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Friday, Jul 19, 2024

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Breakthrough for China's chip industry?

China's chip industry is set to make a breakthrough! Thanks to newly developed EDA tools for 14-nanometer chips, Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu says China's chip companies will be able to use domestically developed software to design domestic chips.
Despite the US crackdown, Huawei Technologies will support all of China's efforts to be self-sufficient in chips. The Chinese semiconductor industry has faced sanctions, but it is not sitting still. It will be self-reliant and self-rescue.

This is a huge milestone for the Chinese chip industry as EDA tools, especially for advanced chips, are usually dominated by US companies like Synopsys and Cadence Design Systems. "The progress means little to Huawei's business, but it means China's chip companies can use this domestic-developed software to design domestic chips," says Xu.

Huawei has also initiated a "Plan B" to replace and redesign components and printed circuit boards to ensure supply chain continuity as a backup plan. They hope none of their products will rely on a single country, a single supplier, and they can continue to produce even under very challenging circumstances.

While Huawei can only produce and sell 4G-capable smartphones due to US export controls, Xu is optimistic about the future. "If they give us approval, we can definitely make 5G smartphones, and affordable ones."

In 2022, Huawei recorded a 0.9% year-on-year revenue increase to 642.3 billion yuan ($92.41 billion). Although net profit fell to 35.6 billion yuan, it invested 161.5 billion yuan on R&D, accounting for 25.1% of total revenue.

Huawei's carrier business halted its decline and grew 0.9% by revenue to 284 billion yuan, driven by 5G network adoption in the Middle East and Europe. Huawei's enterprise business grew 30% on year to 133.2 billion yuan in sales. Its consumer business slipped 11.9% on year to 214.5 billion yuan, supported by growth in wearables, computers, and automotive-related business.

Huawei has been investing heavily in its automotive-related business, which is more software-driven and thus less affected by US export controls. Revenue from this business hit 2.1 billion yuan last year, and the company now has 7,000 employees dedicated to R&D in this area.

Huawei has over 207,000 employees worldwide, with more than 55% involved in R&D. As they continue to innovate and develop their industry, China's chip industry is on the rise, and Huawei will support its efforts to be self-reliant.
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