Huawei’s newest laptop runs on a chip made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., a teardown of the device showed, quashing talk of another Chinese technological breakthrough.
The Qingyun L540 notebook contains a 5-nanometer chip made by the Taiwanese company in 2020, around the time U.S. sanctions cut off Huawei’s access to the chipmaker, research firm TechInsights found after dismantling the device for Bloomberg News. That counters speculation that Huawei’s domestic chipmaking partner, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., may have achieved a major leap in fabrication technique.
Huawei caused a stir in the U.S. and China last August when it released a smartphone with a 7nm processor made by Shanghai-based SMIC. A teardown by the Canada-based research outfit for Bloomberg News showed the Mate 60 Pro’s chip was only a few years behind the cutting edge, a feat that U.S. trade curbs were meant to prevent. That revelation spurred celebration across the Chinese tech scene, and a debate in the U.S. about the effectiveness of sanctions.