After the “ban on production” came into effect, Huawei’s fate of The Seas, the industry is highly concerned, Huawei consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong a sentence “Kirin series of chips after September 15 can not be manufactured, will become a final song.” “There was a strong sense of shock, and even many people thought that “Huawei’s mobile phone has no chips”. Huawei is known to be not allowed to design and manufacture chips using any products involving U.S. technology under the U.S. Commerce Department’s ban on further restrictions on China.
The ban means the U.S. will cut off Huawei’s supply of Kirin chips directly. However, this does not mean that Huawei has reached the point where no chips are available, and other chip companies will have the opportunity to “take orders” for Huawei’s mobile phone.
Huawei’s mobile phone bids farewell to “Kirin”
Huawei mobile phones in recent years in the mobile phone market can “take the wind and waves”, to achieve a new high is an important factor is the increasingly mature self-research Kirin chip. Since Ren Zhengfei launched the research and development of Huawei’s Hyse Kirin chip in 2004, Huawei has invested a huge amount of money, with a cumulative investment of over 600 billion yuan in research and development over the past 10 years, making it one of the top five chip manufacturers in the world.
“Over the past decade or so, Huawei’s exploration in the chip field has gone from being seriously backward to falling behind to falling behind a little behind, to finally catching up, to leading the way, and we have paid a great investment in research and development, and experienced a very difficult process. Unfortunately, in semiconductor manufacturing, Huawei is not involved in the heavy asset investment field and heavy capital-intensive industries, we just did the chip design, did not engage in chip manufacturing. Yu Chengdong said.
As Yu Chengdong said, Huawei’s mobile phone chips are all Kirin chips produced by his Company, although the Kirin chip was designed by Hess, but it is not made by Hess, and Huawei’s chip making is all from TSMC. After the U.S. “chip ban”, Huawei’s Hyse Kirin chips can no longer be handed over to TSMC, and local manufacturers such as SMIC still have a big gap in their technology and process capabilities in high-end chip manufacturing. TSMC, for example, is already able to mass produce 5nm chips, while SMIC currently produces only 14nm.
“The Mate 40’s Kirin 9000 chip is likely to be the last generation of Kirin’s high-end chips.” Mr Yu said Huawei shipped 60m fewer smartphones after Last Year’s U.S. sanctions, but in the first half of this year, Huawei’s consumer business smartphones had the world’s largest market share in the second quarter, and under the new round of sanctions, Huawei’s chips have been out of stock, predicting that this year’s shipments will be even lower than 240 million.
Who will “connect” Huawei’s mobile phone chips?
The inability of Kirin chips to produce does not mean that Huawei’s handsets are “no chips available” and that Huawei will maintain the mobile phone product line by increasing its procurement of foreign chips in the future. From the current situation, Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek have the opportunity to “take over” huawei mobile phone chip orders.
MediaTek currently supplies mainly low-end products in Huawei’s supply chain, and as early as January, MediaTek’s mid-range 5G Soc 800 chip received a large order from Huawei. Since the second quarter of 2020, Huawei has increased the purchase of 5G Soc 800 chips to produce its range of phones, according to Digitimes Research. Up to now, Huawei has become mediaTek 800 series 5G chip shipments of the highest mobile phone manufacturers.
Samsung, the world’s second-largest chip foundry after TSMC, may be able to make advanced chips for Huawei’s 5G devices in the near future, but with difficulty in doing so. According to media reports, Samsung is discussing the market changes triggered by Huawei.
Although Qualcomm is currently unable to supply chips to Huawei under the “ban”, Qualcomm is pushing the U.S. government to allow it to cooperate with Huawei. Earlier, Qualcomm also announced a long-term licensing agreement with Huawei, which is seen by the industry as a symbol of in-depth cooperation between the two sides. Qualcomm will supply Huawei with its SnapDragon chips for the P50 and Mate 50 next year, according to overseas analysts. This means that Huawei’s difficulties on 5G’s high-end flagship chip are expected to be resolved.
Adhere to the independent supply chain to accelerate the breakthrough of core technology.
Expanding peripheral procurement is only a stopgap measure and does not fundamentally remove the risks facing Huawei’s mobile phone business. Yu Chengdong said that in order to break through in the U.S. blockade, Chinese enterprises will have to achieve innovation and breakthrough in basic technological capabilities to win the next era.
He pointed out that in the manufacture of semiconductors, we want to break through the design, materials, manufacturing, process, design capabilities, packaging sealing and so on. “Whether it’s corner overtaking or half-way overtaking, we want to be ahead in a new era. The world has not done things, only not big enough determination and not big enough investment. “
In addition to its core mobile hardware, Huawei is also strong on the underlying operating system, software ecology, and IoT ecology. Sources say Huawei has included laptops, smart screens and IoT home smart products in its “South Mud Bay” project, hoping to become self-sufficient and free from U.S. influence.
According to Yu Chengdong, Harmony OS has been able to get through a variety of devices, “this year Huawei watches, smart screens will be equipped with Harmony OS.” South-to-south distributed equipment, north-bound a large number of applications, building ecology. “
While Harmony is far from the mobile phone application stage, Huawei’s self-developed HMS service has enjoyed rapid growth in the global market. At present, there are more than 80,000 applications for integrated HMS services worldwide, and more than 520 million monthly active users of Huawei Terminal Cloud Services in the first half of this year.
“For us, the U.S. sanctions are painful, but at the same time they are a big opportunity to force us to upgrade our industries as quickly as possible.” Yu Chengdong believes that China should build the entire basic system capability such as operating systems, ecological services and chips, so that Chinese enterprises can not be held hostage to people, but also participate in global competition and earn more profits.