Arm chip designer stop doing business with Huawei


Arm licenses and architectures are key to building mobile chips.


British chip designer Arm has become the latest company to cut ties with Huawei to meet the veto imposed by the government of Donald Trump.

However, Arm will continue to support older products and previously signed licenses with Huawei may make it possible for the Chinese company to manufacture its own chips over the next few years based on Arm's design. It is likely that a very large impact will not be seen unless the Trump administration's veto lasts for years.

Arm is a UK company whose designs are the basis of most of the world's mobile processors, including those used by Apple, Samsung and Huawei. Its key place in the industry attracted Japanese telecom giant SoftBank, which bought Arm in mid-2016 for almost $ 32 billion. Almost 150,000 million Arm chips have been delivered since the company's founding almost three decades ago.

While Arm is based in the United Kingdom, it has several offices in the United States and carries out most of its high-end research and development in that country. Any intellectual property designed in the United States is subject to the prohibition of the Trump administration, so Arm must comply with the order. The company said in a statement that it is "complying with all the latest restrictions set by the United States government."

For its part, in a statement released on May 27, the Chinese manufacturer said its business activities remain normal. "Our supplier Arm is reviewing and evaluating the impact of the decision of the commerce department, and communicates actively with the United States government," the statement said. "We understand the situation completely and give them our support."

An executive order signed by President Trump last week removed Huawei from a long business relationship that gives the Chinese brand access to technology made by US companies. That includes Google's Android mobile software and its services such as Gmail, Google Assistant, Google Play store, Google Maps and Google Search. Chip providers such as Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom are also complying with Trump's ban.

While some companies, such as Google, are grant an extension of 90 days To continue working with Huawei in a transition period, that does not apply to Arm or other chip manufacturers.

"The license only allows the continuous export of parts for services related to existing networks and devices (until May 16, 2019), not for the export of new products," said the Association of the Semiconductor Industry on Wednesday in a release. "No new sales to Huawei are allowed for new equipment. As a result, the license offers very limited relief to Huawei suppliers, including US semiconductor companies, since most of their business with Huawei involves the sale of new devices. "

While Arm cannot provide Huawei with new technology due to the ban, its previous licenses cover the technology that will be launched in the future. When Arm launches a new processor architecture, it will normally have begun working with licensees in technology two or three years earlier.

The news was first reported by the BBC.

Editor's Note: This report was updated with information from the Huawei statement on May 27.

With the collaboration of rika Garca.