[News] Huawei’s Ambition: Regardless of the Disparity, China’s Chips Must Be Utilized

2023-09-18 Consumer Electronics editor

According to the news from Taiwan media, CNA, Huawei has broken through the U.S. blockade and launched a 5G smartphone equipped with domestically produced Chinese chips, sparking discussions. Huawei stated that although Chinese-made chips lag behind foreign counterparts, if they are not used, staying behind will always be a setback. If widely adopted, it could drive technological progress and catch up gradually.

According to reports from Chinese media Yicai, representatives from Huawei made these remarks during a speech at the “2023 World Computing Conference” on the 15th.

Huawei mentioned that the computing industry includes PCs, servers, operating systems, databases, as well as processors, memory modules, SSDs, HDDs, network cards, RAID cards, SSD controllers, network chipsets, and RAID card chipsets that constitute PCs and servers, which are the most critical problems to solve.

“We couldn’t even make LOM and RAID cards before, and we couldn’t even create a PMIC for a server. So, we need to return to the basics of the computing industry.”

Huawei believes that China needs to develop its own processors, operating systems, and databases. If all of these are sourced from external suppliers, there is a risk of information breaches through backdoors and vulnerabilities in PCs and servers. It could also be exploited as a means of attacking other servers and PCs.

“If our opponent is at an expert level, even though we have domestically produced products, we are still at a basic level, making it relatively easy to attack and steal information”. Huawei emphasizes that domestic production does not necessarily equate to security; only by enhancing capabilities can genuine security be achieved.

“There are currently more than 600 Chinese enterprises listed on the U.S. government’s entity list,” said Huawei’s representative, covering chips, hardware, software, algorithms, and applications. Additionally, export controls have impacted everything from design tools and materials to manufacturing equipment and chip products.

“In this situation, a practical problem we face in the long term is that China’s semiconductor manufacturing process will remain behind for quite a while. Huawei believes that this situation will persist for a considerable period because advanced processes are needed to produce more advanced chips. On the other hand, due to U.S. sanctions, obtaining advanced chips or computing systems presents challenges, if not impossibilities. Based on our years of experience and future judgment, this is a long-term situation. Don’t harbor any illusions about the future.”

“Although the chips, servers, and PCs we produce lag behind those produced abroad, if we don’t use them, the gap will always be there, and falling behind will always be the case. But if we use them on a large scale, it could drive progress in our entire technology and product development, gradually catching up”. According to Huawei, only through widespread use of domestic chips can push the entire computing industry to progress and develop.

Huawei recently quietly launched a high-end 5G smartphone equipped with the 7nm chip “Kirin 9000S,” manufactured by SMIC. While Chinese public opinion refers to it as a “breakthrough of the U.S. blockade” and a “strong return to 5G,” experts point out that its performance still lags behind the latest smartphone chips by two generations and question its manufacturing yield rate and output.