China’s 7 Nanometer Chip is a Basic, Simple and Small Chip

China 7 nanometer bitcoin miner chip is low-volume production product that is a chip to learn to make true 7nm process according to TechInsitghts. The MinerVa Bitcoin mining chip is basic, simple and small measures only 4.6 x 4.2 mm, implying that SMIC is still in the early stages of chip development. they also appear to have reverse engineered the 7 nanometer TSMC (Taiwan semiconductor process). SMIC uses scaled logic and memory bitcells. Bbitcoin miners have limited RAM requirements, they likely do not feature the typical bitcell memory that the true 7nm technology definition requires (both scaled logic and bitcell adoption). This chipset likely demonstrates the logic part but not the bitcell aspect.

All the major chip foundries manufactured technology at 7nm without EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet lasers). Variants on the 7nm node saw significant complexity (and likely cost) reductions with the introduction of EUV. SMIC will not be able to access EUV because of import restrictions. China in the near-to medium term and will continue to evolve the 7nm node without EUV capability, at the cost of increasing complexity (and resulting yield issues).

China will not be able to sell the chips outside China without legal challenges from TSMC. However, chinese advanced product companies who have been unable to get advanced technologies available from TSMC, Samsung and other cutting-edge foundry service providers will use SMIC 7nm chips.

TSMC, Samsung are still the chip leaders and two nodes ahead. Intel is catching up and is also working on the same level of technology as TSMC and Samsung but need to deploy commercially at 5nm and 3nm the advanced nodes.

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