back to article Barred from US tech, Huawei claims to have built its own 14nm chip design suite

Huawei has reportedly completed work on electronic design automation (EDA) tools for laying out and making chips down to 14nm process nodes. Chinese media said the platform is one of 78 being developed by the telecoms equipment giant to replace American and European chip design toolkits that have become subject to export …

  1. TheInstigator

    It's time for war

    After all - it worked for Iraq - let's do the same to the Chinese!

  2. Richard Boyce


    " Intel has said it will have a 2nm chip in production by late next year."

    I suspect readers here will take that with a large pinch of salt.

    1. Bartholomew

      Re: Intel

      van der Waals radius of a Silicon-28 atom is 0.21 nm. So 2 nm would be just 9 atoms wide, I wonder how many electrons that could carry ? (I know I'm ignoring height).

      Luckily "Intel 2nm process" is just a marketing name, with no connection to physical dimensions whatsoever. You could almost think of it like a brand name for their product, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

      So on paper Intel can have a "Intel 2nm process" any time that they want, people may not buy it. The thing is people are idiots, the "Intel 10 nm process" (100.76 million transistors per square millimetre - 2019-05) was last to have a product, but slightly better than the "TSMC 7nm process" (91.2 MTr - 2018-04) and the "Samsung 7nm process" (85.08 MTr =-2019-04)


      But you have to love Intel balls, they renamed their "Intel 7-nanometer process" to be their "Intel 5-nanometer process", because their "Intel 7nm process" would have a similar (well, slightly higher/better) transistor density (million transistors per square millimetre) to "Samsung 5nm process" and "TSMC 5nm process". It does make sense because people hear a a single digit number which is a marketing term and not a measurement and naturally assume that a "Intel 7nm process" must be worse than a competitors 5 nm process. It was brilliant marketing by TSMC and Samsung, and they have consistently had their product to market before Intel for the last few generations of chips.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Intel

        The logical extension of this is that they get down to 0nm & then have nowhere to go but negative numbers. Although, as you point out, the existing numbers are already imaginary.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Intel

          Marketing will always find somewhere to go. But looking on the bright side, once they do trend to zero, atoms will have nowhere to move and chips will become self-powered, self-cooling, and Intel will have saved the planet!

        2. Bartholomew

          Re: Intel

          After 1 nm marketing, the next term will be angstrom (1 nm = 10 angstrom ; 0.1 nm = 1 angstrom).

          Of course one or more of the three might go Picometre instead, and you can take it for granted that they will eventually go smaller than 210 Picometre (van der Waals radius of a single Silicon atom). (1 nm = 1000 Picometre ; 0.001 nm = 1 Picometre)

          Because at the end of the day it is just marketing.

          1. NIck Hunn

            Re: Intel

            Once we get beyond 210pm and start splitting the atom I assume that it will be marketed as fission chips. I'll have mine with tartare sauce with mine, please, but no mushy picos.

      2. stiine Silver badge

        Re: Intel

        Don't forget that, at least in the U.S., people thought 1/3lb was smaller than 1/4lb, (see arby's vs mcdonalds.)

        I can't wait for the B-Ark to set off.

    2. DiViDeD

      Re: Intel

      I suspect readers here will take that with a large pinch of salt

      but not too large a pinch or it won't fit in the new die.

  3. Yes Me Silver badge

    As predicted...

    As many people have predicted, the absurd US trade war on China is proving to be a great stimulus for Chinese hi-tech. They take a long view of history and no doubt have already decided that doing it all themselves is a great benefit. This news is only the start.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As predicted...

      And overall good news for the world.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: As predicted...

      "They take a long view of history and no doubt have already decided that doing it all themselves is a great benefit"

      And in the mean time, many US companies with big money out for their fabs have fewer customers authorized to buy their products, diminishing into the future as China gets more and more competent.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: big money out for their fabs

        And we have another one announced for Arizona...

        One simple question...

        Where the hell are they going to get all the water needed for the Fab from?

        If at least some of these Fabs had been sited on say the Great Lakes then I would have nodded my head but AFAIK, AZ is one of the most arid states in the Lower 48.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: big money out for their fabs

          "Where the hell are they going to get all the water needed for the Fab from?"

          The politicians will make guarantees about water supplies to the company in the effort to get them to locate there and take the water from other places so the fab won't run short until all of the pipes are dry. This is part of their package to bring in more jobs. We'll just fail to mention that fabs are highly automated and don't employ lots of people.

          In the US there are lots of states trying to court companies with production needs that aren't a good fit for that state or region. Look at Nevada and where Tesla has its plant (1/3 of which is leased to Panasonic). There isn't much housing and the increase in that immediate area of warehouses and other businesses is putting a big strain on public services. Long term residents are not happy. To them it's not more job opportunities, but more traffic, higher housing costs and tax money being spent to support those companies rather than the local communities.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chinese chips

    Spyware baked into the architecture.

    Get ‘em while they’re hot!

    1. Bartholomew

      Re: Chinese chips

      Intel ME and AMD PSP. I'm not saying that they contain spyware, but CPU cores that only run unauditable encrypted and signed code from the CPU manufacturers and have full access to all hardware. Both Intel and AMD can at any time can receive a FISA court order, with gagging, have no option but to comply.

      I'm would never say that China would not do the exact same, but so far most of the critical firmeware for CPU's from China that I've seen are unencrypted and unsigned. And any ROM's inside the CPU's I have access to read and can dump and disassemble.

      I'm sure China just like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, facebook generally do not add much spyware to their hardware, is it far far cheaper to have it in the software and then it can be updated constantly.

  5. FIA Silver badge

    Huawei's EDA platform was reportedly revealed by rotating Chairman Xu Zhijun during a meeting in February, and later confirmed by media in China.

    Am I the only one who read this and wanted either more information, or ideally a video with sound?

    I mean how fast was he rotating, was it one revolution for the entire presentation, or was he going at a decent lick? If so did it give his speech a lovely leslie speaker style effect?

    Why was he rotating? What was he wearing? I mean a sparkly suit apropriatly lit would've looked amazing!

    Come on Reg, you can do better than this, where's the detail behind the facts??

  6. Reginald O.

    Copied someone else's patented IP design...

    There I fixed it for you.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Copied someone else's patented IP design...

      You mean, like America did for decades, if not centuries.

      1. Reginald O.

        Re: Copied someone else's patented IP design...

        Not at all. China is literally notorious for stealing patents and intellectual property. It's the keystone of the economic model. Google it.

        1. RedGreen925 Bronze badge

          Re: Copied someone else's patented IP design...

          Try your Google fu on the topic of Americans doing it from the beginning of their country too, it was government policy at the time as well. I have a hard time having any sympathy for the parasite corporations that whine about the theft them being there in China for the slave labour and lack of environmental regulations, all while screwing over their home countries with high prices and stealing of the jobs.

          1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

            Re: Copied someone else's patented IP design...

            Exactly! Oh, and they also refused to acknowledge copyright - ironic eh?

            Incidentally, guess who it was who invented gunpowder (amongst quite a few other things).

  7. stiine Silver badge

    what about the drawings?

    Do they have Intel or AMD printed on every page?

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