Date: Nov 04, 2019
By: Alan Friedman
If there has been one constant throughout the nearly four months that Huawei has been banned from its U.S. supply chain, it has been TSMC. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, known as TSMC, is the company that turns those chip designs from Qualcomm, Apple, and others into the actual chips that are used inside phones, tablets, computers and other devices. And yes, TSMC manufactures the chips that are designed by Huawei's HiSilicon unit. In fact, after Apple, Huawei is TSMC's second-largest customer.
Bloomberg reports today that the Taiwan government has denied a story published by the Financial Times stating that the Trump administration has been putting pressure on it to get TSMC to stop manufacturing chips for Huawei. Kolas Yotaka, a spokeswoman for the Taiwan Cabinet, told Bloomberg that "Our government has not received any request from the U.S. government to stop TSMC from supplying Huawei." TSMC said that it is unaware of any attempt by the U.S. to stop it from manufacturing chips for the Chinese manufacturer. However, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu did say that with Apple expected to release 5G enabled iPhone models next year, his company will show tremendous growth in 2020.
Huawei should have no problems sourcing chips for future phones
Huawei also caught a break when U.K. chip designer ARM Holdings announced late last month that it was reversing its position on Huawei. Originally, the company that licenses the chip architecture used on most mobile chipsets said that because it uses some U.S. original technology in its designs, it would cut ties with the Chinese manufacturer. However, ARM Holdings recently concluded that "ARM’s v8 and v9 are UK-origin technologies." As a result of ARM's newfound realization and TSMC's desire to keep doing business with its second-largest customer, Huawei doesn't have to worry about sourcing chips for future devices. That is, if the Financial Times report is not true as the Taiwan government claims. [FULL STORY]