Huawei forges deal in Europe to protect chip supply - Mobile World Live

Huawei forges deal in Europe to protect chip supply

29 APR 2020

Huawei took another step to guard its chip supply from US protectionism, with the Nikkei Asian Review reporting the company collaborated with STMicroelectronics to jointly design semiconductors for mobile devices and autonomous-driving applications.

Its chip partnership with the French-Italian company reportedly started in 2019, and aims to provide Huawei with a supply of advanced components along with access to the latest software to develop chips, sources told the news agency.

The arrangement would protect the Chinese vendor from any trade restrictions on the chips it designs in-house and contracts out to chipmakers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

Details of the move come as Huawei seeks to reduce its reliance on chips made using US-designed components, following the threat of new trade sanctions from the nation due to security concerns.

New barriers
In late March, the US administration advanced a proposal to limit Huawei’s access to certain components, adding to previous moves to prohibit domestic chip makers supplying the vendor as part of a trade ban imposed in May 2019, which has been stayed several times since.

Reuters recently noted the new restrictions on the use of US-made components in chips produced for Huawei would directly affect TSMC.

HiSilicon success
Meanwhile, Huawei’s fast-growing HiSilicon chip unit shipped more smartphone processors in China than rival Qualcomm for the first time during Q1, as Covid-19 (coronavirus)-related restrictions led to declines for most vendors, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

Figures from CINNO Research showed HiSilicon’s market share rose to 43.9 per cent, up by 3.5 percentage points year-on-year, as its shipments of edged up marginally to 22.2 million units, making it the only major player not to book declines in the quarter, the newspaper wrote.

Smartphone processor shipments in the mainland plunged 44.5 per cent in Q1, with Qualcomm’s share falling by 5 percentage points to 32.8 per cent, SCMP said, citing the CINNO Research data.

The sector was hit by a 34.7 per cent decline in smartphone shipments in China in Q1 to 47.7 million units, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology showed.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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