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Huawei, SMIC partner to build advanced 7nm processor for Mate 60 Pro

Huawei Technologies and China’s top chipmaker SMIC 0981.HK have built an advanced 7-nanometer processor to power its latest smartphone, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro is powered by a new Kirin 9000s chip that was fabricated in China by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), the report said citing a teardown of the handset that TechInsights conducted for Bloomberg News.

The company 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 report said citing the research firm.

Testing by Bloomberg News showed that Mate 60 Pro is capable of cellular speeds on a par with 5G devices like Apple Inc’s latest iPhones.

TechInsights, Huawei and SMIC did not immediately reply to Reuters’ request for comment.

From 2019, the U.S. has restricted Huawei’s access to chipmaking tools essential for producing the most advanced handset models, with the company only able to launch limited batches of 5G models using stockpiled chips.

But research firms told Reuters in July that they believed Huawei was plotting a return to the 5G smartphone industry by the end of this year, using its own advances in semiconductor design tools along with chipmaking from SMIC. Reuters

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