Thursday, September 7, 2023

Chips: "Teardown of Huawei's new phone shows China's chip breakthrough"

From Reuters, September 4:

Huawei Technologies and China's top chipmaker SMIC (0981.HK) have built an advanced 7-nanometer processor to power its latest smartphone, according to a teardown report by analysis firm TechInsights.

Huawei's Mate 60 Pro is powered by a new Kirin 9000s chip that was made in China by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), TechInsights said in the report shared with Reuters on Monday.

Huawei started selling its Mate 60 Pro phone last week. The specifications provided advertised its ability to make satellite calls, but offered no information on the power of the chipset inside.

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, the research firm said....


I may have to stealth edit (à la NYT) the intro to September 5's "Chips: "China to launch new $40 billion state fund to boost chip industry, sources say":

China's failure to launch in the chips biz has been one of the most dramatic failures of their economy. It didn't help that the last two funds were marked by graft and corruption but enough money flowed into actual R & D that you would have expected more progress....

We've been commenting on China's "failure to launch"*—with exceptions, notable and noted—for many years and now have to guard against complacency and mental laziness.

June 2016
Milestone: China Builds The (NEW) World's Fastest Supercomuter Using Only Chinese Components (and other news) INTC; NVDA; IBM
China has had the world's fastest computer for the last three years or so, the Tianhe-2, which used Intel microprocessors so this latest computer is a remarkable achievement.
January 2018
....On the last Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, 87 systems use NVIDIA GPUs as accelerators. Not the top two however. You have to go down to #3, Switzerland's Piz Daint which was upgraded with NVIDIA chips in 2016. China is using an entirely different architecture which we touched on in June 2016's "Milestone: China Builds The (NEW) World's Fastest Supercomuter Using Only Chinese Components (and other news) INTC; NVDA; IBM".

The different approaches have implications beyond simple bragging rights. As we said a couple weeks ago in the outro from "'Can Chinese AI Chip Makers Compete with Nvidia?' (NVDA)":

One thing not mentioned in the Nanalyze report that is critical to understanding Chinese R&D is the importance of the People's Liberation Army (Navy) and the advantage the closed loop of academia, end-user and PLA contracted-and-government-owned companies conveys:...
*If interested in China and chips, see: