UK-Based chip maker ARM quits Huawei

UK- based chipsets designer tells staff to suspend business with Huawei

Coming after Google banned Huawei from it’s Android Operating system, following orders from US President, Huawei faces another blow in the face.

ARM is a chipsets designer founded in 1990 and acquired by SoftBank, a Japanese tech company in 2016, but it still remains based in the UK.

ARM has instructed it’s employees to halt all active contracts, support entitlements and pending engagement with the Chinese giant Huawei, and it’s subsidiaries to follow suit with US attack.

According to a statement earlier this week, “ARM is complying with the latest restrictions set forth by the US government and is having ongoing conversation with appropriate us government agencies to ensure we remain compliant.

ARM values it’s relationship with our long time partner HiSilicon and are hopeful for a swift resolution of the the matter.”

ARM technology forms the basis of smartphone processors in the world.

When you hear of Qualcomm Snapdragon, Samsung Exynos or Apple A11 chipsets, then know it involves ARM technology.

This move is a big blow to Huawei, unlike Google’s to which they have built their own Operating System as it will affect Huawei ability to build their own chipsets since most of it’s own depend on ARM’s technology for which it is paying license.

Subsequently Huawei issued a statement in this regard “we value our close relationship with our partners but recognize the pressure some of them are under as a result of politically motivated decisions. We are confident that this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to deliver world class technology and products to our customers around the world”.

ARM which does not manufacture computer processors, licenses it’s semi conductor technology to others.

ARM’s staff were informed of the decision on 16th May following US department of commerce move to add Huawei to it’s entity list of companies which firms can no longer do business with.

But on 20th May being Monday, the US government issued a 90-day reprieve on some of it’s restrictions in order to minimize immediate disruption. ARM believes this does not apply to them.

A spokesperson of ARM declined to offer any further clarification on it’s decision with Huawei.

It is not clear as to whether ARM is acting on it’s interpretation of US government or whether it that been advised by Commerce Department.

Geoff Blaber from CCS insights said ” ARM is the foundation of Huawei’s smartphone chip designs, so this is an insurmountable obstacle for Huawei.”

That being said and with an abundance of Huawei’s chain of supply companies already taking actions to comply with US order, hampers Huawei’s ability to operate.

However while this ban means that Huawei can no longer turn to ARM for future assistance in developing smartphone components, it is free to continue using and HiSilicon to continue manufacturing existing chips.