When it comes to chip development for smartphones, we know that there are very few players in the market. We have the likes of MediaTek, Qualcomm, Huawei, and Samsung monopolizing the market. The flagship models of mobile phone manufacturers generally use Qualcomm processors. Although MediaTek was not satisfied with its low-end advantages and released high-end chips to challenge Qualcomm, it ended in failure.
With the advent of the 5G era, mobile phone hardware is ushering in a round of major reshuffle. MediaTek, which has long been irresistible, finally ushered in its own turnaround. Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, and other major mobile phone brands have launched 5G mobile phone products using MediaTek’s Dimensity series.
According to media reports, thanks to the surge in demand MediaTek’s 5G chip sales, it has added orders to TSMC. The report claims that MediaTek’s Dimensity series chip sale is soaring and the company is increasing its order with TSMC. The increment in orders comes in three waves. It comes with an additional investment of more than 20,000 wafers per month. Furthermore, it covers TSMC’s 7nm and 12nm processes. There is also news that it is preparing for TSMC’s 5nm process production line.
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However, a bulk of these orders may be for the 7nm process. This is because the booming TSMC Dimensity series basically use the 7nm process. The layout of 5nm will be the first opportunity for MediaTek to seize the high-end market.
Already, Huawei’s order with TSMC is hitting the roof. Some months ago, there were reports that Huawei purchases with MediaTek have risen by 300%. To this end, MediaTek may become the largest chip supplier for Huawei mobile phones in the second half of the year. In addition, MediaTek’s 5G SoC shipments are expected to increase to 42 million units throughout the year.
Will the U.S. ban stop MediaTek from selling to Huawei?
However, the latest U.S. ban prohibits companies that use American technology from doing business with Huawei. TSMC uses a lot of American technology thus it can not do business with Huawei’s HiSilicon. If MediaTek uses TSMC’s 7nm process and Huawei buys from MediaTek, will this not violate the new laws? The new laws seem to aim to stop Huawei from using American technology. If the law does not stop Huawei from buying from MediaTek, then Huawei is indirectly using American technology. However, the US Department of Commerce (USDoC) Secretary, Wilbur Ross, has stated recently that the new US regulations to block Huawei have no loopholes. Thus, this is not a loophole for Huawei to take advantage of.