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US siege Huawei, Japanese suppliers benefit greatly

By Hotenda

Since this year, because the United States deliberately made things difficult, Chinese manufacturer Huawei is facing another difficult time since its establishment. However, under this pressure, Huawei is turning pressure into momentum, working in multiple directions, and striving to overcome the "difficulties": on the one hand, Huawei has increased its self-development of chips; on the other hand, Huawei is actively embracing domestic chip supply chains In addition, Huawei has stepped up efforts to expand chip suppliers outside the United States.

Among them, East Asian neighbor Japan is expected to be the biggest beneficiary of Huawei's supply chain transfer.

Liang Hua, chairman of Huawei Technologies, said in an interview with Japanese media yesterday that the total amount of parts and components purchased by the company from Japanese companies in 2019 will reach 1.1 trillion yen (about 10 billion U.S. dollars). A surge of more than 50% from the 720 billion yen in 2018. If Huawei's 7 trillion yen in semiconductor and optical component purchases were counted last year, Huawei's purchase market from Japan accounted for 15.7%. Only in the first nine months of September this year, Huawei's total procurement of parts from Japan (780 billion yen) exceeded last year. "Huawei's components purchased from Japan will increase further next year," revealed Liang Hua.

According to the research report of "Huawei's Contribution to the Japanese Economy" released by the British think tank Oxford Economics Institute in Tokyo on the 21st, it was also revealed that in 2018 Huawei directly or indirectly created 46,400 jobs in Japan, and created central and local governments The tax is 208 billion yen (1 dollar is about 108.5 yen). Contribution to Japan's gross domestic product (GDP) was as high as 766 billion yen, six times that of 2014.

From these disclosures, in addition to seeing Huawei's ability to withstand uncontrollable risks from the United States from the Japanese supply chain, we also saw Japan's strength in including materials, optical devices, and especially chip products.

According to Techinsights' recent dismantling of Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G mobile phone statistics, Huawei's self-developed chips in this phone account for 50%. But again, Techinsights also saw power management chips, RF chips and audio amplifiers from American companies on this new flagship of Huawei. From outside perspective, these US chips may be Huawei's previous inventory. For some unavailable chips, Huawei has already switched to other supply chains (such as switching DRAM suppliers from Micron to SK Hynix).

From this dismantling and the information that the author learned from the industry, one obvious Huawei supply chain switch on mobile phones is the RF chip.

As many previous reports said, the 5G era has come. Because of compatibility with multi-mode and multi-frequency networks, and the lack of space for mobile phone PCB boards for developers, this poses a serious challenge to RF. Although the media has previously reported that Huawei's self-developed PA has made important progress, in the 5G RF field, Huawei still has a long way to go. When it could not be found in the United States, Huawei's demand gave Murata room for growth.

Some readers may ask, in the 5G era, Murata's SAW will be lacking in performance, but the industry's first BAW has been monopolized by several American manufacturers from patents to technology. So how does 5G get support from Murata? However, according to Murata, they also have their solution-that is, the use of IHP SAW filters. According to Murata, its IHP SAW has characteristics such as high Q, low frequency temperature coefficient, and good heat dissipation. It can bypass those patents and provide support for Huawei 5G.

In addition to mobile phone products, investment from Japanese companies such as Sumitomo in gallium nitride devices can also provide support for Huawei's base stations. According to the data, Sumitomo Electric is the market leader of RF GaN devices. They have a strong patent layout in this technology field. This is also the market of American manufacturers in the past.

According to data, Sumitomo also provides compound semiconductor GaAs substrates for smart phone power amplifiers and switches, as well as 20% share of base station antenna components. These are the support that Japanese manufacturers can provide to 5G and Huawei from radio frequency. Driven by the needs of companies such as Huawei, SCIOCS, a subsidiary of Sumitomo, has increased the production capacity of gallium nitride (GaN) epitaxial wafers for high-frequency components used in base stations to triple the level in 2017.

In addition, some manufacturers, including Kyocera and Mitsubishi, can provide more extensive support to Huawei and 5G manufacturers on radio frequency.

In addition, some manufacturers, including Kyocera and Mitsubishi, can provide more extensive support to Huawei and 5G manufacturers on radio frequency.

Since the above radio frequency is basically related to materials, this is why Liang Hua said in an interview with Japanese media that in Japan, it is not simple procurement, but rather the advantages of Japanese partners in components, synthetic materials, precision manufacturing, etc. , Integrate into the global information and communication technology supply chain, and jointly contribute to the development of the industry.

According to statistics from the South Korean media MSIT, ten of the 5G key components used in base stations and mobile phones in the country are Japan's largest. I believe this is one of the reasons why Huawei attaches so much importance to cooperation with Japan.

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