The United States has made an effort, but China has managed to build a very advanced phone with its own hardware
Some days ago, Huawei surprised the world twice. They announced their new flagship, a Huawei Mate 60 Pro which was focused on the Chinese market and was not known in the West. Shortly after they announced their new foldable, the Mate The most interesting thing is the heart that the Mate 60 Pro uses.
And it is the Kirin 9000S, a SoC that has jumped all the barriers of United States sanctions: it has a 5G modem and, in addition, is manufactured in 7 nanometer lithography. However, there are more controversies because uses supposedly unauthorized SK Hynix RAM modules and that SK itself is investigating to find out how they ended up inside the Mate 60 Pro.
RAM modules that shouldn’t be there
The United States believed that China was unable to reach a 7 nanometer manufacturing process so soon, but they have achieved it at the hands of the SMIC company.
It is the most advanced Chinese company in the semiconductor sector and, although it only has a 5% global share, they have managed to manufacture integrated circuits in 7 nanometers. It is a milestone because The United States wanted to stop Chinese technological development with these sanctions on Huawei not only for the branch of consumer technology but, above all, for the military.
They calculated that China was at 14 nanometersa very inefficient lithography for weapons, but the Kirin 9000s is manufactured in 7 nanometers (and that SMIC is possibly capable of reaching the 5 nanometers) has been a blow to Americans. In fact, limited their access to technology to get to this lithograph.
It is clear that China has put its efforts into the development of this Kirin 9000S, which, yes, is not the most powerful or refined, but it manages to bypass the sanction of 5G technology and, in addition, they have achieved a spectacular miniaturization in its construction. Something also very interesting is How SK Hynix memory has reached the Mate 60 Pro.
on the chinese channel WekiHome The phone has been disassembled and it has been clearly seen that the SoC is a HiSilicon processor and, in addition, the RAM memory modules. The channel PBKreviews also disassembled the Mate 60 Pro, finding exactly the same SK Hynix modules.
And you may be wondering what it matters who owns the RAM modules, but the interesting thing is what we read in cnn. SK Hynix is a South Korean manufacturer and, as they have told the media, They have not made deals with Huawei since US restrictions were implemented in 2020.
“SK Hynix strictly respects the export restrictions set by the US government” – Statements from SK itself
Specificallywhat has been found is a NAND chip with 512 GB of storage and an LPDDR5 module with 12 GB of RAM. When it was discovered that the Mate 60 Pro had these components, SK Hynix shares fell 4% and the company has announced that they are going to investigate how they got to the terminal.
The possibility that this is material from before the restrictions is there, since the LPDDR5 modules are not exactly newbut we would have to examine which generation and lot they belong to, and that is what SK is doing at the moment.
There are a lot of eyes on the Mate 60 Pro not because of its technical characteristics at the consumption level, but to see where its components come from. TechInsights, a Canadian laboratory, was the one that raised the alarm when analyzing the Kirin 9000s SoC and it is possible that new components will be found in the Mate 60 Pro that would be banned.
In the end, as we said, It is not so much a commercial battle, but something on a larger scale. China has surprised everyone (the United States first) by achieving technology that, supposedly, would take years to develop due to sanctions. And that components of companies that comply with the veto have been found is a problem.
They may, indeed, be remnants of stock that Huawei had storedbut a lot of eyes will be on SK Hynix until it is discovered where the memory modules came from.
We have contacted Huawei Spain, but at the time of publishing this article we have not received a response. We will update with new information as soon as we have it.