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Tipster Claims SMIC-Made 7nm Kirin 9000s Are Essentially TSMC’s 5nm Kirin 9000 from 2020

The mystery surrounding the Kirin 9000s chipset used in the Huawei Mate 60 Pro has been unraveled by X tipster, @RGcloudS. Previously, it was revealed that the phone was powered by a Huawei-designed Kirin 9000s chipset manufactured by SMIC using its 7nm node. However, this raised questions about how Huawei could bypass the U.S. sanctions and how SMIC could produce the chip without access to an extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machine.

According to @RGcloudS, the Kirin 9000s chip is actually a rebranded 5nm Kirin 9000 made by TSMC three years ago, not SMIC. This speculation is based on a screenshot that lists the Kirin 9000s as a 5nm chip. Additionally, a picture from the Mate 60 Pro teardown showed a date stamp indicating that the chip was made in August 2020.

@RGcloudS argues that Huawei may have stockpiled 142 million Kirin 9000E and Kirin 9000 5G chipsets in a three-month period. This suggests that the company cannot rely on SMIC’s N+2 7nm process node, which has a yield of under 20%, to meet the demand for the Mate 60 Pro line.

It’s important to note that this theory presents only one person’s opinion and may not necessarily reflect the actual circumstances. Nonetheless, the Kirin 9000 from 2020, which is suspected to be the same as the Kirin 9000s, is a significant chip with 15.3 billion transistors, close in number to the A16 Bionic’s 16 billion transistors but lower than the A17 Pro’s 19 billion transistors.

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