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Huawei Taps SMIC for Production of Mid-Range Chips

The Kirin 710a is the first SoC made by SMIC

While Huawei is TSMC’s second biggest customer next to Apple, current developments with the US Trade Ban is pushing Huawei to find other options. One of Huawei’s options is SMIC–which is China’s largest fountry for semiconductor chips.

While SMIC is an alternate option for Huawei, the Chinese foundry cannot match TSMC: while TSMC is working on 5nm-based SoCs, SMIC can roll out only 14nm -based chips for now. Because of this, Huawei will need to depend on TSMC for high-end chips like the rumored Kirin 1000 processor that will power the Mate 40 series.

As for mid-range phones, Huawei has moved the production of its Kirin 710 SoC to SMIC, with the Kirin 710a as the resulting product. Unlike the TSMC-made Kirin 710 and Kirin 710F, the SMIC-made Kirin 710a is manufactured using a 14nm process.

The HONOR Play 4T series are one of the first phones using the Kirin 710a.

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