Now deprived of processors for its smartphones, Huawei wants to manufacture its own chips without depending on American technologies. The Chinese giant is said to be on the verge of launching semiconductor production in 2020. Without expertise in the field, it is forced to enter the market through the back door. Its first SoCs would benefit from an engraving fineness of only… 45 nm.
Huawei’s goals are now clear: free yourself from American technologies in all important areas of smartphone production. The company would soon launch a new project called Tashan internally, according to a report on the social network Weibo. The Chinese giant would thus produce its first homemade processor by the end of the year. It surely has not escaped your notice that the latest wave of US sanctions threatens the ability to Huawei to produce smartphones equipped with high-end SoCs.
The manufacturer had its Kirin SoCs manufactured by TSMC, the world‘s leading producer of high-end chips. But since last May, a New Trump administration executive order prevents founder from supplying Huawei with semiconductors. This decision is now starting to take effect. Huawei will soon have no more premium Kirin chips on hand, as its CEO admitted earlier this week. « Production will cease on September 15. This year could be the last generation of high-end Huawei Kirin chips ”, he said in particular.
Processors engraved in 45 nm: Huawei starts at the bottom of the scale
Without resorting to American technologies, Huawei’s first chips to be manufactured based on a 45nm etching process. To give you an idea of the generational perspective that this implies, Qualcomm’s first processor engraved in 45 nm dates back to the Snapdragon S2 of 2010. It therefore took a whole decade. to arrive at SoCs engraved in 5 nm which will be available soon.
Huawei can undoubtedly benefit from the technological advances of recent years to accelerate its progress. In any case, it is very unlikely that the manufacturer will come close to the current level of TSMC in the next 5 years. It is also unknown how much Huawei intends to invest in such a project. The firm is already spending more $ 1 billion for the development of Harmony OS, its alternative operating system.
Finally, knowing that such an independence strategy will only bear fruit in the long term, it will certainly be wiser for Huawei to invest in Chinese companies already present in the foundry market. This is particularly the case of the company SMIC which produces the HiSilicon Kirin 710A. The Samsung and MediaTek options are often mentioned, but all of these players use American tools on the most advanced part of their production lines. They could therefore be targeted by the sanctions and have to comply.
Source : Gizchina