Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) last year secured a partnership with Huawei to manufacture some of its chipsets. It later emerged that the Kirin 710A was manufactured at SMIC foundry using the 14nm Finfet process. The chipset was used on the Honor Play 4T and Huawei Enjoy Tablet 2 meaning a level of mass production has been achieved.
Huawei’s Kirin chipsets were previously manufactured solely by TSMC
SMIC has now announced during an interactive platform held on Tuesday (August 11) that it has now been able to improve the yield rate of its 14nm manufacturing node. Apparently, the company was yet to finish fine-tuning the process but had to test run it with supplies for the Kirin 710A to Huawei who is under pressure to source for an alternative after the USgoovernment tended the ban on the use of US technology on Huawei to foreign companies such as TSMC which usesUS tech for their manufacturing processes.
Huawei has kept the Kirin 710 series chipset alive for a long while now. The Kirin 710 is the first chipset in the series followed by the Kirin 710F. They are both manufactured using TSMC’s 12nm node and integrates four A73 and four A53 CPU cores, with a maximum frequency of 2.2GHz. However, the Kirin 710A features the same architecture but since it uses SMIC’s 14nm process, the maximum frequency has dropped to 2.0GHz.
The patronage by Huawei has impacted positively on SMIC’s financial standing going by its report for the second quarter of the year. The financial report shows that as of June 30, 2020, the company’s revenue reached US$938 million, an increase of 4% month-on-month and 19% year-on-year. Gross profit was US$249 million, an increase of 6.4% month-on-month, and a year-on-year increase of 64.5%.
The 14nm/28nm advanced process revenue accounted for a new high, reaching 9.1%, compared with only 7.8% in the previous quarter.
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