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October 14, 2016

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SMIC set to invest US$10b in wafer plant

SEMICONDUCTOR Manufacturing International Corp will invest US$10 billion in a new 12-inch wafer plant in Shanghai, the most advanced chip manufacturing technology in the integrated circuit industry, the company said yesterday.

The entire project, including the 67.5 billion yuan (US$10 billion) new 12-inch wafer line and related industries, will cost more than 100 billion yuan, said officials of SMIC, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Shanghai city government attending the ground-breaking ceremony yesterday in the Pudong New Area.

The new wafer plant, with a monthly capacity of 70,000 units when fully operated, is expected to meet surging domestic demand in the integrated circuit market, the Chinese mainland’s biggest made-to-order chip maker said.

The wafer plant will produce highly advanced chips that are widely used in smartphones, TVs, automotives and other devices.

China aims to invest US$100 billion in its semiconductor industry over the next few years, research firm Bain said in a previous report.

By 2020, 55 percent of the world’s memory, logic and analog chips are destined to flow to or through China. The country only produces about 15 percent of these chips, up from about 10 percent a few years ago. But the higher production is still not sufficient to narrow the gap between supply and demand, Bain said.


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