Difficulties in getting parts and materials from abroad were cited.
“Our mainstay lithography machines are 90 nanometer models. Our 28 nm and 14 nm models have room for improvement in terms of yield rates,” said an engineer from Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment, about the only Chinese maker of lithography machines.
The Nikkei surveyed over 20 manufacturers from mainland China.
Etching equipment supplier, Beijing E-Town Semiconductor Technology, said it produced mainly 40 nm systems and some 28 nm systems.
Another etch specialist Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment (AMEC), said, “We are supplying machines for 5 nm, but we sell mostly for 14 nm and 28 nm.” AMEC was the only company producing machines for the 5nm generation. The other companies were addressing 14nm or older nodes.
At SMIC, China’s top foundry, 14nm and 28nm chips accounted for 5% of its sales in Q4 2020, down from 14.6% in Q3.