Huawei, banned from using U.S. technology, plans to return to its main smartphone market by the end of the year, reportedly Reuters This was reported by three research companies. The company will reportedly use Chinese factories and technology to produce the advanced chips needed for 5G handsets, but details are still vague.
Huawei can secure domestic 5G chips thanks to the development of its own semiconductor design tools and chip manufacturing by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Company, according to reports from multiple research firms covering China’s smartphone market. It is highly likely. It uses SMIC’s N+1 manufacturing process, which belongs to the 7nm-class production node, but the tech giant is likely to use an improved version of N+1.
Huawei’s current flagship smartphone, the P60 Pro, utilizes the Qualcomm platform and the company’s own Harmony OS operating system. With SMIC’s production node, the company will likely be able to produce cheaper handsets for the mass market, boost smartphone sales, and gain experience in domestic technology for 5G smartphones. The company has reportedly raised its smartphone sales forecast for 2023 from 30 million units to 40 million units.
What remains to be seen is whether Huawei can use one of SMIC’s nodes to create a rival for the Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 platform.
Earlier this year, Huawei announced that it had developed electronic design automation (EDA) software for designing chips based on 14nm-class and thinner process technology, a major breakthrough for China’s EDA industry. Huawei plans to complete testing of this software in 2023 and has indicated plans to use its own EDA software to design its own HiSilicon chips.
Huawei does not have its own fab and does not have access to the leading-edge process technology of TSMC, IFS and Samsung foundries, but has been working with China’s foundry champion SMIC on fab construction and fab tool development for some time. Both companies may refine SMIC’s N+1 and other advanced nodes to make them suitable for Huawei’s HiSilicon SoC, but that’s our guess at this point.