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Showing posts tagged 'huawei'


01 April 2020

Huawei vs Donald Trump

Senior officials in the Trump administration agreed to new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to China’s Huawei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said, as the US administration continues its criticism of China over coronavirus.

The move comes as ties between Washington and Beijing grow more strained, with both sides pinning blame for the spread of the disease and retaliation over the expulsion of journalists from both countries.

Under the proposed rule change, foreign companies that use U.S. chipmaking equipment would be required to obtain a U.S. license before supplying certain chips to Huawei, who were blacklisted last year, limiting the company’s suppliers.

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Huawei warned on Tuesday that 2020 would be its most difficult year yet due to American trade restrictions which dealt a blow to its overseas sales in 2019 and predicted the Chinese government would retaliate against the United States.

"The Chinese government will not just stand by and watch Huawei be slaughtered on the chopping board," Chairman Eric Xu told reporters at the launch of Huawei's annual report.

The United States in the past has alleged that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s equipment to spy, an accusation rejected by the company.

According to one source, the rule-change is aimed at curbing sales of chips to Huawei by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, a major producer of chips for Huawei’s HiSilicon unit, as well as the world’s largest contract maker.

 “Even if this situation you mentioned happened, Huawei and also other Chinese companies can choose to buy chipsets from Samsung from Korea, MTK from Taiwan, and [Unisoc] in China, and use those companies to develop chips,” Huawei’s Xu said to Reuters.

Some Tech companies do use US made chip manufacturing equipment including Mediatek which has its chips made by TSMC.  According to electronics weekly, TSMC also makes the chips for Huawei’s chip design subsidiary HiSilicon.

Huawei said net profit for 2019 came in at 62.7 billion yuan ($8.9 billion), up 5.6% - its weakest growth in three years, and down from 25% jump a year earlier. Huawei also spent 15.3% of its 2019 revenue – $18.6 billion – on R&D.

It is still to be seen how Huawei will be affected by the US ban, if it is imposed.

Tags: huawei technology chips technology


12 June 2019

Worries about the rare earth minerals needed for high-tech products

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Rising tensions between US and China have sparked worries about the 17 rare earth minerals needed for high tech products like robotics, drones and electric cars.

China recently raised tariffs to 25% on rare earth exports to the U.S. and has threatened to halt exports altogether after the Trump administration raised tariffs on Chinese products and blacklisted telecommunications giant Huawei.

With names like europium, scandium and ytterbium, the bulk of rare earth minerals are extracted from mines in China, where lower wages and lax environmental standards make production cheaper and easier.

But trade experts say no one should panic over China’s threats to stop exporting the elements to the U.S, since there are rare mineral mines in California, Australia, Myanmar, Russia and India, which could step in when needed.

“The sky is not falling,” said Mary B. Teagarden, a China specialist, professor and associate dean at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix. “There are alternatives.”

Simon Lester, associate director of the centre for trade policy studies at the Cato Institute think tank in Washington, agreed. “Over the short term, it could be a big disruption, but companies that want to stay in business will find a way,” he said.

Although the US is among the wold’s top countries for rare earth’s production, it is also a major importer for the minerals, looking to China for 80% of what it buys, according to the US geological Survey.

Mountain Pass, located in San Bernardino County, California, was once top supplier of the world’s rare earth minerals, but China began taking over the market in the 1990s and the U.S. mine stopped production in 2002. Mountain Pass later restarted production only to close again amid a 2015 bankruptcy. Since then, Mountain Pass has focused on achieving greater autonomy with a $1.7 billion separation system set to go online late next year that would allow it skip sending rare earths ore to China for that step.

Australian rare earths production giant Lynas Corp. Ltd. this month announced a proposed deal with Blue Line Corp. of Texas for a separation facility at an industrial site in Hondo, Texas.

There may be other options, too. Deposits of rare earths have been detected in other U.S. states including Wyoming and Alaska, as well in several remote areas of Canada. The Interior Department is calling for more prospecting and mining of “critical minerals,” including on public lands currently considered off-limits, and even in oceans.

“We have to be more forward thinking,” said Alexander Gysi, an assistant professor in geology and geological engineering at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. “It would be better for the U.S. to have a greater range of sources for rare earths.”

Tags: huawei china tariffs technology exports usa


29 May 2019

What's happening with Huawei

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For the past few weeks, Chinese technology company Huawei has been put under severe restrictions by the United States of America. Mr Trump accuses the world’s second-largest smartphone maker of allowing its equipment to be used by Chinese spies.

In recent weeks, Alphabet’s Google has suspended business with Huawei, that requires the transfer of software, hardware and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing

Following Google’s lead several other American businesses have cut ties with Huawei and two British telecom giants EE and Vodafone have announced that their 5G services will not be offered on Huawei handsets.

The Trump administration on Thursday added Huawei Technologies to a trade blacklist, immediately enacting restrictions that will make it extremely difficult for the company to do business with US counterparts.

Washington is widely seen as having taken the initiative in the global campaign against Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a tech magnate that in the three decades since its founding has become an important part of Beijing’s bid to expand its global power and influence.

Now, according to Reuters, German chipmaker Infineon has also suspended shipments to Huawei technologies, in a sign that US restrictions on Huawei are beginning to affect its relationships beyond America. Infineon joins Qualcomm, Qorvo, Micron Technology, and Western Digital as firms that no longer ship to Huawei. ST Microelectronics, TSMC, Toshiba Memory, and Japan Display Inc. have not yet stopped shipments to the Chinese firm but are investigating the issue and could also suspend business dealings.

Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s founder, told the media that the company would be fine even if their American suppliers refuse to sell chips to the company. He revealed that the firm has been preparing for this outcome and it’s believed that Huawei will be ready for the next six to twelve months on the hardware front. “We will not change our management at the request of the U.S. or accept monitoring, as ZTE has done,” he said to Reuters.

During Trump’s three day state visit, which kicks off today, he is expected to discuss ties between UK companies and Huawei- adding to suggestions by the Tory leadership that they could tear up plans for the Chinese tech giant to build parts of UK’s 5G network, after the ambassador, Woody Johnson, warned it was a “big risk”.

Tags: huawei trump uk infineon spies 5g network america


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