TSMC receives alleged US license to sell chips to Huawei, but there is a catch


As Chinese consumers vie for the latest Huawei phones with Kirin processors, the company is finally beginning to receive good news. As we know, the manufacturer has been penalized by the United States government in the midst of a trade war with China.

According to information published on Friday, after much waiting, the TSMC finally got a permit US Department of Commerce to resume selling chips to Huawei. However, there is a big however in the Trump administration text.

According to sources who have access to the document, the US license allows TSMC to sell only “mature technology” to Huawei. What does that mean? Nobody knows for sure, since the text is very inaccurate.

In addition, the document does not talk about processors for smartphones. Even so, market analysts believe that we are talking about chipsets and other components developed in the 28 nm process:

The concept of mature technology is not described in the US text, but there is a consensus in the industry that this means that only chips produced at 28 nm are “mature”. 16 nm, 10 nm and 7 nm technologies are still considered “advanced”.

So, however much TSMC may send chips to Huawei, the company will not be able to resume production of the Kirin 9000, which was developed in the 5 nm process. That is, the Chinese manufacturer must still face a series of difficulties to stay alive in the smartphone market.

It should be noted that the USA has also released similar licenses for AMD and Intel, but without any restrictions. For now, the Commerce Department has not yet published the document. Therefore, everything remains in the field of rumors.


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