UK chip designer ARM has ended its relationship with Huawei in an effort to comply with US sanctions against the Chinese telecommunications giant.
As we inform during the week, the Trump administration has issued a decree that places Huawei on a blacklist, a decision that forces American companies to stop doing business with the Chinese giant of telecommunications. Unless you have an official authorization.
With this sanction, Huawei has quickly seen thisUS partners begin suspending business relationships until further notice.
This is the case of Google, which is the publisher of the operating system used by Huawei phones, but also many semiconductor vendors among other technology companies: Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, Broadcom, Qorvo, Micron Technology and Western Digital.
This movement, however, was not limited to the United States. Since the German chipmaker Infineon Technologies, for example, has suspended its shipments of components to Huawei, while other technology companies in Europe and Asia have reported on the study of the implications of the Trump Decree for their companies.
These include French-Italian chipmaker ST Microelectronics, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the leading Asian chip supplier in China; Toshiba Memory, the world's second largest flash memory vendor; and the display provider of Japan Display Inc.
It appears that foreign companies using a certain amount of American technology in the manufacture of products that they sell to Huawei are also subject to the same restriction. Therefore, they risk legal repercussions in the United States if they do not comply with Donald Trump's decree.
They themselves could be blacklisted. This explains the decision of the chip designer ARM, bought in 2016 by the Japanese Softbank, but which maintains its headquarters in Cambridge.
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ARM is simply obliged to suspend relationship with Huawei
The company British has ordered its employees to suspend "all active contracts and outstanding commitments" with Huawei after the United States has added Huawei to a list of companies that American companies cannot process with.
ARM stated in an internal note that its designs contained US-sourced technology. As a result, its staff were no longer authorized to "provide support, technologies (software, code, or other updates) or participate in technical discussions" with Huawei.
"ARM complies with the latest restrictions established by the US government and is in discussions with the appropriate government agencies to ensure that we continue to comply," an ARM spokesperson said in a statement. “ARM appreciates your relationship with our long-time partner HiSilicon [Huawei's semiconductor business, Ed] and we look forward to a speedy resolution of this issue. «
ARM is a strong blow for Huawei
If Huawei says it has a plan B to work with Android, yesin ARM, it would be more difficult to overcome US restrictions.
ARM proposes architectures that are sold under an intellectual property license to many designers. It offers different options in which builders can take what interests them to be complemented with their own options or those of third-party designers.
Today, ARM is best known for its SoCs, which are integrated into a single chip: microprocessor, graphics processor (GPU), DSP, FPU, SIMD and device driver. And these are present in most smartphones and tablets.
Therefore devices with Samsung Exynos, Qualcomm Snapdragon or Apple A11, ARM technology is still involved. Like Apple and chipmakers like Qualcomm, Huawei is using ARM's intellectual property to design the processors that power its smartphones.
In other words, ARM is the basis of the chip design for Huawei's smartphones. For this reason, some analysts believe that the ARM decision is an insurmountable obstacle for Huawei. This potentially crippled the Chinese company's ability to make new chips for its future smartphones.