Yesterday we told the news: The United States had decided to increase blockade levels to Huawei so that they could not use 4G technologies or WiFi 6E. This put the Chinese company between a rock and a hard place, since they were unable to use Snapdragon processors.
Thus, Huawei it is left without being able to use the Qualcomm processors that the company has been using in its flagship models in its non-5G versions. And it is that this was the way in which the Chinese company managed to put high-performance SoC “bypassing the veto”.
What will Huawei do? The company may have already bought enough chips to cover the upcoming Mate P60 and Mate 60 series. But in the long run, it poses a problem that would seem insurmountable… were it not for an industry rumor that Huawei would have mass-produced chipsets using 12 and 14nm manufacturing processes.
Before the United States banned Huawei, the company’s HiSilicon unit designed Huawei’s Kirin chips, which were made by TSMC. So it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that Huawei could be designing chips for its own use. But the problem is in the execution of this plan.
14 nm vs. 3 nm: the war Huawei can’t win
Let’s compare what is being said. The 14nm process node with the 3nm process node that TSMC and Samsung are mass producing with. Simply put, the smaller the process node, the higher the number of transistors on a chip.
The more transistors a chip has, the more powerful and energy efficient it is.. So while Huawei was unlikely to replace a 4G-only Snapdragon chip with a home-made 12 or 14nm SoC at the start of the year, the new restrictions might leave it with no choice.
Even so, if forced to use chipsets made with the 12nm or 14nm process node, Huawei’s new phones would be slow and they would be light years away from the 5nm, 4nm or 3nm SoCs made by TSMC or Samsung Foundry.
Huawei’s patent application could be a game changer
But recently there has been a news of great impact. Huawei filed a patent application for EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) components. Made solely by the Dutch company ASML, these machines are about the size of a bus and are used to etch extremely fine circuitry.
Although it is not clear what Huawei’s intentions are, the bottom line is that by helping to develop an EUV machine in China, Huawei will be able to produce cutting-edge chips without worrying about obstacles from the United States. But that future is distant.
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