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17 September 2021
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Chip manufacturer SMIC to venture into crypto mining hardware

  • Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation is looking to raise $2.8 billion in capital. 
  • The firm plans to use the capital to start a production line offering 14nm chips used in crypto miners. 

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is planning to raise $2.8 billion in capital through a listing on Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR Market. SMIC is China’s largest semiconductor fabrication firm. 

The company plans to use the capital to start a production line offering 14nm chips – the standard for processors used in smartphones and crypto miners. SMIC is also joining forces with Canaan to manufacture a crypto miner, details of which remain undisclosed. 

In a bid to offer China’s electronics sector a viable alternative to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), SMIC appears to be stepping up its production capabilities. TSMC has cut off Chinese tech multinational Huawei as a result of US sanctions. Although TSMC is a Taiwanese firm, most of its manufacturing equipment is made in the US, meaning that it needs to comply with US sanctions and export controls. Guangzhou-based GF Securities has published research showing that US firms control 50% of the core process equipment market for Chinese fabs. 

Unlike Huawei, the crypto mining sector is not a target for US tech sanctions. However, broad sanctions against Chinese companies could curb their ability to get critical Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASICs) required for miners.

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