After turning off the tap on some hardware and software components for many of the equipment it manufactures, the United States is now trying to impose a complete shutdown on the chips from which Huawei is supplied. This new movement is a hard blow for both Chinese technology and TSMC , the leading global provider of semiconductors.
Extended the veto on the use of Google services after one year of its launch for at least another year, the Donald Trump government is now going for the chips that give life to its smartphones , tablets and connected devices.
The United States Department of Commerce said on Friday that it is tightening the rules “to specifically and strategically direct the acquisition by Huawei of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain US software and technology. ” This is how several English-speaking media collect it this Friday.
New measures, possible retaliation
The new measures may provoke a reciprocal response from the Chinese government with US companies. The state newspaper Global Times points out this Friday, in some retaliations that could affect companies like Apple, Cisco, Qualcomm or Boeing .
Upon arrival in port, these new restrictions from TSMC – who has just announced the construction of a new plant with the capacity to manufacture 5nm processors in the United States – would be a severe blow to the second largest manufacturer. from smartphones globally. In 2019, Huawei distributed 240 millions of these devices.
TSMC affirmed this Friday that it is “working with external advisers to carry out a legal analysis and guarantee a thorough examination and interpretation of these standards.” He also points out that “the semiconductor industry supply chain is extremely complex, and is served by a wide collection of international suppliers,” according to Reuters . .
Huawei processors in doubt
This week, Huawei announced its first manufactured SMIC processor, a Chinese foundry , manufactured in a process. nanometers. Thus diversifying its suppliers outside of TSMC in a move that could be too late.
It is not the first time that Huawei has encountered difficulties in this regard. A year ago, the Chinese giant was paralyzed in its production and renewal of notebooks when it ran out of supply from Intel, Nvidia or AMD. This occurred despite the fact that they were accumulating components to function in the event of a shortage, and that this resumed a few months later.
Huawei is now in full launch of its P series 40. They recently released their P 40 and P 40 Pro without Google services. During the next few weeks, the most advanced P 40 is expected Pro + arrives in China. These mobiles have a Kirin 990 5G on board, manufactured in the latest 7nm + process of TSMC.
Both Huawei Mate 40 and P 50 next year are expected with a HiSilicon 1000, manufactured on a shrunken and more efficient 5 nanometer scale . If this new limitation becomes effective, TSMC could not manufacture these next Huawei processors.
The US government would thus put one more weight on the balance of the trade war. Huawei's annual turnover in 2019 was higher 110. 000 million euros, or already about 1% of the Chinese economy . Having chips in its two largest divisions – smart devices and network equipment – would undoubtedly be a great blow to the Asian colossus.
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