According to the latest information, Huawei is expected to fab 5G chips on a 7nm process at SMIC this year, reports the Nikkei. For your information, the chips will not be available on phones until next year. Last year, SMIC made a special chip for mining cryptocurrency for Bit using a 7nm process.
However, they have now developed a new technology called Extensive Design Technology Co-Optimization (DTCO) and high-density logic libraries. This allows them to fit 89 million transistors in each square millimeter (89MT/mm^2), which is similar to the technology used by TSMC and Intel. Because of this, SMIC’s N+1 process is a viable alternative to the 7nm technology for making chips this year.
The 7nm process Huawei is using is thought to be SMIC’s N+1 process characterised by TechInsights as having Fin Pitch (FP), Contacted Poly Pitch (CPP) and Metal 2 Pitch (M2P) sizes either larger or the same as TSMC’s N10 process.