Huawei Strikes Back
G. Dan Hutcheson
The Chip Insider®
Huawei Strikes Back: Huawei launched a preemptive challenge to Apple’s expected iPhone 15. It’s a 1-2 punch, with the second blow landing on Western geopolitical barriers. It’s called the Mate 60 Pro… what is leaking out could mark a major technological milestone for China, while having huge manufacturing and geopolitical implications. TechInsights will break the veil of opaqueness soon, as at least one of these devices is already on the way to Ottawa for a thorough analysis… Meanwhile, here’s my take on it:
As you know, in 2019, the Trump Administration restricted access to chip-making technology... Now, in September of 2023, we have early evidence of their overcoming the chip technology barriers... If you need to know anything about a technology race, it’s that you must always run faster than those following in your draft or they will catch you… The big unknown unknown here is, where did the foundry silicon come from? …
EUV? This brings us to the question of China’s inability to obtain the optics, materials, and light sources needed to have EUV capability in its fabs…
The answer lies in the economics of manufacturing, not the technology. As Scotten Jones, who does the TechInsights wafer cost modeling pointed out some time ago, EUV’s primary benefit is far more than resolution. In the cast of TSMC’s transition from 7 to 7+, EUV saved them 8 mask layers. On a simple equal-loading basis, while the EUV tool is 2-3X more expensive than the ArFi tool, it eliminates the need for ... But that’s pocket change.
The real money from EUV tools comes in greater … There’s a big problem with these incentives when it comes to China … it makes the chance of a geopolitical blowup much higher… Hence, while Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro is likely a major technological milestone, it could also be a landmine.
Maxims: The Frenemy strategy is powerful but tricky
"Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are” — George Santayana
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