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U.S. Demand: No Foundry, Anywhere, Can Produce Huawei Chips

If a Chinese foundry, using only Chinese equipment, produced a chip for Huawei, the U.S. could impose draconian sanctions according to the latest rules from the U.S. Commerce Department. Thet’s the plain meaning of the order:

If an entity … produces or develops an integrated circuit design utilizing specified Category 3, 4, or 5 “technology” or “software” such as Electronic Design Automation software … that foreign-produced integrated circuit design is subject to the EAR.

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Editorial: China Will Remember U.S. Huawei War for a Generation

Only an idiot would believe that the U.S. is blocking TSMC manufacture of Huawei cell phone chips because of security fears. This is commercial rivalry. The U.S. wants to put China’s leading technology company out of business.

We will fail, of course, at a price far higher than D.C. understands. The U.S. is ready for China’s immediate countermeasures, even if Apple’s stock price falls $hundreds of billions. But the long run price will be devastating.

Giant German companies have been turning away quietly from U.S. components, just in case they become the next target of U.S. wrath. When I discovered that last year, I wrote The unbelievably high cost of the war against Huawei.

This escalation means any sensible multinational manufacturer will do what is necessary to avoid becoming a pawn in battles between the U.S. and our perceived enemies. Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, and BMW sell millions of cars in China. They’d be fools to be dependent on U.S. electronic parts. Their managers are not fools. They will quietly find other suppliers, in Europe or Asia.

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Coming Soon: The Huawei PC

Huawei is already selling the motherboard, details below. It runs Linux and connects to standard PC components. Deng Li says it will come out with the next version of Hongmeng/Harmony, possibly in August.

It runs on the Kunpeng 920, Huawei’s own processor based on ARM cores. Measured by performance, it’s a hot chip, with some tests scoring higher than Intel. On the other hand, it’s cool, drawing less power than the comparable Intel chips. It’s already widely used in servers.

ARM designs are in almost every mobile phone chip, including Huawei and Qualcomm. They draw considerably less power than Intel and numerous companies have adapted them for servers.

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Huawei on 5G management April 30

China’s telcos have deployed over 200,000 5G cells and sold 50 million contacts, easily twice as many as the entire rest of the world. Many lessons have been learned.

There is no book or magazine article yet that reports what 5G requires in practice. I can only cover a small part of the industry’s experience.

Steven Zheng and Leo Liu of Huawei will speak. Huawei supplied about half the systems. James Crawshaw of Omdia/Informa will present results from an operator survey.

There’s much to learn. https://www.lightreading.com/webinar.asp?webinar_id=1618

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Radio Only 5G Small Units in Shenzhen

Huawei calls them “Book RRUs.” They are small, cheap (low thousands and falling), and designed to go everywhere you need a signal. Lightpoles (as pictured), office ceilings, large classrooms, …

The units pictured have 8 antennas (4T4R) and a laboratory speed of a gigabit using 100 MHz of spectrum. Huawei claims reach of about 150 meters up to 50 meters high. (3D networking.)

Radios like this need to be managed through a central BBU – baseband unit. Huawei has been investing in improved software for the BBU.

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Huawei/UNICOM Breakthrough: “Cell-free,” “Distributed Massive MIMO”

Theorists claim a “cell-free” wireless system can roughly double the capacity in the same amount of spectrum. UNICOM is now deploying D-Massive MIMO in indoor locations like stadiums and railroad stations. Multiple Huawei Lampsite 5G are joined together in a “Distributed Indoor System.” The Chinese telcos are looking for indoor units that cost in the low four figures, much less than current “small cells.”

Rather than each Lampsite being a traditional cell, they are all managed in coordination. Up to 64 receive & 64 transmit antennas are centrally managed and optimized.

Essentially, they are all one logical system, reorganized for performance as demand shifts. The software to make this work well needs to be very sophisticated; it must constantly adapt to changes in data traffic.

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New York Receiving Masks and More from Huawei

237 more people died here in New York from Corona Saturday, including a doctor and a nurse. The state has only a week’s worth of essential medical supplies. Singer Rihanna & many more are donating. So is Huawei, which is also donating millions of needed supplies in Africa and Europe.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted ” Thank you to:

-The Office of @NewYorkStateAG for protective masks and gloves -The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in NY (@CICU) for ventilators and PPE -JUDY for N-95 masks –@Huawei for N-95 masks, isolation gowns, medical goggles and gloves

I’m happy to report Jennie and I are safe at home, healthy, and well-provisioned.

Huawei Promotes Controlled Networks, Gets Strong Backing

The dream of telcos for two decades has been to completely control the network, an “Intelligent Network.” Huawei is introducing a new term, deterministic networking, with powerful backing: China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, and the Ministry MIIT.

The 5G Deterministic Network Alliance is also supported by State Grid, the world’s 5th largest company with over a billion electricity customers, Wuhan’s huge Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable, and 40 other companies.

Huawei also promoted in London the concept of “Cloud Native, One Core, Real-time Operation, and Edge Computing” (CORE.) China is about to build Edge Networks to over a billion people. It makes sense to integrate Edge and CORE from the beginning.

Cisco was the great proponent of intelligent networks, promising that the QOS and network control of Cisco routers would produce 10’s of billions in revenue for the carriers. Carriers are still chasing dreams of added revenue, which has been essentially flat for the last five years.

It didn’t happen then, but perhaps in 5G the technology is ready.

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Huawei Ships 10M 5G Phones

“Huawei’s 5G mobile phone shipments have exceeded 10 million units,” Huawei Consumer Business CEO Yu Chengdong reports. That’s 3 million higher than the previous figure, probably representing shipments in January.

That’s a particularly strong performance because the market in China tanked in January. Highly anticipated phone, particularly the Xiaomi Only 20 million phones were shipped in China in January, down 37% compared to January 2019. Corona became a factor late in the month, but it looks like phone sales were also down earlier.

5.465 million 5G phones shipped in China in January. That’s probably more than twice as many as the entire rest of the world, including Korea. It’s a little under plan, which calls for 150 million 5G phones in 2020. The Chinese buy ~400 million phones a year.

About 10% of the country can receive a 5G signal today. More than half will be covered with 5G by the end of 2020. 25% are buying 5G today. By yearend, it will be half or more choosing 5G.

That’s 200 million or more 5G customers in 2020

U.S. Hacks Huawei Networks, Claims “Backdoor,” Like Nokia & Ericsson

All we know is a leak to Bojan Pancevski, Germany correspondent for WSJ. He writes, “U.S. Officials Say Huawei Can Covertly Access Telecom Networks.” The U.S. is almost certainly blowing this up; both Germany and the UK confirmed Huawei purchases after the U.S. shared the classified information.

Neither Pancecski nor anyone speaking publicly has seen evidence this is a deliberate “backdoor,” as the U.S. government called it. Nor has the U.S. found any evidence its been used for spying. Neither can be ruled out because the evidence is hidden.

More likely, the U.S. has discovered a way in. Vint Cerf explains there are two types of systems: those already hacked or those that will be.

U.S. espionage spends $50 billion a year, supporting literally tens of thousands of (often brilliant) people dedicated to infiltration. Huawei gear is target #1.

It would be surprising if the U.S. didn’t find a way in that could be the real story.