UK's ARM to continue supplying chip technology to Huawei

The company's legal team ruled that its technology is of UK origin and does not breach US controls on supplying Huawei.

    Huawei's newly launched Taishan series of ARM server includes parts made in the UK [File: Sijia Jiang/Reuters]
    Huawei's newly launched Taishan series of ARM server includes parts made in the UK [File: Sijia Jiang/Reuters]

    Chip designer ARM will continue to supply Huawei Technologies after the UK company's legal team ruled that its chip technology is of British origin and would not breach restrictions from the United States on supplying the Chinese tech giant.

    Huawei, the world's number two smartphone manufacturer, uses ARM blueprints to design processors that power its smartphones.

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    In May, ARM, owned by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, halted relations with Huawei after the US all but banned US companies from doing business with it, disrupting Huawei's ability to source key parts.

    While Huawei was granted a reprieve until November, it remains set to lose access to some technology next month. ARM's continued supply of chip technology to Huawei's fully-owned chipmaker HiSilicon will ease the pressure it faces.

    Huawei's proprietary chips such as Kirin 990 mobile processors and Ascend 910 AI chipset are built on ARM's design architecture and considered a major hallmark of the Chinese firm's attempts to reduce its reliance on US technologies.

    "ARM's v8 and v9 are UK-origin technologies," an ARM spokeswoman told Reuters news agency via email on Friday.

    "ARM can provide support to HiSilicon for the ARM v8-A architecture, as well as the next generation of that architecture, following a comprehensive review of both architectures, which have been determined to be of UK origin."

    The US government alleges that Huawei is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy. Huawei has repeatedly denied its products pose a security threat.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency