Report: Huawei to open up wafer fab in Wuhan
Huawei was the world’s leading communications equipment company and a leader in both 5G and smartphones but in 2019 and 2020 a series of technology measures were imposed by the US. This ultimately meant that it lost access to the Kirin processors that its HiSilicon subsidiary had designed and that were made for the company by TSMC.
Huawei’s response was to begin researching the extent to which chip manufacturing supply chains could be independent of the United States (see Huawei’s ‘US-free’ Shanghai wafer fab takes shape).
The Shanghai wafer fab was due to start at the 45nm node and move quickly to 28nm. The goal was to be making 20nm chips late in 2022.
However, Digitimes states that Huawei/HiSilicon’s first wafer fab will be in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China. Production is due to start in 2022 with the line used for optical communication chips and modules. The plan would be to eventually progress to make application processors for smartphones although that could take many years and require a move down to 3nm or 2nm production.
The leading semiconductor manufacturer in China is the SMIC foundry which is striving to bring up a 14nm FinFET manufacturing process and has a “nearly-7nm” process in development.
Related links and articles:
Huawei’s ‘US-free’ Shanghai wafer fab takes shape
Huawei is hurrying to build wafer fab
Huawei hurting in top ten chip buyer ranking of 2020
US embargo causes Huawei to run out of Kirin processors
China’s Innosilicon tapes out on SMIC’s ‘nearly-7nm’ process