The Chinese company Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), a leading semiconductor manufacturer in the country, has increased its raw material purchases from its Taiwanese partners. This became known after the company delivered the HiSilicon Kirin 9000s mobile processor, a rather complex system on a chip (SoC), for Huawei Mate 60 smartphones. Experts believe that such actions by SMIC could be associated with a possible tightening of sanctions The United States.
According to unconfirmed information, SMIC has approached its partners in Taiwan with orders equivalent to two years’ supply of materials. This could be an indication of the company’s commitment to ensuring uninterrupted production of 7nm chips.
Analysts and industry experts believe SMIC could take such actions ahead of the likely tightening of US sanctions, and the company is trying to build strategic reserves of necessary materials. It is also understood that the Company may increase its inventories in anticipation of increased demand for its products from its customers.
Huawei has high hopes for its Mate 60 series smartphones and plans to sell up to 20 million devices this year. Sales of these smartphones are expected to continue increasing next year, and the company may introduce new smartphone models with its own chips, which in turn will significantly increase its system-on-a-chip (SoC) needs. Therefore, it was logical for SMIC to increase the purchase of raw materials suitable for the production of 7nm chips.
SMIC and other Chinese semiconductor component makers are no strangers to stockpiling materials and equipment for making chips. Ahead of tightening U.S. sanctions and restrictions in recent months, they imported virtually all the chip-making equipment they could get their hands on from Europe, Japan and the United States.