Huawei’s 7nm Semiconductors in Smartphones Utilizing Technology from Two U.S. Equipment Companies”

7nm semiconductors for Huawei smartphones manufactured with technology from two U.S. equipment companies Claims have been raised that the semiconductors developed by Huawei jointly with Chinese foundry (consignment manufacturing) company SMIC and installed in smartphones were made using technology from American equipment companies.

Bloomberg News reported on the 7th (local time) that SMIC used equipment from American semiconductor equipment companies Applied Materials and Lam Research to produce semiconductor chips using a 7nm (nanometer , one billionth of a meter) cutting-edge process to supply to Huawei last year . He said he used it.

In response to U.S. export controls on cutting-edge technologies such as semiconductors, China has designated semiconductor technology independence as a national project and has begun providing large-scale support to Huawei, a leading Chinese telecommunications equipment and smartphone manufacturer. Last year, it was confirmed that a semiconductor chip manufactured by SMIC was installed in Huawei’s latest smartphone ‘Mate 60 Pro’.

Although SMIC ‘s manufacturing technology still falls short of the technological level of global companies, it has surpassed the level of technology that the United States was trying to control, leading to the argument that the United States’ technological control is useless. However, the equipment and technology used to make this chip were not independently developed, but were procured from foreign countries such as Dutch semiconductor equipment company ASML , American Lam Research, and Applied Materials.

Some said that SMIC secured various equipment from American equipment companies before the United States implemented export controls in October 2022 . Representative Chinese semiconductor equipment companies, such as Beifang Huachang (Nowra) and Zhongwei Semiconductor Equipment Co., Ltd. ( AMEC ), are trying to catch up with their American competitors, but have not yet produced equipment that has reached the necessary technological level. There is. Shanghai Microelectronics ( SMEE ), a Chinese state-owned exposure equipment company, is still several generations behind the technology of Dutch equipment company ASML.

U.S. Commerce Department officials also said they had seen no evidence that SMIC could produce 7nm chips on a large scale, and ASML CEO Peter Bennink agreed. In an interview with Bloomberg last January, CEO Beninck said that if SMIC starts production independently without its own technology, it will not be able to mass produce meaningful amounts due to technical problems.

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