Huawei Technologies has made breakthroughs in electronic design automation (EDA) tools for chips produced at and above 14-nanometre technology, Caijing financial news magazine reported on Friday, citing a speech by a senior Huawei executive.
Huawei will complete testing on the tools this year, rotating chairman Xu Zhijun said in a speech on Feb 28., Caijing reported. Huawei has developed 78 tools related to chip hardware and software, the report added.
Huawei did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.
Chips produced at the 14nm level were first introduced in smartphones in the mid-2010s and are two to three generations behind leading-edge technology.
Huawei, a major supplier of equipment used in 5G telecommunications networks, has been the target of successive rounds of US export controls since 2019, restricting its supply of chips and chip-design tools from US companies.
Chip design companies use EDA software to produce the blueprints for chips before they are mass manufactured at fabs.
The EDA software market is dominated by three overseas firms – Cadence Design Systems Inc and Synopsys Inc, which are headquartered in the United States, and Mentor Graphics, which is owned by Germany’s Siemens AG.
China is home to a handful of domestic EDA software makers, but experts do not consider them globally competitive.
All three overseas EDA companies fell subject to Washington’s sanctions against Huawei in 2020.
When the restrictions went into effect, the company’s chip design division lost access to software and updates that would enable them to design low-node processors for its smartphones, as well as access to advanced manufacturing tools at chip production fabs.
The company’s smartphone division saw sales tank as a result.
© Thomson Reuters 2023