Domestic and foreign troubles, SMIC International Night “winter”?

On December 15, the 74 year old former COO of TSMC, Jiang Shangyi, returned to SMIC. However, at the board of directors announced by SMIC, Liang Mengsong, 68, the current co CEO of SMIC, had no reason to abstain and submitted his written resignation. All of a sudden, discussions about SMIC’s “battle between Jiang and Liang” came and went one after another. < / P > < p > in an interview with China business daily, a number of semiconductor industry insiders said that in fact, for the company, it is a simple personnel change, but the process is somewhat dramatic, but it is time for SMIC to seek change. < / P > < p > “semiconductor industry veteran, industry legend, technology maniac”, Liang Mengsong is known by the industry as countless names, but whether he is blind to talent or cut off by others, his fate always seems to be playing a similar joke with him, because it is always him who leaves. < p > < p > in his early years, Liang Mengsong worked in AMD, an American chip giant. In 1992, at the age of 40, he left the United States and returned to Taiwan, where he joined TSMC as an engineer and senior director of R & D. And in 2003, it became famous in the battle with IBM 130 nm copper process. In this “battle”, it was Jiang Shangyi who fought side by side with him. < / P > < p > JIANG Shangyi joined TSMC a little later than liang Mengsong. However, his position is the immediate supervisor of Liang Mengsong. He is the COO of TSMC and the top R & D director of TSMC. During his 17 years in office, Liang Mengsong had a bad time. In 2009, Liang Mengsong “left angrily”, and then joined Samsung in South Korea for chip research and development, and led the team to make Samsung surpass TSMC in 14nm chip technology for a time. And successfully snatched the orders of Apple A9 processor and Qualcomm from TSMC, making TSMC’s share price plummet. At the end of 2011, TSMC launched a lawsuit against Liang Mengsong on the ground of disclosing the company’s secrets, and Liang Mengsong lost the lawsuit, and was required not to serve Samsung or continue to provide any services in other ways before December 31, 2015. In November 2017, when the contract between Liang Mengsong and Samsung expired, Liang Mengsong was invited to join SMIC by Zhou Xueli. At the beginning of Liang Mengsong’s joining, SMIC still stayed at 28nm, far away from TSMC’s mass production of 10nm chips. During his tenure in SMIC, Liang Mengsong has been committed to the research and development of advanced manufacturing process. It can be seen from Liang Mengsong’s resignation. “In the more than three years since I joined the club, I have almost never taken a vacation in the more than 1000 days. Even in June 2019, when I am experiencing the most dangerous moment in my life, I have never given up and failed to live up to your instructions. During this period, I worked hard to complete the technology development from 28nm to 7Nm, a total of five generations. This is a task that most companies need more than 10 years to accomplish. ” < / P > < p > for the personnel changes of SMIC, an industry insider told reporters that Liang Mengsong’s achievements can not be denied. He has made great achievements in focusing SMIC’s strategic power on advanced manufacturing to the maximum extent. But the outside world has some elements of imagination, imagining that a God and man, with their own efforts, has brought about technological breakthroughs. This is actually not in line with the facts. This is the work of thousands of engineers, and it will continue. “SMIC international is a big platform, not only relying on one or two people,” said the company. When the founder of Zhang Rujing left, SMIC did not fail; when Qiu Ciyun left, SMIC also moved forward; conversely, when a company places its hopes on one or two people, it is the most dangerous; China’s stage is big, and it is not only SMIC. Yang shining left to store in the Yangtze River, and Qiu Ciyun left SMIC to create a new glory in Shanghai silicon. They have also made greater contributions to the industry in their respective fields. If Liang Mengsong leaves, he believes that he will meet a good platform in the future to give full play to his expertise. ” < / P > < p > maybe for the general public, years later, the turmoil of SMIC’s senior executives is just after dinner, but for the current SMIC, it is a process of seeking change and survival. < / P > < p > SMIC has always been regarded as the leading manufacturer of chip manufacturing process in China. Although it has more advanced process than the global industry leader in mass production, it still has a certain gap with the industry leader in process, but it has been committed to the pursuit of advanced process research and development. < / P > < p > it is understood that its 14nm entered mass production in the fourth quarter of last year, and the yield rate has reached the level of mass production in the industry. The second generation of advanced technology n + 1 is steadily advancing, and N + 1 is doing customer product verification. At present, it has entered small-scale trial production, and the product application is mainly high-performance computing. However, it seems out of time to pursue advanced manufacturing process. < / P > < p > on December 18, 2020, the US Department of Commerce announced that SMIC international, a Chinese chip manufacturer, was included in the “entity list” on the ground of “violating the interests of US national security or foreign policy”, which means that the raw materials and equipment needed by SMIC to produce chips below 10nm are not approved for export by the US in principle. < / P > < p > in this regard, SMIC admitted that it has a significant adverse impact on the R & D and capacity construction of its advanced processes of 10nm and below. SMIC explained that the US Department of Commerce will adopt a “presumed refusal” approval policy for products or technologies used for 10nm and below technology nodes (including extreme ultraviolet technology); at the same time, the company may also be limited in providing OEM services for some special customers. < / P > < p > the above industry insiders said that for SMIC, survival is the most important. Recently, it has been added to the list of entities, facing a major supply chain security problem. I believe that R & D investment will only increase, but the importance of the most advanced manufacturing process may change. < p > < p > according to SMIC research, in the context of the Sino US science and technology war, the semiconductor industry has been seriously disturbed by politics, and SMIC international has been blacklisted by the United States, which has seriously affected its purchase of relevant equipment and materials. It is well known to the outside world that the EUV photoresist for 7Nm can not be purchased. In fact, the actual situation is far more severe than the spread – not only the photoresist, but also the purchase of other related equipment for advanced technology is also limited. Sharp tools make good work. In this context, it is neither realistic nor scientific for SMIC to stick to the single point breakthrough of advanced technology. < p > < p > xinmou research believes that technological breakthrough must be aimed at mass production, and product development should be aimed at market demands and customer needs. Different from SMIC’s all in advanced technology, China’s IC design industry has been booming in recent years, especially the demand for mature technology has soared, and SMIC also needs to change. < / P > < p > Disclaimer: the purpose of this article reprinted by CNFC is to convey more information, and it does not represent the opinions and positions of CNFC. The content of this article is for reference only, and does not constitute an investment proposal. Investors operate on this basis at their own risk. < p > < p > Chinanet is a state key news website under the leadership of the Information Office of the State Council and the management of China foreign language publishing and Distribution Bureau. Through 11 versions in 10 languages, the website publishes information 24 hours a day. It is an important window for China to carry out international communication and information exchange.