Huawei’s consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong recently said frankly that due to the sanctions imposed by the United States, the production of the high-end smartphone processor “Kirin 9000” will soon be terminated, and TSMC will “cut the supply” of chips on September 15. In this regard, analysts said that Huawei now has five options to respond to US sanctions, but each challenge is enormous.
CNBC reported that Neil Mawston, executive director of the wireless device strategy department of Strategy Analytics, a technology market survey agency, said that 15 chipset suppliers around the world can cooperate with Huawei, but there are only 5 “viable” options:
- First, transfer the Kirin processor production order to SIMC
- Second, purchase chips from Unisoc
- Third, place an order to MediaTek in Taiwan
- Fourth, place an order to Samsung Electronics in South Korea (Samsung Electronics);
- Fifth, find a way for Qualcomm to obtain immunity from the US ban
However, Mawston warned that each of the above options faces challenges. SMIC uses American equipment to manufacture chips, and the technology is seriously behind TSMC. I don’t know when it will launch the 7nm process. It will take several years for Spreadtrum to meet the requirements of Huawei for chip production capacity and quality.
Although Samsung makes its own Exynos series chipsets, the company may not want to share it with rival Huawei. Although Qualcomm worked hard to lobby the US government, the US presidential election is about to be held in November, and the government’s attitude may not be softened this year.
Although MediaTek is the most viable option in the short term, Mawston believes that there are still some risks because the company has some chips commissioned by TSMC and will eventually face US inspections.
Neil Shah, Director of Research at Counterpoint Research, believes that Huawei may consider selling HiSilicon, a chip design business, and merge it with suppliers similar to MediaTek, and transfer knowledge and patents to create exclusive chipsets for Huawei’s devices. Cooperate with its self-developed HarmonyOS operating system.