China's chip breakthrough poses strategic dilemma

How much time and money will SMIC sink into producing its new semiconductor at scale?

SMIC has been open about its quest for 7nm technology. PHOTO: REUTERS
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(FINANCIAL TIMES) - A breakthrough by China's largest chipmaker revealed last month triggered a gasp of surprise among observers outside the industry. But the move by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) to start shipping advanced "7 nanometre" semiconductors had only been a matter of time.

The more interesting question now is how much time and money the company is willing to sink into producing them at scale using a method their international rivals have abandoned for a more efficient one.

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