per month.
2.10.Jilin Sino-Microelectronics Co., Ltd. (JSMC)
Jilin Sino-Microelectronics Co., Ltd. is located in Jilin High-tech Industrial Development Zone, which is a national key high-tech enterprise, and is established as a national enterprise technology center and a national post-doctoral research work station. The company now has nearly 2000 employees, R & D personnel account for 20% of the company's total number. The company's total assets are 2.7 billion yuan, more than 2,000 employees, R & D personnel accounted for more than 30% of the company's total number, covers an area of nearly 400,000 square meters, construction area of 135,000 square meters, purification area of 17,000 square meters, the main purification level is 0.3 microns Hundreds of levels. The company was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in March 2001 with stock code 600360 and total share capital of 521.6 million shares.
Jilin Sino-Microelectronics Co., Ltd is a high-tech enterprise which integrates power semiconductor device design and research, chip processing, packaging testing and product marketing. Demonstrated by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other national institutions, it is listed as the national enterprise technology center, the national postdoctoral research workstation, and the national innovative enterprise.
Jilin Sino-Microelectronics Co., Ltd. has 3-inch, 4-inch, 5-inch and 6-inch power semiconductor discrete devices and IC chip production lines, chip processing capacity of more than 3 million chips per year, packaging capacity of 3 billion pieces per year. The company has a number of patents in terminal design, process manufacturing and product design. Each series of products adopt bipolar, MOS technology and integrated circuit and other core manufacturing technologies. The company mainly produces power semiconductor devices and IC, applications in consumer electronics, energy-saving lighting, computer, PC, automotive electronics, communication protection and industrial control. The trademark has been recognized as a "well-known trademark in China". The company has formed a series of products such as VDMOS, IGBT, FRED, SBD, BJT as the main line of marketing, and has become a manufacturer of solutions for customers in the field of power semiconductor devices.
Jilin Sino-Microelectronics Co., Ltd. has more than 40 years of production and operation history of power semiconductor device design and development, chip processing, packaging and sales. The company has a 4-inch,5-inch and 6-inch power semiconductor wafer production line. The chip processing capacity is more than 2.2 million chips per year, and the packaging capacity is 2.2 billion pieces per year. The main products of organic box power transistor, color TV line output tube and power tube, energy saving lamp, ballast, transformer Bipolar power transistor, VDMOS field effect power transistor, semiconductor discharge tube, single/bidirectional thyristor, Schottky, fast recovery diode and other products. Products are widely used in all kinds of household appliances, green lighting, computer, automotive electronics, network communication, industrial control and other fields. Through a good joint venture and cooperation with PHILIPS, FAIRCHILD, China Microelectronics has become one of the largest semiconductor power device manufacturing bases in China.
2.11.Foundry Top Three: SMIC, HuaHong Semiconductor, Huali Microelectronics
In the foundry market, mainland companies faced with challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, mainland China design company in the fast-growing, local design companies have a natural tendency to support local manufacturers; on the other hand, the manufacturing sector entrance barrier for funds, human and knowledge accumulated has increased, and Chinese manufacturers in these areas are seeing a larger gap between the world's leading manufacturers are widening trend. How to moving steadily on the existing basis and gradually narrow the gap is a great challenge to the viability of SMIC, HuaHong, Huali Microelectronics represented continent foundries.
Table 1.   Top 10 pure wafer foundries in 2016 (million dollars).
RankCompanyLocationSalesMarket shareGrowth rate
1TSMCTaiwan, China2948859%11%
2Global FoundriesUSA554511%10%
3UMCTaiwan, China45829%3%
5Power chipTaiwan, China12753%1%
6Tower jazzIsrael1242%36%
7VISTaiwan, China8001%9%
9Dongbu HiTekSouth Korea6721%13%
The global wafer industry has steadily increased and the industry is concentrated. ICInsight expects the pure wafer replacement plant to be 7.5% a year from 2016 to 2021. Compound growth of 6 percent rose from $50 billion in 2016 to $72.1 billion in 2021. The concentration pure-wafer foundry industry is very high, and the top four pure wafer-generation plants account for 85% of the global share, of which the TSMC has a market share of nearly 60%. Based on the threshold of high technology and high investment in wafer contract industry, it can be inferred that the pattern of wafer contract industry will not change much in the short term, but SMIC may be the fastest growing foundry in the near future.
Compared with the international giants, it still takes a long time to catch up for the domestic top three. From the perspective of the mainland market, because of the rise of the domestic market, especially the rapid development of the design company, the sales of the pure fabs in the country are growing rapidly. According to ICInsight, the mainland wafer contract industry market reached $7 billion in 2017, a jump of 16 percent from a year earlier, significantly higher than the global average. TSMC is still a dominant family, accounting for as much as 47%.
Table 2.   Major pure wafer foundries in China market forecast (million dollars).
Company2017 salesShare of the mainland marketPercentage of company sales
Global Foundries4757%8%
HLMC(Shanghai huali)2353%45%
Global Foundries4757%8%
HLMC(Shanghai huali)2353%45%
The domestic advanced process falls behind by more than two generations. Semiconductor manufacturing market concentration keeps on climbing, only giants can continue to develop and promote the development of technology. The 28-14 nm process node of the global integrated circuit industry is mature, and the 14/10 nm process has entered mass production, and Intel, Samsung and TSMC have announced that the sub-10nm chip production has been realized, and the production line of 7 nm and 5 nm is prepared to continue to invest. However, the domestic 28nm process only achieved mass production in 2015, and 28nm is still the main process.

Figure 1.   The concentration of wafer manufacturing is increasing.

Figure 2.   2016 global wafer capacity structure.
The most advanced manufacturing process of the local fab is still in the 28 nm Poly/SiON scheme, although it has achieved good results in the 28-nm revenue-making ratio and the 28-nm-HKMG mass-production process. SMIC is the leader of domestic pure wafer manufacturing plants. SMIC has a considerable comparative advantage in the traditional process (≥ 40nm) and actively expands the field of 28nm, but the biggest obstacle is the lack of yield of 28nm and the production of 14nm. Once a breakthrough is made in the next 6 months, it will open up a broader space for the company, and the corresponding expansion and rhythm will be greatly improved. Liang Mengsong joined SMIC as a joint CEO, greatly improving the certainty of the key process. Liang Mengsong was the technical core figure of TSMC and Samsung in his early years. Each node of TSMC's 130nm and Samsung 45/32/28nm has Liang's outstanding contribution. Liang leads the 14nm research and development, effectively integrating the existing resources of SMIC, speeding up the process 14nm development. On the other hand, the synchronous landing layout of foreign manufacturers such as TSMC (Nanjing), UMC (Xiamen) and Global Foundries (Chengdu) will further aggravate the competition with the local manufacturers in the advanced process.
Table 3.   Important manufacturer manufacturing node technology roadmap.
Intel22nm14 nm10 nm
SAMSUNG28 nm20 nm14 nm
TSMC28 nm20 nm16 nm10 nm7 nm5 nm
Global Foundries32 nm28 nm14 nm10 nm
UMC28 nm14 nm
SMIC40 nm28 nm
Table 4.   SMIC process technology layout and product portfolio.
0.13 μmACAAA
0.15 μmAAA
0.25 μmAA
0.35 μmAAAAAAA
2.12.Memory Top Two: Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., Ltd. (YMTC) and ChangXin Memory Technologies, Inc. (CXMT)
In 2017 China is the payer both for DRAM and NAND flash, and the current domestic supply rate is still zero. At present, the 12-inch wafer factories used to specialize in memory production in mainland China are mainly foreign-funded enterprises, including SK Hercules (Wuxi), Samsung (Xi'an) and Intel (Dalian). The local storage project has just started, and the production line is still under construction, including Wuhan Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., Ltd. (YMTC) and Hefei ChangXin Memory Technologies, Inc. (CXMT).
Table 5.   Memory fabs in mainland China.
Complete builtSK HynixHC1WuxiDRAM100
IntelFAB68DalianNAND Flash40
YMTCFAB 1WuhanNor Flash25
BuildingJHICCFAB 1JinjiangDRAM60
Ready to buildUNISFAB NJNanjingNAND、DRAM100
YMTC was established by UNIS in cooperation with Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.(XMC), with an initial investment of more than 60 billion yuan and an additional investment of 30 billion dollars in the future. The national memory base project was started at the end of 2016. In 2017 February, the 32-layer 3D NAND chip, developed jointly with the Institute of Microelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, successfully passed through the test, and a number of 3D NAND patents have been granted, which is expected to be put into operation at the end of 2018. It is expected that the production capacity will reach up to 300,000 wafers by 2020. UNIS also plans to invest in Chengdu and Shenzhen two NAND Flash 12-inch production lines with a total capacity of 140,000 per month. However, UNIS's NAND Flash process node is still one generation behind overseas. At present, the focus of YMTC is on the development of 3D NAND flash, and it is also promoting the DRAM development of 20/18nm. The progress of DRAM is slower than that of NAND FLASH, and is expected to reach mass production as soon as 2020.

Figure 3.   Process node for NAND flash. Courtesy of TechInsights.
ChangXin Memory Technologies, Inc. (CXMT) was founded according to the agreement signed between GigaDevice, SMIC former CEO Wang Ningguo and Hefei Production Investment, the project budget is 18 billion yuan. GigaDevice is responsible for the development for the 12-inch 19nm mobile DRAM process by the end of 2018, with a product yield of not less than 10%. ChangXin Memory Technologies has become the first independent large-scale DRAM factory in China, and will be the fourth company in the world to break through the DRAM production technology below 20nm.
Table 6.   Important manufacturer's process node technology route.
According to statistics data, there are 22 mainstream fabs in the mainland China, including 13 8-inch fabs and 9 12-inch fabs. On top of that, more than 10 fabs are under construction, including 3 8-inch fabs and 10 12-inch fabs.
We would like to extend appreciation to the graduate students: Weichen Liu, Tianyang Gai, Cheng Guo, Pengzheng Gao from the Institute of Microelectronics of Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMECAS) and Lei Qu, Xiaoting Li from North China University of Technology for their contribution of contents.
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Published: June 28, 2019 (Versions3
Journal of Microelectronic Manufacturing