The USA veto of Huawei has taken a toll on the company. Since they cannot collaborate with American companies to make their own products, they have been deprived of a multitude of components, services and technologies. Among this, the separation of Qualcomm and TSMC for the production of chips for smartphones is noteworthy, with the Huawei Mate 40 as the latest mobile with USA technology. Now the Chinese manufacturer could be preparing its own factory to no longer depend on them.
As reported by the Financial Times, Huawei has plans to create a dedicated chip plant in Shanghai . With this, the company could have assured the creation of chips without having to depend on external factors such as permits and licenses from the United States to companies collaborating with Huawei.
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Huawei has no experience in this field to produce its own chips, so it is believed that it would do so in collaboration with Shanghai IC R&D Heart . Shanghai IC R&D Heart is an experienced company in the sector that is supported by the Shanghai municipal authorities. If the plan goes well, Huawei would have an essential part assured for its future products.
The plan for the next few years, if all this is true and not just rumors, is to start with large architecture chips and gradually scale down to the technology of the rest of the competitors. This means, for example, starting with low-end 45nm chips and for next year to go down to 28nm that can be used for example in televisions and other brand products. By the end of 2022, the idea is to go down to 20 nm and use those chips in the company’s 5G infrastructure.
What about the phones? Here it is more complicated, more powerful chips and lower architecture are needed to reach the level of those currently used by Qualcomm, Apple or Samsung. To put things in context, TSMC (which manufactures for the above three) is already going for 5nm and has plans for 3nm in the short term.
If the goal is to make smartphones and other Huawei products completely with national technology, that future still has a few years left. Huawei has had to manage without Google’s services and is developing its own operating system, but at the moment it still relies on many other components and services that are not from companies based in China. A wholly owned chip is a big step in that direction.