- China’s remarkable achievement in 5G technology
- The revolutionary Kirin 9000s chip and its significance
- The impact of US restrictions on Huawei
- China’s ambitions in the chip sector
- The buzz surrounding the Huawei Mate 60 Pro’s launch in China
Analysts claim that China has produced a 5G phone with a sophisticated silicon chip at a price that defies expectations due to export restrictions led by the US scale of miniaturization previously believed to be beyond its technological grasp.
The Huawei Mate 60 Pro stands as the epitome of this achievement, fuelled by the revolutionary Kirin 9000s chip, crafted within China’s own Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), a partially state-owned entity, according to the discerning experts at TechInsights.
This chip boasts the distinction of being the inaugural adopter of SMIC’s cutting-edge 7 nanometer (nm) technology, signaling a significant stride in China’s aspirations to cultivate a domestic chip ecosystem, as postulated by the research firm.
Since the year 2019, the United States has imposed severe limitations on Huawei’s access to the essential tools for chip production, particularly those needed for fabricating the most advanced models of mobile devices. Despite its role as a 5G network equipment manufacturer,
Huawei found itself constrained to unveil only limited quantities of genuine 5G smartphones, reliant on stockpiled chips.
Moreover, Huawei encountered international bans on furnishing 5G network equipment to a multitude of nations, including members of the Five Eyes security alliance, due to apprehensions surrounding national security stemming from its associations with the Chinese government.
In response, Huawei has taken legal action by initiating a lawsuit in a Lisbon court, contesting its exclusion from the utilization of its equipment in 5G mobile networks by local operators.
Dan Hutcheson, a TechInsights analyst, expressed that this latest development could be perceived as a ‘reproach’ directed at the United States.
Historically, SMIC was recognized for producing chips with a larger scale, specifically 14nm, attributed to Washington’s embargo against the company in late 2020, which prevented the acquisition of vital machinery from Dutch firm ASML.
Nonetheless, TechInsights posited in the year 2022 that SMIC may have accomplished the fabrication of 7nm chips through adaptations of more straightforward machinery that could still be freely procured from ASML.
However, certain research institutions have predicted that the yield of usable 7nm chips manufactured through this method could fall short, potentially amounting to only 50% or even fewer, in stark contrast to the industry’s customary rate of 90% or more, a development that may curtail the availability of corresponding smartphones.
Beyond the borders of China, the most superior 7nm chips are forged using an intricate process known as extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), a closely guarded technological domain in which the United States remains a vanguard, adamantly resisting any attempts by Beijing to gain access.
As underscored by Doug Fuller, a chip researcher affiliated with the Copenhagen Business School, “The [US] controls are imposing high costs for producing controlled technologies in China,” while also intimating that the Chinese government is likely underwriting these expenses.
China is on the brink of launching a state-backed investment fund with a lofty target of amassing approximately $40 billion to bolster its semiconductor sector. China’s bold plan to close the technical gap between itself and the United States and its rivals globally includes this tactical approach as a crucial
Huawei started selling its Huawei Mate 60 Pro smartphone. While the specifications spotlight its capacity for making satellite calls, conspicuously absent are details concerning the potency of the chipset nestled within.
Chinese purchasers of the phone have taken to social media, sharing teardown videos and conducting speed assessments that suggest the Mate 60 Pro may outpace the download speeds of top-tier 5G smartphones.
The phone’s launch on Chinese soil triggered a fervent buzz among denizens of social media and state-run outlets, with some observers noting the fortuitous timing coinciding with the visit of the US commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo.
Certain analysts speculate that Huawei may have procured the necessary technology and equipment from SMIC for chip production, potentially eliminating the need for collaborative efforts.”