Exclusive: Huawei unit ships Chinese-made surveillance chips in fresh comeback sign

Exclusive: Huawei unit ships Chinese-made surveillance chips in fresh comeback sign

Huawei Technologies, despite facing four years of U.S. export controls, has found a way to ship new Chinese-made chips for surveillance cameras. The company’s HiSilicon chip design unit has started supplying these chips to surveillance camera manufacturers, with at least some of the customers being Chinese. This development indicates that Huawei is successfully overcoming the export controls imposed by the U.S. government, which have restricted its access to components and technology from American firms without approval.

In addition to the surveillance camera chips, Huawei has also recently introduced new smartphones that utilize domestically made advanced chips. This demonstrates the company’s ability to work around the U.S. export controls and continue innovating in the technology sector. The ease of manufacturing surveillance chips compared to smartphone processors has contributed to HiSilicon’s success in this area, and its return to the market is expected to disrupt the industry.

One key factor in Huawei’s ability to bypass U.S. restrictions on chip design software is its breakthrough in developing tools for chips produced at and above 14 nanometers. Although this technology is not cutting-edge, it represents a significant advancement for the company. HiSilicon, which was previously the dominant chip supplier to the surveillance camera sector, saw its global market share decline to just 3.9% by 2021, according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

While HiSilicon has shipped some low-end surveillance chips since 2019, its focus is now on the high-end arena and regaining market share from competitors like Taiwan’s Novatek Microelectronics Corp. The company’s success in this endeavor is attributed to its ability to work around U.S. restrictions and its commitment to developing high-quality chips.

Huawei’s recent launch of the Mate 60 Pro smartphone, which features an advanced chip capable of 5G speeds, has drawn attention to the company’s technological capabilities. The chip, known as Kirin 9000S, is likely manufactured in China by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC). Huawei has not provided details on how it produced the advanced chip or its 5G capabilities. The U.S. government has expressed concerns about Huawei’s access to advanced chip technology and has called for additional pressure and export controls on the company and SMIC.

The U.S. sanctions have limited HiSilicon’s access to electronic design automation (EDA) software from companies like Cadence Design Systems Inc and Synopsys Inc, as well as Siemens AG’s Mentor Graphics. These software tools are crucial for chip design, and their restriction has posed a challenge for Huawei. However, analysis of the Mate 60 Pro suggests that Huawei may have access to sophisticated EDA tools, either through illicit means or through the development of their own tools.

In conclusion, Huawei’s HiSilicon chip design unit has found ways to ship Chinese-made chips for surveillance cameras, overcoming U.S. export controls. The company has also introduced new smartphones with advanced chips, indicating its ability to innovate despite restrictions. The success of HiSilicon in the surveillance camera sector and Huawei’s advancements in chip design highlight the company’s resilience and determination to overcome challenges in the technology industry.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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