The direct consequence of US trade sanctions on Chinese chipmakers is that they cannot access the most advanced processes to manufacture their processors. This means that they have to look for alternatives to make more complex chips. That’s why 3D chips are made at Huawei.
A 3D chip is nothing more than several chips which are stacked on top of each other and which may be of a different nature from each other, but which communicate through a vertical interface. Today the vast majority of memories in SSD units are of this type, we also have the case of the different generations of HBM memory and the case of AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D which combines an SRAM memory chip with a processor placed on the one above the other.
The use of this type of processor has grown in recent years in order to solve a series of explicit problems, such as the energy cost of internal communication and during the manufacture of chips with new processes for manufacturing chips or knots. However, it also serves to increase the complexity of chips from older designs without the need to commit to a new node. Something that 3D NAND manufacturers have been doing for some time and that Huawei intends to do well to not be left behind in the technological race. Especially with regard to the development of laptops with ARM processor
Why will Huawei manufacture 3D chips?
First of all, it should be clarified that the Chinese multinational is not going to develop any graphics chip and, therefore, it is not going to enter the fray against AMD, Intel and NVIDIA. We are talking here about building processors consisting of multiple chips stacked on top of each other. A growing trend in microprocessor design for all types of computers in recent times.
The idea of 3D chips from Huawei It is only a direct effect ofAmerican trade geopolitics. Not having access to TSMC nodes for the manufacture of its chips, it had to opt for manufacturers in China, the most advanced being SMIC, which is also prohibited from obtaining all the machines necessary to manufacture chips with smaller transistors. . The consequence? If you want to get more advanced processors need more transistors
Huawei and SMIC’s method of interconnecting their chips in 3D is called overlap. It consists of adding an interconnection layer in each of the two parts that make up the 3D chip. At the top, the chip is located at the bottom. While the bottom chip is up because it is face down. In this way, Huawei’s 3D chips they avoid expensive routes through the silicon.