[News] Reports of SMEE Successfully Developing 28nm Lithography Machine, Original Source Deleted Shortly After

2023-12-22 Semiconductors editor

One of the shareholders of Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment Group (SMEE), Zhangjiang Group, recently posted on WeChat, claiming that SMEE had successfully developed a 28nm lithography machine. However, the mentioned text was deleted shortly thereafter.

According to reports from Bloomberg and HK01, recently, Zhangjiang Group posted on the WeChat public account “Hello Zhangjiang,” stating, “As the only domestic enterprise mastering photolithography machine technology, SMEE has successfully developed a 28nm lithography machine.”

However, shortly afterward, the text was modified to “As the only domestic enterprise mastering photolithography machine technology, SMEE is committed to developing advanced lithography machines.”

Reportedly, the lithography machine developed by SMEE is named SSA/800-10W, representing a significant breakthrough for the company.

Tom’s Hardware indicated that SMEE’s successful development of 28nm lithography machine signifies ‘a major leap in China’s quest to close the technological gap in the global chip industry’. However, it is currently unclear when SMEE will be able to mass-produce these devices.

Additionally, the deletion of the information raises questions about the success of mass production once again.

The report further indicates that TSMC has been using 28nm process since 2011, and SMIC adopted it in 2015. Both companies chose equipment from ASML to manufacture chips.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce blacklisted SMEE. Since then, SMEE has been seen as China’s best hope for pursuing the development of advanced manufacturing processes.

The existing SSA600 series from the company can utilize 90nm, 110nm, and 280nm process. The latest equipment from the company is expected to narrow the gap with ASML, potentially reducing the initial lag of at least 20 years.

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(Photo credit: SMEE)

Please note that this article cites information from BloombergHK01 and Tom’s Hardware