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Where did Huawei get the advanced chips for its latest Mate 60 Pro smartphone?

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ExplainerWhile under US sanctions, where did Huawei get the advanced chips for its latest Mate 60 Pro smartphone?

TechInsights said SMIC used existing equipment and its second-generation 7-nm process to manufacture the 5G-capable Kirin 9000s for HuaweiHuawei was known to have been stockpiling chips from its HiSilicon unit before TSMC cut ties to comply with US sanctionsHuaweiChe Panin BeijingPublished: 10:30am, 2 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Huawei Technologies’ silence over details of the advanced semiconductor that powers its new Mate 60 Pro flagship smartphone has become the subject of intense speculation. Here are some possible explanations for where Huawei got the chip.

1. China’s top chip maker SMIC made the chip for Huawei

This is the most plausible explanation, although both Huawei and Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp (SMIC) declined to provide details. Based on tests conducted on the smartphone, Chinese benchmarking website AnTuTu identified the central processing unit (CPU) in the Mate 60 Pro as the Kirin 9000s from Huawei’s chip design unit HiSilicon.

Research company TechInsights said in a note on its WeChat account that SMIC has used existing equipment and applied its second-generation 7-nanometre process, known as the N+2 node, to manufacture the 5G-capable Kirin 9000s for Huawei. The California-based research firm said it would provide more details on the phone’s connectivity next week.

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If that is the case, it would mark a “breakthrough” for China’s semiconductor industry and a major win for Huawei’s smartphone business.

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