SMIC and Qualcomm collaborate on 28nm wafer production in China

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation and Qualcomm Incorporated, have announced that SMIC and Qualcomm Technologies are working together in connection with 28nm process technology and wafer manufacturing services in China to manufacture Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon processors are purpose built for mobile devices. SMIC is one of China’s largest and most advanced semiconductor foundries, and Qualcomm Technologies is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor vendors and a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. This collaboration will help accelerate SMIC’s 28nm process maturity and capacity, and will also make SMIC one of the first semiconductor foundries in China to offer production locally for some of Qualcomm Technologies’ latest Snapdragon processors on 28nm node, both PolySiON (PS) and high-K dielectrics metal gate (HKMG).

Previously, SMIC has supported Qualcomm Technologies on power management, wireless and connectivity related IC products at various process nodes. With this new collaboration involving 28nm technology and wafer manufacturing services, SMIC is further strengthening its strategic relationship with Qualcomm Technologies. SMIC will work with Qualcomm Technologies in bringing new 28nm design-ins and products for the growing mobile communication industry. Going forward, SMIC will also extend its technology offerings on 3DIC and RF front-end wafer manufacturing in support of Qualcomm Technologies as its Snapdragon product portfolio continues to expand.

“We are delighted to enter this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies since this marks a significant milestone on the readiness and competitiveness of SMIC’s 28nm process technologies,” said Dr. Tzu-Yin Chiu, chief executive officer and executive director, SMIC. “This step forward demonstrates SMIC’s capabilities and commitments on bringing up the needed advanced node technologies for addressing customers’ demands and product roadmaps. With Qualcomm Technologies’ support, we are confident that our 28nm technologies will become one of the most important growth drivers for the company. We expect that the 28nm product life cycle longevity will exceed previous nodes, which will help better position SMIC to service the needs of Qualcomm Technologies, as well as others.”

“SMIC is an important supplier to Qualcomm Technologies, and we are pleased to be working with SMIC, whose capabilities and technology offerings are growing to meet our demanding product needs,” said Murthy Renduchintala, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and co-president, QCT. “We look forward to working with SMIC on bringing up its 28nm production in China and executing on our regional supply chain strategy. With SMIC becoming a more important supplier in our global operations, this collaboration will help further our manufacturing footprint and services in China, one of the world’s largest mobile consumer opportunities.”


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One thought on “SMIC and Qualcomm collaborate on 28nm wafer production in China

  1. Zvi Or-Bach

    A Potential Disruptive Change for the Semi Industry
    The following comment is subjective speculative and hopefully provocative. This SMIC -Qualcomm announcement could be a beginning of pivotal change for the semiconductor industry. In my recent article, “Moore’s Law has stopped at 28nm!” we have point out that dimension scaling beyond 28nm would not provide reduction of SoC cost and accordingly 28 nm could the preferred node for many years.. And recently we reported that the industry logic-SOC leader – “Qualcomm: Scaling down is not cost-economic anymore – so we are looking at true monolithic 3D”. Quoting: “One of the biggest problems is cost. We are very cost sensitive. Moore’s Law has been great. Now, although we are still scaling down it’s not cost-economic anymore. It’s creating a big problem for us,”. This announcement state that SMIC will bring to the market monolithic 3D for Qualcomm. Quoting “Going forward, SMIC will also extend its technology offerings on 3DIC and RF front-end wafer manufacturing in support of Qualcomm Technologies.”
    As the value of the more advance node is diminishing, this announcement suggest that SMIC is positioning themselves to lead in the next generation technology driver – monolithic 3D. And if the rest of the foundries would ignore it they may find themselves trailing behind SMIC in few years, in what than would be the technology driver. It could turn out to be one more disruptive change in the high-tech industry.


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