Huawei has been using Kirin chipsets for its high-end phones and mid-range models. The chips have come a long way, and as of this time, they had started demonstrating their superiority, even matching what other leading chips are offering.
However, it would appear that this success is limited to bottlenecks that we started seeing in 2019 when the US government named Huawei in its entity list. The matter has been discussed many times by people familiar with it, but it generally means that Huawei cannot do business with American companies.
The latest blow has hit its silicon department (HiSilicon). It is reported that the company will stop printing high-end Kirin chip design after September 2020 (the ones we see in the Mate and P series line of devices).
However, Huawei appears to have anticipated this development because it is said to be working with other chip manufacturers in the semiconductor space. Huawei hopes that these partners will help it build a chip manufacturing line.
Furthermore, Huawei’s goal is to build IC chips, a chip manufacturing plant and chip fabs that will help it print designs without seeking the help of American semiconductor manufacturers.
HiSilicon has been designing chips for an extended period, but it cannot print them due to restrictions with TSMC. It is reported that the restrictions are Huawei’s biggest hurdle to printing its designs.
It has also been reported Huawei’s printing plants will start producing chips using 45nm FinFET technology (to refer to transistor architecture) by the end of 2020. Huawei will then move to a 28nm line.
However, these numbers are far from the competition, including the likes of Samsung that is rumuored to be prepping a 3nm manufacturing line (the smaller nm the better).