Huawei’s chip that it uses in the Mate 60 smartphone has created a firestorm of controversy over how China was able to produce a 5G smartphone over Western sanctions. TechInsights, which analyzes semiconductors, said the chip’s made-in-China design represents a “manufacturing milestone” and is a “slap in the face” to U.S. sanctions.
The chip has much more power than previously thought. The Kirin 9000s processor, after a software update, was revealed to have 12 cores, which is more than the eight cores as previously thought, according to TechInsights.
“Discovering a Kirin chip using SMIC’s 7nm (N+2) foundry process in the new Huawei Mate 60 Pro smartphone demonstrates the technical progress China’s semiconductor industry has been able to make without EUV lithography tools,” said Dan Hutcheson, Vice Chair of TechInsights. “The difficulty of this achievement also shows the resilience of the country’s chip technological ability.”
China’s development of a 5G chip in the face of global restrictions also represents a great geopolitical challenge to the countries who have sought to restrict its access to critical manufacturing technologies, Hutcheson added.
By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor