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Core technology to help the first SMIC International "N 1" process chip flow chip success

via:CnBeta     time:2020/10/12 2:12:07     readed:474

On October 11, according to Zhuhai Special Economic Zone Daily, Xindong technology, a leading one-stop IP and customized chip leader in China, announced that the company has completed the world's first chip assembly and test based on SMIC international FinFET n + 1 advanced technology. All IP products are home-made and their functions have passed one-time test, making new contributions to the domestic semiconductor ecological chain.


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As we all know, SMIC is currently the largest and most advanced IC chip manufacturing enterprise in mainland China. The so-called "n + 1" process is the code name of SMIC's second generation advanced process after the first generation of advanced technology 14nm mass production. According to information previously released by SMIC co CEO Liang Mengsong Bo, the performance of N + 1 process is improved by 20%, power consumption is reduced by 57%, logic area is reduced by 63%, and SOC area is reduced by 55% compared with the existing 14nm process. From the data of logic area reduction, it is similar to 7Nm process.

Dr. Liang Mengsong also said that the N + 1 generation process is very similar to the 7Nm process in power consumption and stability, but the performance is lower (the industry standard is increased by 35%), so SMIC's N + 1 process is mainly for low-power applications. After n + 1, SMIC will also have n + 2. These two processes have similar performance in power consumption, but the difference lies in performance and cost. N + 2 is obviously oriented to high performance, and the cost will increase.

In the financial report of the first half of 2020, SMIC said that the second generation advanced process (n + 1) was progressing smoothly and had entered the stage of customer product validation. Subsequently, in late September this year, SMIC again responded that the company's second-generation FinFET n + 1 process has entered the customer introduction stage, and is expected to trial produce in small batches by the end of 2020.

According to the report of Zhuhai Special Zone News, SMIC is the first customer of SMIC's N + 1 process, and is expected to trial produce by the end of the year. However, the report did not give a specific introduction to the chip. On the official website of Xindong technology, xinzhixun did not find relevant information.

Zhuhai Special Zone News reported that in December 2019, core microelectronics technology (Zhuhai) Co., Ltd., jointly invested by Zhuhai dahengqin group and others, officially launched Hengqin and established "one stop IP and customized mass production center of China's advanced semiconductors" to promote the development of high intelligent chip industry cluster in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Based on Zhuhai. Since 2019, when SMIC's "n + 1" process is still in its infancy, the technology team has overcome difficulties and invested tens of millions of yuan to optimize the design. After months of continuous and multiple rounds of test iterations, the first chip based on SMIC's "n + 1" process has successfully helped SMIC break through the yield bottleneck of "n + 1" process, so as to achieve a large scale Large scale production has taken a solid step.

What is the holy place of core motion technology?

According to Tianyan data, Xindong microelectronics technology (Zhuhai) Co., Ltd. was established in November 2019 with a registered capital of 105.263157 million yuan. Both the legal representative and the controlling shareholder are Aohai, holding 42.75% of the shares. At the same time, Aohai is also the controlling shareholder of Suzhou Xindong Technology Co., Ltd., holding 95%. Both of them are affiliated companies of Wuhan Xindong Technology Co., Ltd., which was established in 2006. Aohai is also the general manager of Wuhan Xindong Technology Co., Ltd. According to the data, Aohai has 15 years of experience in the comprehensive R & D and management of high-end chips in North America. It is an expert introduced by the national thousand talents program and has a number of invention patents.


Ao Hai, CEO of core technology

According to Tianyan data, Wuhan Xindong technology was established in July 2006 with a registered capital of 10 million yuan. The controlling shareholder is Ao Jikang, holding 94.8% of the shares. Another shareholder is Chen Jianbing, holding 5.2%. The company's core team is also two people, aojikang and aogang. Among them, Ao Jikang is the executive director and general manager, and also the executive director of Wuhan Optical Valley integrated circuit intellectual property R & D Promotion Center Co., Ltd. Ao Gang is vice president. He is a visiting scholar at State University of New York and one of the top ten outstanding returned students in Wuhan.

According to a report by jingchu.com in 2016, according to Ao Hai, then the general manager of Wuhan Xindong Technology Co., Ltd., Wuhan Xindong technology was founded by four young scientists returning from Silicon Valley. Therefore, we can guess that these four men should be ao Hai, Ao Jikang, Ao gang and Chen Jianbing.

Innosilicon is a high-end hybrid circuit chip design company with design teams in China and North America, according to the introduction on its official website. It has R & D centers in Wuhan East Lake high tech Zone, Xi'an hi tech Development Zone, Suzhou Industrial Park and Ningbo core space, and has offices in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Silicon Valley and Toronto.

According to the data, the core technology was initially used as an optical communication chip, and then transformed into a bitcoin mining machine chip. It launched a number of mining machine chips (for example, innosilicon T2 with 10 nm process, with 17.2th/s computing power and 91W / ths per unit power consumption) and achieved success. It once competed positively with mining machine manufacturers such as bitland, Jianan technology and Yibang international. After bitcoin mining machine market was cold, it began to turn to other IP and custom chip development, and achieved good results.

According to official data, in 2018, core technology took the lead in overcoming the top difficulty gddr6 high bandwidth data bottleneck in the world, and mass produced the encryption computing GPU with leading performance; it took the lead in mastering the low-power computing technology with near threshold voltage below 0.35v, and launched the Chinese standard innolink in 2020 Chiplet high performance computing platform (CPU / GPU / NPU) has customized a number of chips on various FinFET advanced technologies, and all of them have been successfully loaded at one time. In June this year, SMIC announced that a number of high-performance domestic independent controllable high-speed interface IP based on SMIC's 14nm process had been successfully verified in the mainstream SOC products of domestic customers and entered commercial mass production.

Disputes between core technology and Changdian Technology

It is worth mentioning that in April of this year, core technology sued Changdian technology for a claim of US $25 million (about RMB 175 million), which attracted wide attention both inside and outside the industry.

According to the announcement of Changdian science and Technology Co., Ltd., Xindong company has entrusted Xingke Jinpeng, a holding subsidiary of Changdian technology, to provide chip packaging services for its bitcoin miner chip since August 2017. By the end of March 2018, Xindong company should pay about $8 million for packaging and testing services of Xingke Jinpeng. By June 2018, the service fee payable increased to $13.25 million. However, the company refused to pay the full service fee of US $13.25 million for the reason that the chip quality of Xingke Jinpeng package test was unqualified. In this regard, Changdian technology and its holding subsidiary, Xingke Jinpeng, temporarily withheld the chips and stored wafers handed over to Xingke Jinpeng for packaging and testing.

This lawsuit is exactly the counterattack of the company to Changdian technology. Xindong company sued and claimed that it signed the contract of entrusted chip packaging design and processing with Changdian technology in March 2018, and Changdian technology provided chip packaging services to it. "Due to the unqualified packaging quality, the chip can not work normally, resulting in the loss of incoming material cost of $14151390. In addition, the chip and wafer inventory temporarily detained by Changdian technology also lost US $12864130, a total loss of US $25 million. In accordance with the contract performance disputes of the entrusted chip packaging design and processing contract, Xindong filed a lawsuit with Wuxi intermediate people's court, demanding that Changdian technology compensate for the loss of US $25 million.

In response to the official account of the company's "quality claim" on the long electric technology, on the evening of May 1st, Changdian technology made a positive response through the WeChat public number. It issued a solemn statement saying that after preliminary investigation, the company's alleged commercial fraud was as follows:

(1) Xindong company provided false and forged information to our Singapore subsidiary, Xingke Jinpeng, by exaggerating the registered capital, tampering with the identity information of shareholders, and obtaining the commercial payment credit of Xingke Jinpeng;

(2) Through its deliberate design of complex transaction structure, Xindong company deliberately conducts commercial fraud. The company is registered in the island country of Samoa and opens a settlement account with the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Switch the business entity to Hong Kong Hengtong in the midway, and appoint Hong Kong Hengtong to fulfill the payment obligation, but Hong Kong Hengtong has never paid any payment for goods;

(3) After the so-called "quality problem" was raised for delaying the payment for goods when encountering the operating difficulties in the mining machinery market in March 2018, Xindong company repeatedly avoided rejecting the request of Xingke Jinpeng on stopping production and clarifying quality problems, instead, it proposed to speed up production and shipment, resulting in more than 13 million US dollars in arrears of goods (our company has made provision for bad debt impairment in 2018);

(4) From 2018 to 2019, the business personnel in our company have been communicating with the core motion company in many ways, urging them to pay the long-term arrears to our company. The person in charge of our company actively visited the company and its product assembly production site for many times, verified the packaging samples and provided quality verification reports. It showed that after our company was not responsible for the processing process, the company did not actively cooperate to clarify the problem, instead, it refused to answer the phone call, refused to visit, or negotiated with the premise of deducting payment for goods, and refused to avoid normal and reasonable communication Pass;

(5) After actively trying to communicate without success, our company repeatedly asked Xindong company to carry out a third-party inspection, but failed to get the response and cooperation of the other party. Instead, we searched for the relationship through various personal channels to seek the abnormal business settlement with our company.

Changdian technology said it firmly resisted the commercial fraud and blackmail of Xindong company.

It is worth noting that from 2016 to 2019, core technology was also involved in a lawsuit. EDA giant Synopsys sued Xindong technology for using unauthorized HSPICE, primetime, designcompiler, VCs and iccompiler software. In January this year, Wuhan intermediate people's Court of Hubei Province issued a ruling, requiring core technology to stop infringement, delete computer content related to the above software, and compensate 1 million yuan, 1 million yuan, 1 million yuan, 700 thousand yuan and 5 million yuan respectively, and bear the reasonable expenses paid by Xinsi technology to stop the infringement.

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