China Has Won The Chip War On Ineffective Sanctions, But ASML Could Be Impacted Says Dr Robert Caste

Huawei's new Kirin chip is manufactured by Chinese company SMIC, marking China's success in the chip war despite US sanctions. It was built using ASML's DUV immersion lithography equipment and the U.S. will further sanction the technology
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Sept. 6, 2023 - PRLog -- News out today that the new Kirin chip is manufactured by Chinese semiconductor company Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). It is Huawei's first higher-end Kirin processor since 2020 after the U.S. government restricted American businesses from selling their products or services to Huawei.

The Mate 60 Pro, introduced just last week, coincided with a high-profile visit by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to discuss bilateral business relations. This timing led state media to celebrate the perceived failure of US trade restrictions.

But there are three issues that point me to acknowledge that China has won the chip war:
  1. The Mate 60 is powered by a new Kirin 9000s chip was made on SMIC's 7nm node technology
  2. The Mate 60 was made with a component localization rate of 90%
  3. The Kirin 9000 was made using ASML's DUV immersion lithography systems but domestic equipment is increasing share of semiconductor equipment spend in China.

These two topics are discussed in detail in this article, which are complimentary to my thesis that U.S. sanctions have not been working in China

The ability of China's SMIC to make advanced ICs has been stymie by U.S. sanctions. But the ability for SMIC to reach 7nm is nothing new. I pointed that out 15 months ago in a May 18, 2022 Newsletter entitled "Applied Materials: SMIC Move To 7nm Node Capability Another Headwind," which can be found on my website.

Importantly, in my newsletter I noted:

"My analysis shows that SMIC is in production on its N+2 node, equivalent to the 7nm node and comparable to TSMC. And it was accomplished without the use of EUV lithography, just as TSMC did with its first generation 7nm node (N7) introduced in 2018.

Instead of SMIC manufacturing 28nm logic chips at its new fabs in Shanghai and Shenzen China, SMIC has moved first to its N+1 node (8nm equivalent) and then N+2 node. Moving to a smaller node requires a different semiconductor processing equipment product mix, benefiting equipment suppliers."

I anticipate that the U.S. will impose these long-anticipated sanctions on ASML's DUV immersion lithography systems. Importantly, SMIC was able to reach 7nm despite U.S. sanctions and despite EUV sanctioned lithography equipment.

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CONTACT:       Dr. Robert N. Castellano, 610/737-7596

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: semiconductor, smartphones
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