Huawei has reportedly shifted its 14nm chipset orders from TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), the world’s largest contract chipmaker to China based SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International).
For those unaware, SMIC is China’s leading chipmaker and should be a viable alternative to the semiconductor giant TSMC. Huawei’s HiSilicon chips have historically been manufactured by the latter and currently range anywhere from its 14nm, 12nm or even 7 or 5nm chipsets. According to sources, Huawei is rumored on re-releasing Kirin 710 processor branded as the Kirin 710A, but this time with a 14nm FinFET process over the previous 12nm FinFET node.
Although the report is still unconfirmed, it is still major news as it marks a major departure from TSMC and a big order being placed with SMIC, which would be a big win for the Chinese chipmaker. Since the Chinese tech giant needs a fab capable of manufacturing the 14nm FinFET process, the SMIC would be a perfect fit. This may also be directly related to the whole US-China trade ware situation and the pressure from the US on Huawei.
The American government has tried hampering Huawei’s operations recently by limiting its chip supplies through TSMC. Thus, it could be a trial run for the smartphone maker before it eventually completely shifts its HiSilicon processors away from the Taiwanese company to its home country.