America’s chip ban on Huawei has left the company unable to source advance chipsets, but it’s working hard to find a way around these sanctions. It has already come up with a custom 7nm 5G-enabled chipset, thereby eliminating concerns that Huawei may no longer be able to make 5G phones after the ban.
A state investment fund has reportedly become a close collaborator of Huawei in its mission to bypass these sanctions and build an independent chip network that the company can rely on. For its part, Huawei denies that it’s receiving any government assistance. That has remained the company’s longstanding position on claims about its close relationships with state entities.
Huawei’s chip troubles may soon ease
Bloomberg reports that an investment fund created by the Shenzhen city government in 2019 has been helping Huawei develop a “self-sufficient chip network.” This arrangement would provide Huawei access to companies that are developing lithography machines, equipment that’s crucial for manufacturing high-end chipsets.
These firms would ordinarily have to import lithography machines into China but that remains impossible now due to the sanctions. Huawei has reportedly gone as far as to hire some ex-employees of Dutch-based ASML, the world leader in extreme lithography machines, to work on this project. The 7nm HiSilicon Kirin 9000S is said to be the fruit of this arrangement, enabling Huawei to make a return to the 5G smartphone arena.
It’s also no secret that China is pumping billions of dollars into its local chip industry as it seeks to break free of the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. With a local ecosystem to support its endeavors, Huawei will be able to rapidly increase the pace of development and start to regain its lost stature in the global smartphone market.