ARM is based in Cambridge, so you wouldn't think that it's affected by the technology ban on Huawei, but the company believes it is bound by the Commerce Department rules because its designs include "US-origin technology". The BBC has obtained internal memos ordering ARM employees to stop working on all Huawei contracts and cases to provide any support.
"We value our close relationships with our partners, but recognise the pressure some of them are under, as a result of politically-motivated decisions", the company stated, addressing Arm's suspension. Just like any other Chinese technology company, Huawei is also mainly dependent on U.S. companies. Regular HEXUS readers will know that Huawei designs its own HiSilicon Kirin processors but they are based upon Arm designs, for which it pays a license fee. According to a report from the BBC, ARM has told its employees the USA export ban means it can no longer work with Huawei, dealing a crippling blow to Huawei's SoC division, HiSilicon, and to Huawei's ability to create smartphone chips in the future.
With the way things are going, though, we wouldn't be as surprised as we should be if a report claimed Huawei had been working on wholly original chip designs for a while.
The company added: "We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world". ARM has offices in California, Washington, Texas and MA. "No further comment at this time". Huawei, for its part, has said it would never allow this.
It temporarily eased restrictions on Huawei on Tuesday, granting it a license to buy USA goods until August 19, meaning that updates of Google apps can continue until then. Huawei, the second-largest maker of smartphones and a huge presence in network hardware, is better equipped than most Chinese firms to weather this storm.
ARM doesn't manufacture smartphone chips but instead licenses its intellectual property to other vendors.