The nozzle that tightens around Huawei narrows. A Chinese company cannot purchase US software or hardware without US consent. In addition, non-US companies using US technology have been banned from collaborating with Huawei since this year.
For Huawei and its subsidiary HiSilicon, this means that it can not develop its own new chipsets because it uses processor and graphics cores designed by Arm. This is a British company, but with development centers in the United States, where a number of technologies were actually created.
And even if Huawei develops its own chipset, it will not do anywhere. Until now, he has used the semiconductor factories in the Taiwanese TSMC. However, due to the ban, it accepted the last orders in May this year and as of September 1
The Chinese could theoretically use Samsung’s factories, but even with them the question is how much they use American equipment in the factories. “Safe” production could take place in the Chinese SMIC, but it is technically behind many years and Kirin would not be able to produce top chips.
Richard Yu, head of Huawi’s consumer division, confirmed the situation in earnest last week. He said that due to American pressure, Kirin production really stopped and this year’s generation may be the last. The powerful Kirin 1020, which will be featured in the upcoming Mate 40 Pro phone, will still be created. But we do not yet know how the company managed to deliver in advance. The same chip is always used by the upcoming P-Series model, so in the future Huawei P50 Pro.
A lifeline from Qualcomm?
What’s left for Huawei? It can take chips from other companies. It currently relies on Taiwanese MediaTek for lower mobile phones. But the American Qualcomm also wants to participate in the game. According to Bloomberg, he is asking the Department of Commerce for an exemption that would allow him to sell Snapdragons.
He claims that if Huawei does not buy in the US, it will find a partner elsewhere. In addition, the ministry has previously granted an exemption for AMD and Intel, which can also supply chips for Huawei and Honor computers.
No one knows what it will be like yet. What is certain, however, is that Huawei will have a very difficult time retaining the throne of the largest smartphone manufacturer. According to an IDC analysis, the company sat on it during the second quarter, when it experienced huge growth in China, while the rest of the manufacturers suffered from the coronavirus crisis. After Nokia fell eight years ago, only Samsung and Apple turned around in the first place.
By the way, Microsoft also got an exemption for trading, thanks to which Huawei can pre-install Windows on computers. But Google can not work with the Chinese, so Android phones and tablets can not have their services and apps.