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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.”
22 May 2019
BT told reporters they yanked the Huawei Mate 20 from the announcement because of the U.S. war. It forgot to take Huawei out of the press release. I discovered what you see at left when I pasted in for this article. (type made larger)I’m sure someone in the Chinese embassy is already talking to the government – if they can figure out who’s running the British government as May considers how to resign.
The deployment is almost surely small. I draw that conclusion from the failure of BT to release availability maps or the number of homes passed/radios installed. The only interesting news is that the pr says BT will start URLLC in 2023.
They are the first in the world to confirm URLLC, the faster version that drops “air latency” from ~10 ms to 5 ms or less. True latency – the time from a phone to the nearest server – will be ~5 ms less than the 15-30 ms without URLLC. A little more here
Huawei’s Atlas computing platform analyzes video clips from 20,000 cameras in real time for Shenzen. The “traffic brain” “can search for photos from its library of 1 billion photos in just seconds and analyze the video clips provided by more than 20,000 cameras in real time. It has boosted road capacity in Shenzhen by around 8%” Huawei annual report.
It has also “resulted in a tenfold increase in law enforcement efficiency.” Many security agencies around the world – not just in China – are likely fascinated by the potential.
Shenzhen already has some traffic cameras networked for a similar purpose. What Huawei brings to the table in an AI system capable of supporting 20,000 cameras.Continue reading
It appears I could go to jail if I sell a subscription to Huawei. It’s an American business and probably covered by the blockade.
The ITU international telecommunications treaty has an exemption from blockades that was designed to allow Iranians and Cubans to subscribe to publications like the Washington Post over the Internet.
The U.S. refused to sign the treaty and walked out of the ITU WCIT meeting.
I hereby give permission for any of my subscribers outside the United States to copy The Huawei Report if you want to share it with an Iranian, Cuban or similar enemy of the U.S. government.
Please don’t tell me. I don’t want to go to prison.
D.C. has a fantasy that the world stops at Washington’s command. The U.S. is ahead in a handful of high-tech fields, but fewer and fewer. My research shows that about 90% of the purchases from the U.S. can be replaced within months from other parts of the world. Update 5/22. British company ARM blocked Huawei from using Arm designs for future 5G & AI chips. This could be a major problem. Update 6/17 Huawei and China are well on the way to replacing Android, ARM, and RF chips. The only thing that’s biting is the Google blockade, costing tens of billions in phone sales.
For example, Huawei buys memory chips from Micron in the U.S. It could buy similar chips from SK Hynix in Korea, Toshiba in Japan, and imminently Yangtze Memory in China. Many of the most important parts already come from Asia, including screens for mobile phones.
The hardest to replace will be RF for phones, advanced optics, FPGA’s, and chip design software. Here are some details and possible solutions.
Jeanne Whalen was kind enough to include me in her article. (Might have paywall)
“Unlike ZTE, Huawei makes some of its own semiconductor chips, and Huawei can tap alternative, non-U.S. suppliers for some parts and technology, analysts said. “There are very few [parts] they can’t just buy from Japan or Korea or France today,” said Dave Burstein, a telecom analyst for STL Partners who recently began publishing Huawei Report & News.
Huawei also has about $38 billion in cash and short-term securities it can tap to weather the storm, Burstein noted. And recent quarterly earnings reports from some U.S. tech firms have suggested that Huawei may have been stockpiling parts before the White House ban, in anticipation of a possible blockade, Burstein said.”
In a few minutes I’ll post “90% of Huawei U.S. purchases can be rapidly replaced,” after I fix a few things. It has the explanation and backup for what I say here.
Huawei on Dec 31, 2018 had cash and cash equivalents of CNY184.1 billion. It also had other short term investments of CNY81.8 billion. That is about US$38 billion. Ren has been preparing for war for a decade.
Huawei has about US$10 billion in debt, much of it not due until 2022 or later.
For much more about Huawei finances, check the 2018 annual report.
“Many years ago, when everything was going smoothly, the company made ultimate survival assumption that one day we might have no access to any advanced chips and technology from U.S
“We have courage, wisdom and tenacity to conquer and prevail in the end! Storms ahead is the time we show our true heroic nature, no matter what, we can build our own Noah’s Ark”.Continue reading
Can Huawei use U.S. parts for 90 days for equipment in place in Europe? News reports suggest the 90-day exemption only applies to U.S. rural carriers. But the plain language of the announcement does not say it is only U.S. carriers and mentions “foreign carriers.”
Based on the official announcement, it appears Huawei can order parts for European customers as well. IANAL. I would suggest any U.S. company selling to Huawei check with a good attorney.
Trade enforcementFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMonday, May 20, 2019
Department of Commerce Issues Limited Exemptions on Huawei ProductsContinue reading
Christopher Balding and Donald Clarke have published a paper with interesting details of Huawei’s ownership. They confirm that the profits not reinvested are distributed among the employees.
“The Huawei operating company is 100% owned by a holding company, which is in turn approximately 1% owned by Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei and 99% owned by an entity called a “trade union committee” for the holding company. … What have been called “employee shares” in “Huawei” are in fact at most contractual interests in a profit-sharing scheme. “Continue reading