Operating in different businesses, both Huawei and SMIC have one thing in common – they are both subject to US government sanctions and do not have access to the most advanced chip technologies. This seems to push them to work together to build a semiconductor factory in China to serve their own needs and avoid the impact of the aforementioned sanctions.
According to reports from Huawei Central and UDN, Huawei plans to spend up to 10 billion USD on this project.
The chip factory is expected to be built near Shenzhen and will be used to manufacture Huawei’s HiSilicon chips, likely using technological processes developed by SMIC.
With an investment of about 10 billion USD, it is likely that this place will be a fairly advanced 300nm factory, at least capable of producing 28nm chips (although it is likely that Huawei wants to make chips). 14nm FinFET more). Unfortunately, there is no confirmation on this plan.
Currently, SMIC’s most modern manufacturing process is N+1 (a process smaller than 14nm but with performance indicators close to 7nm chips) – considered a cheap, unused 7nm process EUV rays. Meanwhile, SMIC’s most advanced mass production process is 14nm.
Although HiSilicon can design high-end SoCs for TSMC’s N5 process – it is not allowed access to the chips manufactured by the company. However, with a wide product portfolio, including modems, controllers, accelerators, processors as well as SoCs, many of them are also using older processes, so , this factory will still be very busy to be able to meet Huawei’s needs.
Currently, Huawei is one of China’s top chip consumers. However, since being blacklisted by the US government, Huawei has faced many difficulties in ensuring the ability to produce chips for its HiSilicon division for use on tens of millions of different products.
So for Huawei, one way to ensure a steady supply of their HiSilicon chips at the moment is to build a semiconductor factory specifically for their needs – by partnering with SMIC – a company that has most experienced in chip manufacturing in China at present.
Rumors about Huawei building its own chip factory have been around for a long time, and now, when the details of the location and investment capital come from various sources, these rumors are gradually fading. become the truth.
Refer to TomsHardware