What does the mass production of the world's first 7-nanometer chip mean? What is the significance of the Chinese chip industry?
A person in the semiconductor industry said that Jia Nan's 7-nanometer chip can be said to be leading in chip design for special applications, but the complexity is far too far compared with Qualcomm chips and even Hisilicon chips.
Let's first look at what is a 7nm chip.
The so-called 7-nanometer chip refers to the line width of the chip process is 7 nm. How small is 7 nanometers? A hair has a diameter of about 0.1 mm, and 7 nanometers is equivalent to one ten thousandth of the hair.
The development of the chip industry follows Moore's Law. Moore's Law believes that the number of transistors on a chip will double every 18-24 months, and the performance of the chip will double every two years. For the chip manufacturing process, the smaller the line width, the more difficult it is. The most advanced process is 7 nanometers of TSMC. TSMC is also the only manufacturer to mass produce 7-nanometer chips. The most advanced technology of Samsung's chip factory is 10 nanometers. Intel's 10 nanometer process ticket has not yet been mass-produced.
Apple's new generation of chips, Huawei's new generation of chips will use 7-nanometer process, and will be handed over to TSMC current sheet manufacturing. However, Apple and HiSilicon's 7-nanometer chips have not yet been mass-produced, and Jianan's 7-nanometer chips have taken the lead in mass production.
On August 8th, Mr. Tu Songhua, Director of Public Affairs Department of Jianan Zhizhi said at the press conference: "The world's first 7-nanometer chip was successfully developed and mass-produced. This is not only a chip in the blockchain, but also the first 7 nanometer in semiconductor. The chip is mass-produced earlier than Apple, Intel, Huawei, etc."
From the point of view, it is indeed earlier than the giants such as Apple, Intel, Huawei, etc., but the manufacturing difficulty is completely incomparable.
Chen Guanglei, secretary general of the Zhejiang Semiconductor Industry Association, said in an interview with the media: "General-purpose chips produced by giants such as Apple, Huawei, and Qualcomm must meet the comprehensive performance, make development more difficult, have higher input costs, and have longer development cycles. The performance requirements of dedicated chips are much simpler, and design and production are relatively simple."
According to the above-mentioned semiconductor industry, Jianan's 7-nanometer chip is used for single-repetition calculation on the mining machine. Therefore, the design should be simpler. "How many functions do you need in a mobile phone chip? Putting it in a small chip, the design is much more difficult."
However, Tu Songhua said that the first mass production of advanced processes is originally required to be led by a purely specialized chip. "In the past, it was a memory chip, and later an FPGA. Now it is a mining chip and a TPU, and the importance of the first mass production. It is to prove that the yield of logic transistors has reached mass production, which is a very important indicator for the fab (TSMC)."
Chen Guanglei also believes that a company designed and developed a 7-nanometer integrated circuit can still reflect its technical level. "Under normal circumstances, 7-nanometer chips can only be designed and produced by large-scale enterprises. Now small enterprises in Zhejiang can also do it. The meaning."
As a mining chip maker, Jianan's 7-nanometer chip will be used in the blockchain supercomputing device "Avalon" A9, which calculates and acquires digital assets in the blockchain network - " Bitcoin". "Bitcoin" as a virtual currency, people carry out repeated calculations through computer hardware, people also call computing equipment "mining machine", the whole calculation process is "mining".
Since the price of bitcoin has fallen this year, “mining” has become more and more sluggish, and some people have heard about the news of “mining”. Mainly because the "mining machine" consumes a lot of electricity during "mining", this part of the cost becomes a burden, and the difficulty of mining is getting higher and higher.
Therefore, the development of more energy-efficient and more powerful mining machines is urgent for the “mining” industry. According to reports, Jia Nan Zhi Zhi 7 nanometer chip has the highest computing power density, lower cost and greater capacity, low power consumption, high temperature resistance and high yield.
"Jia Nan Zhizhi is still very professional in the field of mining machine chips, and their chip computing power is the first." The semiconductor industry said.
It is generally understood that the entire chip industry chain includes four major links: design, manufacturing, packaging, and testing. In addition, it also derives related supporting industries including integrated circuit equipment manufacturing and key material production.
In this industry chain, Tianfeng Securities' research report pointed out that in the field of chip design integration, China's integration capability should belong to the world's advanced level. The top two companies in the domestic chip design (Haisi and Ziguang Zhan Rui) entered the top ten in the global design industry.
However, in the basic fields of chip manufacturing technology, integrated circuit equipment manufacturing, and key material production, there is still a big gap with the world's advanced level.