Every major chip needs a brain, a “CPU.” Huawei buys the design from Arm, a British company. The CPUs for something like Huawei’s 5G chip are literally hundreds of millions of transistors. Arm does a great job designing CPUs and sells them at a price much lower than it would cost to do your own design. Huawei and over a thousand others buy from Arm.
I wrote a few days ago that Huawei could obtain elsewhere 90% of what they buy from the U.S. and pointed to ways to solve the last 10%. Designing Huawei’s own core is likely to take more than a year.
This is potentially the most severe blow of the U.S. war, although it won’t be an issue until Huawei needs new chip designs, perhaps in 6-9 months.
Quote is from the Washington Post.
Losing Arm as a supplier would “cripple key Huawei chips.”