11 June 2024

As Huawei looks towards more advanced semiconductors, speculation swirls on how far it can push existing chip-making gear

Che Pan

Speculation is swirling about how far US-sanctioned Huawei Technologies can push its latest chip-making techniques to keep up with the cutting-edge designs enabled by the extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines it is unable to use, 10 months after shocking the world with a 7-nanometre-grade processor.

The Shenzhen-based telecommunications equipment giant has kept its cards close to its chest regarding its chip-making capabilities together with Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp (SMIC). The company has never confirmed how it made the chip that powered its Mate 60 Pro last year, but the company is now turning towards a technique called self-aligned quadruple patterning (SAQP) that could help it advance even further.

Questions are now being raised about just how far that process, which relies on existing chip-making equipment in China, can be pushed while Huawei tries to cool speculation.

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