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Huawei Has Reportedly Completed Design Work for Its Upcoming Kirin 985 and Kirin 990, Giving the Company Some Breathing Room

May 31, 2019
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A lot of readers would imagine that because Huawei has its own SoC manufacturing division called HiSilicon, making custom silicon would be a breeze. Unfortunately, the process is far more complicated and requires multiple components. The technology industry as a whole is deeply intertwined. That’s the reason why the beleaguered Chinese company, Huawei might find it difficult to proceed without its U.S. suppliers.

Case in point; an EDA tool provider has reportedly stopped providing updates to Huawei to comply with the U.S. government’s order and this could largely inhibit the working of the company’s subsidiary HiSilicon, which makes the chipsets that fuel the company’s phones. However, it might take a while before Huawei feels the sting of this move, as a report claims that the Chinese giant has completed design work of its upcoming Kirin 985 and Kirin 990.

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The California based company  Synopsys, which makes chip design tools will apparently no longer be providing software updates to Huwaei and the company has also suspended the sales of intellectual property to the Chinese firm. This decision is not expected to impact the production of the upcoming Kirin 985 and Kirin 990 chipsets, as their designs have apparently been finalized.

Previously, it was being reported that TSMC has started the mass production of the 7nm+ process for the Kirin 985 and since the Kirin 990 SoC has also been designed, the lack of software updates will not prove to be a roadblock for these two chips. However, the future of chips that Huawei would have designed after these is now in jeopardy if the decision isn’t reversed.

Other than Synopsys, only Cadence Design Systems, which is also an American company can give Huawei what it needs to make chipsets. Without the latest software, it would not be possible for the Chinese giant to design new silicon. Updates are an integral part of the whole process, with a new one rolled out every week to address issues and synchronize with chip manufacturers.

The design process would practically be impossible without the updates and although Huawei could get its hand on a pirated version, TSMC and other chip manufacturers would most likely be unwilling to go ahead with such a design. The other smaller EDA tool providers are simply not capable enough of providing Huawei with what it needs and since these tools are an integral part of the process, the embargo can deal a blow to Huawei’s chip development ambitions as well as its plans to become a leading 5G equipment maker.

The only other available option right now is to use existing chip designs, which will make the company lose the edge it has on other vendors. We’ll have to wait and see if talks between China and U.S. progress to a peaceful resolution, or if Huawei will have to march forward with its custom operating system.

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Source: WinFuture

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