Teardown of Huawei’s 5G Mate 60 Pro phone shows China’s chip breakthrough in a blow to US sanctions

The surprise launch of Huawei’s 5G smartphone last week has left the United States startled, as the Chinese technology powerhouse unveiled its new 5G chip powered-Mate 60 Pro phone developed by China’s largest chip maker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC).

Calling it a “blow to US sanctions,” Bloomberg reported that Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro is powered by SMIC’s 7nm chips, based on an analysis that TechInsights conducted for Bloomberg News. This is the first time that SMIC has used its most advanced 7nm technology to manufacture a chip, and it is a sign that the Chinese government is making progress in its efforts to build a domestic chip ecosystem.

This launch is a game changer for China’s tech industry but troubling news for American companies in China, especially Qualcomm and Apple. The news is also a sign that China is making rapid progress in a nationwide push to bypass US efforts to contain its ascent. The announcement further demonstrates the perils of technology and economic protectionism pushed by the United States to punish rival nations.

The launch of Huawei’s new 5G phone came on the same day U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo ended her visit to China. The launch was certainly China’s sending a message to the United States about the failures of its technology sanctions. Here’s how China’s Global Times characterizes the U.S. effort to curtail China:

“Chinese companies will inevitably break through the blockade and move forward. This is the result of China’s overall development and close integration with global interests. In this era of globalization, the idea of kicking Chinese companies out of the industrial chain will only encounter increasing resistance because it goes against the law of development. The resurgence of Huawei smartphones after three years of forced silence is enough to prove that the US’ extreme suppression has failed. This also serves as a microcosm of the US-China tech war, reflecting the entire process and foreshadowing the final outcome. Recently, some American media outlets have been enthusiastic about hyping up things like Huawei is building a “secret” chip factory. Ultimately, these are all due to a failure to see or a refusal to believe in the general trend, and they hold on to outdated thinking that Chinese companies’ technology is all “stolen.” Essentially, it is Washington’s technological arrogance, and the US will definitely pay the price for this arrogance.”

The teardown of the Mate 60 Pro, which was conducted by TechInsights for Bloomberg News, found that the Kirin 9000s chip is a 12-core processor with a top clock speed of 2.62 gigahertz. It also includes a new AI engine that is said to be 20% more powerful than the previous generation.

The use of a domestically made chip in the Mate 60 Pro is a significant milestone for Huawei, which was forced to stop using US-made chips in 2019 due to sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. Huawei has been working to develop its own chip ecosystem, and the Kirin 9000s is a major step forward in that effort.

The development of the Kirin 9000s is also a sign of the growing maturity of the Chinese chip industry. SMIC is one of the leading chipmakers in the world, and its 7nm technology is on par with the best that is available in the United States. The Chinese government’s investment in the chip industry is paying off, and it is likely that we will see more domestically made chips in Chinese products in the years to come.

“Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro is powered by a new Kirin 9000s chip that was fabricated in China by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., according to a teardown of the handset that TechInsights conducted for Bloomberg News. The processor is the first to utilize SMIC’s most advanced 7nm technology and suggests the Chinese government is making some headway in attempts to build a domestic chip ecosystem, according to the research firm,” Bloomberg reported.

In the meantime, instead of changing course, the US doubles down on its sanction drumbeat. The report further claims that SMIC, a Chinese domestic chipmaker, may have violated US sanctions by supplying Hauwei with 7nm chips.

It all started three years ago when the U.S. banned domestic and foreign companies from providing 5G chips to Huawei. However, unknown to the United States, Huawei has been working quietly with SMIC to produce a 7nm chip to power its new 5G phone as a replacement for US-based chips.

The Huawei Mate 60 Pro follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, offering significant enhancements. These upgrades include satellite calling capabilities and the inclusion of an LTPO AMOLED display. The phone features a 6.82-inch AMOLED screen with an adaptive refresh rate ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz, coupled with a 300Hz touch sampling rate.

The US sanctions on Chinese chip has led to a series of bad news for US, South Korean, and Taiwan’s chip companies as China replaced some of its $300 billion import with domestic chips.

According to China Global Times, Huawei has ramped up production of its newest flagship smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, to meet demand, as the device sold out within one minute on online platforms this Sunday, citing multiple media reports. The company is now aiming to produce between 15 to 17 million units to keep up with consumers’ demand.

“Huawei, the Chinese tech giant, has boosted the production of its latest flagship smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, to 15-17 million units, as it was sold out in one minute on online platforms on Sunday, according to media reports. Consumers can purchase the Mate 60 Pro in Huawei’s offline stores on September 10. https://globaltimes.cn/page/202309/1297477.shtml”