Mobile World Live (MWL) brings you our top three picks of the week as the US revoked export licences held by companies selling to Huawei, Apple refreshed its iPad portfolio and the Biden administration set aside $258 million to boost chips industry through digital twins research.

US tightens control on Huawei, revokes export licences

What happened: The US government cranked up control over Huawei’s semiconductor supply chain as it revoked export licences held by companies, selling to the Chinese vendor, impacting Qualcomm and Intel.

Why it matters: Undisclosed sources of Financial Times (FT) said the move will affect the supply of chips for Huawei’s laptops and mobile phones, and a spokesperson from the US government told the outlet the tightened restrictions are linked to “a constantly changing threat environment and technological landscape”. Export control expert at Beacon Global Strategies Meghan Harris told FT this “indicates how seriously the US government is approaching—and not backing down from—what it views as national security threats from Chinese technology”.

Apple revamps iPad lineup, adds M4 chip to Pro model

What happened: Apple said it will use a new premium M4 processor in its latest iPad Pro as it upgraded its tablet line for the first time in 18 months.

Why it matters: Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed an event held to unveil the new iPad line-up was “the biggest day for the devices since they were first introduced”, with the new Pro variant powered by its M4 chipset it developed specifically for the device. PP Foresight founder Paolo Pescatore said the company “is now demonstrating its AI prowess with the new redesigned iPad Pro powered by Apple silicon and the transformative M4 chipset”, which he believes will be a big draw among users and developers. “Apple is further stealing a march and raising the bar much higher for its rivals,” Pescatore added.

US seeks digital twin proposals to boost chip industry

What happened: The administration of US President Joe Biden revealed a $285 million plan to set up an R&D institution dedicated to the use of digital twins to further boost the country’s semiconductor industry.

Why it matters: The plan to establish the facility for digital twins and chip manufacturing is expected “to help train the next generation of US workers and researchers to use digital twins for future advances in R&D and production of chips”, said US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Funding for the incentive is part of the US’ 2022 CHIPS act designed to address global chip shortage and better compete with China.