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  • Writer's pictureDiego Smith

Analysis of Huawei's Latest Smartphone Reveals China's Semiconductor Advancement

Huawei Technologies, in collaboration with China's leading chip manufacturer SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp), has unveiled a cutting-edge 7-nanometer processor to power its latest smartphone, as revealed in a teardown report by the analysis firm TechInsights.

According to TechInsights' report shared with Reuters on Monday, Huawei's Mate 60 Pro is equipped with the new Kirin 9000s chip, produced by SMIC in China. The Mate 60 Pro was recently launched by Huawei, with its specifications highlighting its capability for satellite calls but providing no details about the chipset's power.

This processor marks the debut of SMIC's advanced 7nm technology, indicating progress in China's efforts to establish a domestic chip ecosystem, as noted by the research firm.

Bloomberg News was the first to report on TechInsights' findings. Huawei and SMIC have not responded to Reuters' requests for comment as of now.

Chinese consumers who purchased the phone have been sharing teardown videos and conducting speed tests on social media, indicating that the Mate 60 Pro boasts download speeds surpassing those of flagship 5G smartphones.

The launch of this phone caused significant excitement among Chinese social media users and state media, with some observers noting its timing alongside the visit of U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Since 2019, the United States has imposed restrictions on Huawei's access to essential chipmaking tools needed for manufacturing cutting-edge handset models, forcing the company to release limited batches of 5G models using stockpiled chips.

However, research firms informed Reuters in July that they believed Huawei was planning a comeback in the 5G smartphone industry by the end of the year, leveraging its own advancements in semiconductor design tools in conjunction with chip production from SMIC.

Dan Hutcheson, an analyst with TechInsights, commented that this development sends a strong message to the U.S., describing it as a "slap in the face" to U.S. efforts: "Raimondo comes seeking to cool things down, and this chip is [saying] 'look what we can do, we don't need you,'" he said.

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