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China’s Huawei borrowed a trick from its rival Apple by designing its own processors for new superfast smartphone, report says

  • Huawei used its own chip designs for its new 5G smartphone, The FT reported.
  • It’s a sign that the Chinese firm can implement its own designs in the same way as Apple.
  • Huawei’s phone led to panic in Washington amid fears over the effectiveness of China’s export controls.

China’s Huawei reportedly designed its own processors for a superfast new smartphone that has raised alarms in the US as fears rise that China is rapidly producing solutions to bypass restrictions on its access to Western tech.

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At least four of the eight central processors in the Mate 60 Pro came from chip firm ARM, while the other four involved ARM-based Huawei designs, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the phone’s development and an analysis by tech-review company Geekerwan.

The findings suggest a significant step forward in technical capabilities for Huawei as it begins to implement its own chip designs in smartphones in much the same way Western smartphone makers such as Apple have done for years.

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The release of Huawei’s 5G smartphone at the end of August proved to be a huge cause for concern in Washington, where US lawmakers have spent recent years implementing tough export controls that restrict the sale of advanced technology into China.

Concerns about how China has managed to produce advanced chips to rival Western ones, in spite of export controls, has led the US government’s Commerce Department to launch an official probe into the phone.

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The Huawei-designed, 7-nanometer chip is believed to have been manufactured by Chinese firm Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, Bloomberg reported.

There are questions, though, about how successful Huawei would be in scaling the production of smartphones with advanced chips.

On Tuesday, the commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, told a US House hearing that the government doesn’t have “any evidence that they can manufacture seven-nanometer [chips] at scale,” Reuters reported.

Huawei did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment outside regular working hours.

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