A recent Teardown report from analysis firm Tech Insights has revealed a significant breakthrough in China’s semiconductor industry. Huawei Technologies, in collaboration with China’s top chip manufacturer SMIC’s, has unveiled an advanced 7-nanometer processor powering the Mate 60 Pro smartphone. This marks a notable achievement for China’s domestic chip ecosystem.
The Kirin 9000s Chip: The Mate 60 Pro, which Huawei recently introduced to the market, is equipped with the new Kirin 9000s chip, proudly manufactured in China by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC). While the phone boasts satellite call capabilities, Huawei has remained tight-lipped about the chipset’s power and capabilities.
SMIC’s Technological Milestone: This processor stands as the first to leverage SMIC’s cutting-edge 7nm technology, signaling significant progress in China’s efforts to establish a self-sufficient chip manufacturing infrastructure.
Impressive Performance Metrics: Chinese consumers who have purchased the phone have shared teardown videos and conducted speed tests on social media platforms, demonstrating that the Mate 60 Pro offers download speeds surpassing those of premium 5G smartphones.
Noteworthy Timing and Implications: The launch of the Mate 60 Pro ignited enthusiasm among Chinese social media users and state media. However, some observers noted the timing of the release, coinciding with a visit by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
Since 2019, the US has imposed restrictions on Huawei’s access to essential chipmaking tools required for producing cutting-edge smartphone models. Nevertheless, the company has managed to launch limited batches of 5G models using stockpiled chips.
A Return to 5G: In July, Reuters reported Huawei’s plans to reenter the 5G smartphone market by the end of the year, leveraging its advancements in semiconductor design tools alongside SMIC’s chip manufacturing capabilities.
Analyst Insights: Dan Hutcheson, an analyst with Tech Insights, characterized this development as a “slap in the face” to the US, emphasizing that the chip announcement sends a clear message that Huawei is capable of innovation and self-sufficiency, signaling that external dependencies are no longer a necessity.