“Huawei was using several RF parts from HiSilicon in the Mate 20 5G, which surprised us. We hadn’t seen that before.” Tech Insights examines thousands of devices each year to help the industry understand the latest advances.
The best, smallest radio frequency parts come from U.S. manufacturers like Qorvo & Skyworks. The first 5G phones support ~35 different frequency bands at high speed. Phones like the Galaxy 10 5G already have a problem on very hot days; the RF amplifiers need to be very power-efficient.
CEO Bob Bruggeworth of Qorvo estimates Huawei can now produce about 30% of the RF parts it needs.
He remains optimistic about future sales. Skyworks CEO Liam Griffin is confident Skyworks’ team of very experienced engineers will continue to produce the best designs.
Huawei has protected itself with an inventory of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of components. It would be possible to switch to non-U.S. suppliers, but the parts are bigger and less efficient. Without the Americans, Huawei phones might have to be slightly larger.
RF parts for phones and FPGA’s for radios are the most important parts that will be hard to replace. 90% of what Huawei needs can be purchased outside the U.S.