SMIC has achieved "rather good" yield rates on its 28nm process, and attracted the attention of Qualcomm already.
Qualcomm willing to be its first 28nm customer, after SMIC has moved its 28nm PolySiON process to volume production.
The outfit will move forward having its 28nm HKMG offering ready for commercial production, Lee said. Clients for SMIC's 28nm HKMG node will include Broadcom and HiSilicon.
Demand for 28nm manufacturing is coming from China's local IC design companies. Many have hinted that they will place orders with SMIC once the foundry moves its 28nm HKMG process to volume production.
This might be the reason that TSMC is planning to set up 12-inch production lines in China. TSMC is a very strong competitor to SMIC. SMIC will have to work harder to catch up.
In June 2015, SMIC announced that the foundry would jointly develop its 14nm FinFET process with Huawei, Qualcomm and nano-electronics research institute Imec. Imec has already appointed a team to work with SMIC at the China foundry's fabs.
Risk production of chips built using SMIC's 14nm FinFET process could take place as early as 2018, Lee noted.
In addition, acknowledging rapid demand growth for MEMS sensors, SMIC will be ready to offer a complete solution for the manufacture of MEMS products including microphones, inertial sensors and pressure sensors, Lee said.
SMIC will also expand its offerings for the manufacture of RF/wireless chips, embedded NVM/MCU devices, power management ICs and CMOS image sensors. Demand for these chips is expected to see rapid growth thanks to the Internet of Things, Lee noted.