back to article One of China’s flagship 7nm foundries falls in a hole as funding flees

One of China’s flagship efforts to accelerate its semiconductor industry is floundering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wuhan Hongxin Project, an effort to create a Chinese-owned 7nm foundry in the city that became the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, started in 2017. But some of the project’s backers have earned …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "published and then took down an assessment of the project that found it has not received around 90 percent of its promised $20bn funding."

    Estimated cost for an operational 12-16nm fab is US$5bn although that's likely the marginal cost of adding the equipment/facilities/people to an existing process/R&D operation so likely significantly underestimates costs for a new entrant.

    The equivalent for a 7-10nm fab is US$20bn.

    I'm not sure this was ever a viable fab at the stated process nodes outside of dreams. More likely it was a 28nm-32nm facility hoping to rapidly evolve but being uncompetitive in a very crowded market.

    1. aki009

      Add in the corruption factor

      If the project was budgeted for $20B, and given China's typical corruption factor that sucks up to 50% of the allotted funds, this thing was only a $10-15B project to begin with. Also, this could be a play for funding from the central government, so the party can continue.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Add in the corruption factor

        If only China had a strong leader who could ban foreign competitors and funnel unlimited public money to favorite projects

  2. John Savard


    If a lot of the most expensive part of the project, the actual equipment to make 7nm chips, is there, but now things have stopped so as to prevent a functioning facility from being built around the equipment... if China is serious about having the ability to make advanced chips itself, I expect the Chinese authorities to make short work of any local dispute that stands in the way of so important a national goal.

    Of course, the possibility is that this project is actually a hoax, a scam, and it's been detected before more than $2 billion was wasted on it. So I presume the Chinese central authorities will investigate that possibility before intervening. But if it isn't a scam, it's unlikely to be allowed to die wastefully.

  3. NeilPost Silver badge


    Obviously a desperate Intel will take this on and sink the money to further compound their woes and inability to make anything as small as TSMC or Samsung can.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022