China to make 5nm chips with SAQP process – Asia Times

China to make 5nm chips with SAQP process - Asia Times

A Beijing-based state-owned company reportedly has begun research into a multiple-patterning technique that can produce 5 nm chips in large quantities. &nbsp,

The South China Morning Post reported on Monday that Naura Technology Group, a Shenzhen-listed company, began research on lithography systems that use a method known as self-aligned quadruple patterning ( SAQP), which can increase a chip’s density and performance.

The bank’s decision to build the SAQP systems was made last December, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The SCMP report was made public after Bloomberg reported on March 22 that SiCarrier, a Shenzhen-based SOE working with Huawei, had been granted a trademark involving SAQP in late 2023. &nbsp,

SiCarrier filed patents for the tech in September 2021, according to Bloomberg, when Naura was even involved in this project.

Some technology experts believe that the SAQP technology is outdated and low-tech, but it may be able to help Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp ( SMIC ) achieve their goal of producing 5nm chips without the use of ASML’s extreme ultraviolet ( EUV) lithography machines. &nbsp, Some people say there is a longer way to go before they succeed.

Washington has requested that the French government stop allowing the import of EUV lithography to China since the technology war that erupted between China and the US in 2019. The US, who owns a number of crucial trademarks for the creation of EUV techniques, has a say in this matter. &nbsp,

From January 1 this year, the Dutch government stopped granting licenses for the shipment to China of ASML’s most advanced deep- ultraviolet ( DUV) immersion lithography systems ( NXT: 2000i, NXT: 2050i and NXT: 2100i and subsequent systems ). &nbsp,

ASML is also banned from selling older DUV printing techniques such as NXT: 1970 and NXT: 1980 to some sanctioned Chinese consumers, according to the French agency’s 2023 annual review. Although Huawei and SMIC are two of the companies that have been sanctioned, they are also able to purchase DUV lithograph from secondary markets.

Xi- Rutte meet

Just a few weeks before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on March 27, the announcement that SiCarrier had been granted a SAQP-related invention had been made.

Xi said that no power can prevent the rate of China’s technological progress. He added that breaking business and supply chains and imposing scientific and technological barriers will only result to division and conflict. He urged the Netherlands to support Chinese businesses in a good and clear business environment. &nbsp,

Zongyun, a writer based in Beijing, claims in an article that using the SAQP method sounds simple but actually is challenging. &nbsp,

He claims that systems giants, including Intel Corp., attempted to use it to mass produce their cards before deciding to stop. &nbsp, &nbsp,

He claims, but, that he thinks Huawei will be able to size create 5nm or smaller chips in the future.

As of now, knowledge about Huawei’s produce and its charges for making 5nm chips has remained accessible.

According to a tech expert, Intel used the SAQP technique to create cards, but it ended up using more photomasks than usual to finish the metallic part because of more cutting. &nbsp,

Brute- power approach

The SAQP method, which involves ball separating, or the department of a design into two or three parts, is known as a brute-force method. &nbsp,

Applying the self-aligned double patterning ( SADP ) twice can achieve the SAQP. &nbsp,

In a SADP method, a pattern of outlines is made on a hard face by photolithography. The second pattern is removed after a separator forms on each part of a line. The spacer therefore serves as the hard mask’s final polishing pattern.

One may think of two fresh trees next to each existing tree in an area as an analogy, and then removes all the old ones. The tree mass in the area has doubled.

According to Alex Tsai, a former senator in Taiwan and PhD owner at Tsinghua University,” Potentially, it needs six rounds of exposure to create 5nm cards with an existing DUV printing system in China,” he stated in an interview with BNE TV, a pro-Beijing Foreign TV channel in New Zealand. ” But the higher the number of risks, the lower the supply of generation”.

” The SAQP method can help improve the offer”, he said. SMIC can use this tech to mass produce 5nm cards.

China hopes to use Canon’s nanoimprint printing to get around the US’ device export ban one day, he added. &nbsp,

Utilizing copies of a king stamp patterned by an e-beam system, nanoimprint printing does not require several layers of positioning.

Read: US weighs restrictions against Huawei’s device system

Observe Jeff Pao on Twitter at&nbsp, @jeffpao3