ST process technology is base for Chang's next Chinese foundry

February 24, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
ST process technology is base for Chang's next Chinese foundry
A startup company formed by semiconductor veteran Richard Chang – the founder and first CEO of SMIC – is using manufacturing process technology from STMicroelectronics NV to enter the market.

The company, SiEn (QingDao) Integrated Circuits Co. Ltd. (QingDao, Shandong, China), was formed in 2018 and announced at the end of that year that it had signed a technology licensing agreement with European semiconductor manufacturers, but did not disclose names.

The startup foundry claims to have 15 billion RMB (about US$2.1 billion) in total investment. The first stage investment is around 7.8 billion RMB (about US$1.1 billion). The project's target is to build 200mm and 300mm wafer fabs and a photomask shop.

In a statement issued by Weebit Nano Ltd. (Hod Hashaeon, Israel) on Monday Feb 24, 2020 to announce collaboration between it and SiEn on non-volatile memory, SiEn's Chang is quoted saying: "Our production line will be based on STMicroelectronic technology, similar to that used by Leti, making the technology transfer simpler." Weebit has close collaboration with Leti on the development of its silicon-oxide based ReRAM (see Second Chinese chipmaker signs up for Weebit's ReRAM).

The SiEn website reveals some more about the company and its philosophy. It reckons that over the next two or three years the company will be making almost every type of electronic circuit on a variety of manufacturing process nodes from 180-micron down to 28nm CMOS.

These circuits could include: logic ICs, DSP, FPGAs, SoCs, MCUs, embedded MCUs, PMICs, driver ICs, specialty memory, power MOSFETs and IGBTs, analog ICs, MEMS and CMOS image sensors.

ST was approached for a comment on what process modules, foundation IP or higher order IP it was providing to SiEn.

SiEn also claims to be China s first semiconductor company based on a Commune IDM (CIDM) model and had a plan to begin manufacturing by the end of 2019.

Next: The Communards

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