South Korean company SK Hynix is ​​looking into how its chips made it into the Huawei Mate 60 Pro

Hong Kong/Seoul

SK Hynix, a South Korean chip maker, is investigating how two of its memory chips mysteriously got inside the Mate 60 Pro, a controversial smartphone launched by Huawei last week.

Hynix shares fell more than 4% on Friday after it was revealed that two of its products, a 12GB LPDDR5 chip and a 512GB NAND flash memory chip, had been found inside a Huawei phone by TechInsights, a Canada-based research organization. A semiconductor specialist, who disassembled the phone for analysis.

“The significance of this development is that there are limitations to what SK Hynix can ship to China,” JDan Hutchison, vice president of TechInsights, told CNN. “Where do these chips come from? The big question is whether any laws have been broken.”

A Hynix spokesperson told CNN on Friday that it was aware of its chips being used in a Huawei phone and had begun investigating the issue.

And it said in a statement that the company “no longer deals with Huawei since the imposition of US restrictions on the company.”

“SK Hynix strictly adheres to the export restrictions imposed by the US government,” the company said.

Industry insiders said it is possible that Huawei purchased the memory chips on the secondary market rather than directly from the manufacturer. It’s also possible that Huawei had accumulated stockpiles of components before the US export restrictions went into full effect.

TechInsights had previously revealed The “brains” of the phone were powered by the 5G Kirin 9000s chip made by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, China’s largest chip maker, known as SMIC.

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It is still examining the Mate 60 Pro and does not rule out the possibility of finding more components made by companies subject to US trade sanctions. So far, most of the phone’s components have been provided by Chinese suppliers.

Analysts said the smartphone is a major achievement for China as it struggles with the United States over access to advanced technology.

This development prompted US Congressmen Mike Gallagher and Michael McCall to do so In contact The White House – which seeks More informationN in connection with the phone – to further restrict the export sales of technology to Chinese companies.

Huawei and SMIC did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2019, the US government banned US companies from selling software and equipment to Huawei. It also barred international chipmakers that use US technology from doing business with the company.

That is why, after four years, the launch of the Mate 60 Pro last week shocked industry experts who did not understand how Huawei, headquartered in Shenzhen, would be able to manufacture such an advanced smartphone after the comprehensive efforts of the United States. To restrict China’s access to foreign chip technology.

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