In the past year, Huawei has stepped up its efforts to explore the semiconductor world to build its own semiconductor system, according to a new report.
Digitimes reports that Huawei is making a low-level entry into multiple semiconductor segments to build its own semiconductor ecosystem. In order to do this, Huawei is now making long-term agreements with equipment and material suppliers from Taiwan. This is an interesting development but no specific details about the suppliers have been revealed.
Ban and Advance:
In 2019, Huawei was added to the US Entity List, a program to block the company. This restricts Huawei from accessing core technologies made in the United States. The ban severely affected many businesses including telecom and smartphones.
In 2020, the US blocked Huawei’s access to chipsets and restricted the ability to print designs with companies like TSMC. This led Huawei to abandon the manufacture of the new Kirin smartphone chipset.
This is not the case, the US system has also tightened restrictions on the Chinese semiconductor industry. In October this year, the Biden administration banned major Chinese companies due to national security risks.
Huawei is preparing:
Despite being under attack, Huawei is constantly ramping up research and development on various technologies. Huawei increased its R&D spending to 142.7 billion yuan ($20.65 billion) last year, accounting for 22.4% of its total revenue.
The Chinese technology manufacturer is expanding its partnerships with other terrestrial household semiconductor operators and building production facilities in various regions including – Qingdao, Beijing and Wuhan.
It’s a baseline for developing silicon carbide chips, a type of power semiconductor that future cars will need in massive quantities.
On the other hand, Huawei is hiring new global talent specializing in power semiconductor development, in which German chipmaker Infineon Technologies is the number one player. In addition, Huawei is also looking for experts in CPU architecture.
Coming to China, Huawei employs processor chips, RF components and analog chips, as well as chip packaging design and testing experts in Xi’an, Chengdu, Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.
A report from NikkeiAsia reveals that Huawei is focusing on hacks and not the cost of the hack itself.
The goal now is to advance production of core chips for communications base stations, surveillance cameras, automotive applications, and smartphones as quickly as possible. Huawei is also seeking to completely rebuild the supply chain. This includes manufacturing, packaging and stacking, as well as chip making materials and equipment.
However, industry analysts have their own opinion on this matter.
“It is almost impossible for a complete semiconductor supply chain to be built by one country without foreign help. It may need some political negotiation after all,” Bernstein Research told me.
The question is when will Huawei complete its chipset platform. The answer to this question depends on time as it is a critical component in the research and development of any technology. So far, none of this information has been confirmed by Huawei through official channels.