Huawei says it’s “back in the game.” Should Samsung and Apple be worried?

Back in 2018, we told you. Huawei was working on an operating system to replace Android in the event that access to the Google Mobile Services version of the software ends. What’s the concern? Huawei was at the time that fellow Chinese smartphone and networking equipment company ZTE was added to the US entity list for not complying with sanctions imposed by the US after it sold gear to North Korea and Iran. Who was These sales violated US sanctions.
When then-President Donald Trump removed ZTE from the entity list, his administration added Huawei to the list a year later, and it remains there to this day. In August 2019, Huawei introduced HarmonyOS. The company’s chief consumer officer Richard Yu said during the announcement that the operating system is designed to work on devices as diverse as smartphones, smart speakers, automobiles, computers, smartwatches and tablets.

HarmonyOS 3.0 was pre-installed on the Mate 50 series this year.

HarmonyOS 3.0 was pre-installed on the Mate 50 line released earlier this year. According to According to GizChina, HarmonyOS is running on more than 320 million handsets. The operating system is the third largest mobile OS in the world after Android and iOS with an annual growth rate of 113%. It’s no small feat for a company forced to compete with one hand tied behind its back.

Third-party installations of HarmonyOS are also growing, with more than 250 million units of products such as light bulbs, televisions, microwaves, and refrigerators using the software. These installations are growing at a rate of 212% on an annual basis.

Huawei’s own AppGallery app storefront is also growing rapidly and is now the third largest in the world behind the Google Play Store and the App Store. It’s a little light on options (only 220,000 apps compared to about 2.5 million in the Play Store) but still manages to serve more than 580 million monthly users.

A year after being listed as an entity, Huawei was banned from receiving chips made by foundries that use American technology. For its last two flagship series (2021’s P50 line and this year’s Mate 50 series), Huawei was allowed to use 4G versions of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets. For example, this year’s Mate 50 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC that only works with 4G signals.
China’s largest foundry, SMIC, cannot access the advanced lithography machines used to etch circuitry on wafers thinner than the width of a human hair. The US is making sure that China cannot import these Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines. But MyDrivers says Huawei has recently filed for a patent covering some EUV components and the EUV lithography process. The application number is 202110524685X.

If Huawei develops its own EUV process, the company could regain access to the latest 5G chips.

DigiTimes Asia noted that Huawei has not yet been granted a patent by China’s National Intellectual Properties Administration, and it is unclear whether Huawei has the capability to develop a full EUV machine the size of a school bus. is of size. Each EUV machine contains over 100,000 components. Huawei’s patent reportedly improves some of the problems inherent in the EUV process by featuring a more uniform light source.

The world’s only current EUV manufacturer, Dutch firm ASML, filed a similar patent in 2016. But the two patents differ in the way light is used in the EUV process. Additionally, Huawei is believed to be working on ways to “bypass” lithography by using optoelectronic wafers and other innovations.

Huawei’s work on lithography is extremely important for the company and for China. If Huawei can patent its EUV technology, it could help Chinese chip foundries produce cutting-edge chips. This will help the country move closer to its goal of becoming self-sufficient in semiconductors. More importantly for fans of Huawei handsets, it will allow Huawei to offer 5G as a native feature on its phones while equipping them with the most powerful and energy-efficient SoCs available.

While Huawei says it’s “back in the game,” it will take time to issue a patent for a Huawei-made EUV machine. If the company can figure out a way to bypass the lithography process, it will be time for Samsung and Apple to worry.

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