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Huawei Set for Boost from UK After Decisions on Arm and 5G

Huawei Set for Boost from UK After Decisions on Arm and 5G
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It appears that the England is a good place for China right now, on two counts at least. One is Arm confirming that some of its UK-developed architectures are outside the scope of current U.S. export restrictions. The second is news over the weekend hinting the British Prime Minister is set to permit Huawei supply to non-contentious parts of the 5G network.
 
If there was any indication that things were getting better for Huawei, it was clear when EE Times reported last month that executives from Arm, Arm China and HiSilicon (Huawei’s chip division) met behind closed doors in Shenzhen, to reassure the Chinese media and local electronics industry of their extended cooperation.  
 
Under the existing guidelines Arm cannot license any U.S. origin intellectual property (IP) to HiSilicon only if granted an export license by the U.S. Commerce Department, or it has been determined the IP is not of U.S. origin.
 
Now it appears that, after a complete review, Arm has decided that its Armv8-A architecture, coupled with the next generation of that architecture, are of UK origin. Because of this, an Arm spokesperson confirmed to EE Times that Arm can provide support to HiSilicon for those certain architectures. She added, “Arm has communicated this to the appropriate U.S. government offices, and we continue to be in compliance with the U.S. Commerce Department guidelines, respective to Huawei and its affiliate HiSilicon.”
 
5G green light expected
 
In a wholly separate development, the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper described yesterday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to back his predecessor’s decision to give Huawei access to the non-contentious parts of the 5G network. The central reason quoted is that the west does not have a good substitute for Huawei technology, which means it would be left behind if it doesn’t use Huawei. One senior government source is quoted in the Sunday Times as saying, “The reality is that if you don’t say yes, you don’t have alternatives. The West has screwed up by allowing Huawei to develop a near-monopoly in this area.”
 
Previously this year, the chair of British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee, the Rt. Hon. Norman Lamb, said, “The benefits of 5G are clear and the removal of Huawei from the current or future networks could cause significant delays.” As we reported, the issues were around ethics and politics other than the technological one. Lamb pointed out that supply chains for telecommunications networks were global and complex, so a ban on Huawei equipment will not take out potential Chinese influence from the supply chain. He also said it would boost security vulnerability by reducing competition. Lamb also emphasized that his conclusion that Huawei shouldn't be entirely excluded from the UK’s 5G networks is built only on technical considerations, not geo-political.
 

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