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Huawei Plans Own Chips Production Amid US Embargo

Huawei still has a problem: although more partners are now allowed to supply the Chinese group with their products again, the US is sticking to its sanctions on processors. To get around this, Huawei is now planning to build its own chip production facility.

As the Financial Times reports, citing a number of well-informed sources from the environment of the Chinese cell phone supplier and smartphone manufacturer Huawei, the company wants to build up its own capacities for the production of CPUs and system-on-chip designs in a surprisingly short time. This would make you independent of contract manufacturers such as TSMC, SMIC, or Samsung, on whom you have previously been dependent.

The dependency on the availability of chips from large chip developers such as Qualcomm or MediaTek would also be eliminated by setting up their own production facility. With the HiSilicon team, Huawei has already had its own capabilities for developing powerful processors for smartphones and other devices for years, but until now you always had to use the services of contract manufacturers to ultimately have the chips built.

In-house chips production could take longer

According to the Financial Times report, Huawei intends to set up its own chip production facility within a few years, although the SoCs produced in this way will by no means be able to keep up with the ultra-modern chips produced by third parties for the time being. While TSMC, Samsung & Co are now reliably building 7-nanometer chips and the production of chips on a 5-nanometer scale has started, Huawei’s own chip production capabilities are to use significantly older technologies and deliver correspondingly “larger” chips. Initially, Huawei supposedly wants to build 45-nanometer chips that can be used for simple applications. By the end of 2021, Huawei will then aim to produce chips on a 28-nanometer scale that can be used for Internet of Things applications. According to its own planning, Huawei will not be able to produce chips with a structure width of 20 nanometers until the end of 2022. These are then to be used in telecommunications hardware for 5G networks, it is said.

Because Huawei has no experience of its own with the production of chips, the company wants to use the so-called Shanghai IC R&D Center, which is supposed to operate the production. This is a specialized company that is supported by the city government of Shanghai and is intended to enable local companies to set up their own systems for chip production.

Obviously, the products manufactured by Huawei’s own chip production facility should not initially be used in smartphones, so the question of how Huawei intends to equip its devices in the future remains open.