Huawei is working on plans for a dedicated chip plant in Shanghai that would not use American technology, enabling it to secure supplies for its core telecom infrastructure business despite US sanctions, reported the Financial Times.
Two FT sources briefed on the project said the plant would be run by a partner, Shanghai IC R&D Center, a chip research company backed by the Shanghai Municipal government. Industry experts said the project could help Huawei, which has no experience in fabricating chips, chart a path to long-term survival.
The fabrication plant will initially experiment with making low-end 45nm chips, a technology global leaders in chipmaking started using 15 years ago.
But Huawei aims to produce 20nm chips by late 2022, which could be used to make most of its 5G telecoms equipment and allow that business to continue even with the US sanctions wants to make, according to chip industry engineers and executives familiar with the project, reported the FT.