A former Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) executive told Bloomberg US efforts to restrict the sale of advanced chipmaking equipment to China would not deter Huawei and state-owned Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) from advancing in-house technologies, as speculation over the smartphone vendor’s capabilities continues.
Former TSMC VP Burn Lin stated Chinese companies can use older chipmaking equipment to manufacture more advanced silicon, suggesting SMIC could use its current ASML machines to make next-generation 5nm chips.
The launch of Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro raised speculation about the 5G capabilities of the device, which was promoted in China as a major win over US export controls.
Lin said sanctions can’t completely halt China’s push to upgrade domestic chip manufacturing, suggesting the US should instead focus on retaining its chip design leadership, Bloomberg wrote.
Earlier this month, Radio Free Mobile founder Richard Windsor explained China has become more determined to create its own standards to achieve as much technology independence as it can, but stated it is ultimately a risky strategy economically “as two incompatible networks generate far less utility than one large one” and is likely to slow the technology sector’s long-term growth.
The US Semiconductor Industry Association last week noted “broad, unilateral controls risk harming” the nation’s market without advancing national security, echoing comments by Nvidia CFO Colette Kress earlier in the year.