Chip designer ARM halts work with Huawei after U.S. ban

Chip designer ARM halts work with Huawei after U.S. ban

An Arm internal memo leaked to the Beeb instructed all employees to cease "all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements" with Huawei and made it clear that this was as a direct result of the recent USA decisions to put Huawei on a list of companies United States companies aren't allowed to do business with.

The Trump administration on Friday blacklisted Huawei - which it accuses of aiding Beijing in espionage - and threatened to cut it off from the US software and semiconductors it needs to make its products. Those ARM-developed technologies and designs gave rise to Apple's A-series, Qualcomm Snapdragon, Samsung's Exynos and Huawei's Kirin chips. However, ARM's decision to end its business with Huawei cuts it off from the chip designs it needs to build the Kirin SoC.

The US government has put Huawei on the "Entity list" thus banning any company from doing business with the firm without express approval from the government.

Huawei also uses ARM's designs for its recently unveiled Kunpeng chips. While a temporary relief has been granted to Huawei for 90 days for existing licenses and products, the same will not extend to newer products from the company. That means ARM believes it has to abide by the Trump administration's blacklist of Huawei.

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The ARM decision would not affect Huawei's use of current chipsets, or even the upcoming Kirin 985 chipset developed by Huawei's subsidiary HiSilicon, but work on future chipsets could be affected. ARM was able to design efficient processors and, obviously, found massive success in designing chips for mobile devices, leading to SoftBank acquiring it in 2016.

"We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world", a spokesman said. Huawei, the second-largest maker of smartphones and a huge presence in network hardware, is better equipped than most Chinese firms to weather this storm. The BBC further notes that ARM told its staff not to "provide support, delivery technology (whether software, code, or other updates), engage in technical discussions, or otherwise discuss technical matters with Huawei, HiSilicon or any of the other named entities". Huawei has denied any wrongdoing.

Android Authority has reached out to Arm and Huawei for comment and will update this story should we receive a response.