$400M in parts inventory, four month+ supply

Joe Madden, a well-informed analyst, writes,

During late 2018, Huawei started ramping up their purchasing of key semiconductors for their 5G base station platform. By May 2019 [Huawei] had inventory equivalent to 100,000 additional base stations using 64T64R MIMO. 

Yes, that’s a pile of 20 million amplifiers and millions of FPGAs. It’s a commitment of at least $400 million for “extra” inventory, in addition to their immediate production requirements.

FPGA’s (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) are designed to replace a circuit board with a single, easily configured chip. They are the right choice for the initial design and any product that’s not being sold in high volume. As product volume goes up, they are usually replaced with a dedicated chip, an “Application specific integrated circuit.”

Xilinx and Intel/Altera, both U.S. companies, dominate the top of the market.

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