Huawei Technologies and major Chinese chipmaker SMIC have built an advanced 7-nanometer processor to power its latest smartphone, according to a teardown report from analyst firm TechInsights.
Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro is powered by a new Kirin 9000s chip made in China by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), TechInsights said in the report shared with Reuters on Monday.
Huawei started selling its Mate 60 Pro phone last week. The specifications provided advertised its ability to make satellite calls, but offered no information on the power of the chipset inside.
The processor is the first to use SMIC’s most advanced 7nm technology and suggests the Chinese government is making progress in its attempts to build a national chip ecosystem, the research firm said.
The company’s findings were first reported by Bloomberg News.
Huawei and SMIC did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Buyers of the phone in China have posted teardown videos and shared speed tests on social media that suggest the Mate 60 Pro is capable of faster download speeds than high-end 5G phones.
The phone launch sent Chinese social media users and state media into a frenzy, with some pointing out that it coincided with a visit by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
Since 2019, the United States has restricted Huawei’s access to chipmaking tools critical to producing the most advanced handset models, with the company only able to launch limited batches of 5G models using stock chips.
But research firms told Reuters in July they believed Huawei was planning a return to the 5G smartphone industry by the end of this year, using its own advances in semiconductor design tools. as well as the manufacture of SMIC chips.
Dan Hutcheson, an analyst at TechInsights, told Reuters the development was a “slap in the face” for the United States.
“Raimondo comes looking to calm things down, and this chip (says) ‘look what we can do, we don’t need you’,” he said.
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