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Huawei is running out of chips for its smartphones because of US sanctions

The Mate 40 will be the last phone to ship with a Kirin chipset.



The chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is running out of processor chips to make smartphones. It’s due to the US sanctions that the company will be forced to stop production of its own chips, a company executive said.

Due to the ongoing pressure on Huawei’s suppliers, it has been impossible for the company’s HiSilicon chip division to keep making the chipsets, key component for mobile phones. The upcoming Huawei Mate 40 smartphone will still exhibit a flagship Kirin SoC, and will be the last Huawei phone with a Kirin chip (via Caixin).

Huawei’s HiSilicon produces chips including the Kirin processors, which are seen only on Huawei smartphones. The Kirin chips are the only Chinese processors that can rival Qualcomm’s in terms of quality. Back in May, the US Commerce Department issued orders that blocked shipments of semiconductors to Huawei as most of Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors are direct product of “certain US software and technology.”

The chip division relies on software from US companies such as Cadence Design Systems Inc or Synopsys to design its chips. It subcontracts the production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which also uses equipments from US companies.

The tension between US-China are escalating at a dizzying state, Washington is rushing governments around the world to abolish Huawei, claiming that it’s been data breaching to the Chinese government. But Huawei denies the allegations. Huawei’s chief financial officer of Canada, Meng Wanzhou, has also been asked for extradition on charges of bank fraud.

Despite the ban in the US, Huawei beat Samsung to become the world’s biggest smartphone supplier in the second quarter of 2020, shipping more phones between April and June than any other company. Although it’s likely because of the global health crisis which has led many market closures.

/ The Verge

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