October 25, 2019 / 8:49 AM / 18 days ago

Britain's ARM to continue supplying chip technology to Huawei

    SHENZHEN, China/BEIJING Oct 25 (Reuters) - Chip designer ARM
will continue to supply Huawei Technologies after the British
company's legal team ruled that its chip technology is of UK
origin and would not breach U.S. restrictions on supplying the
Chinese tech giant.
    Huawei         , the world's No. 2 smartphone manufacturer,
uses ARM blueprints to design processors that power its
smartphones. 
    In May, ARM, owned by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp         ,
halted relations with Huawei after the United States all but
banned American companies from doing business with it,
disrupting Huawei's ability to source key parts.             
    While Huawei was granted a reprieve until November, it
remains set to lose access to some technology next month. ARM's
continued supply of chip technology to Huawei's fully-owned
chipmaker HiSilicon will ease the pressure it faces. 
    Huawei's proprietary chips such as Kirin 990 mobile
processors and Ascend 910 AI chipset are built on ARM's design
architecture and considered a major hallmark of the Chinese
firm's attempts to reduce its reliance on U.S. technologies.
    "ARM's v8 and v9 are UK-origin technologies," an ARM
spokeswoman told Reuters via email on Friday.
    "ARM can provide support to HiSilicon for the ARM v8-A
architecture, as well as the next generation of that
architecture, following a comprehensive review of both
architectures, which have been determined to be of UK origin."
    The U.S. government alleges that Huawei is a national
security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy.
Huawei has repeatedly denied its products pose a security
threat.
    Huawei's results published last week showed the company's
revenue remains resilient in the face of the U.S. ban, with
revenue for the first nine months of this year growing 24.4% to
610.8 billion yuan. 
    It is unclear whether the U.S. ban will affect ARM's chip
architecture designs beyond its next generation of the Arm v8-A.
    "Arm is actively communicating with department officials
regarding any support of our partner HiSilicon, and we remain
confident we are operating within the parameters of those
guidelines," the spokeswoman said.

 (Reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen and Yingzhi Yang in
Beijing; editing by David Evans
)
  
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