Huawei P40 RF front-end still uses American chips, and there is a long way to go for domestic replacement

The U.S. ban on Huawei sales forced domestic substitution to start early. Fortunately, Huawei has implemented a spare tire plan many years ago, and decisively and quickly implemented domestic substitution on key chips.

In the competitive environment of the globalized market, it is easier said than done by the government’s behavior to cut off the supply. What’s more, a sophisticated and intelligent communication equipment needs hundreds of parts and components, and the suppliers are all over the world. It is a long way to go.

Recently, the Huawei P40 was launched, which is the latest flagship phone from Huawei. According to Financial Times, after dismantling the Huawei P40, it was found that the phone still uses components made in the United States, and its RF front-end modules still come from American chip companies – Skyworks and Qorvo

The report pointed out that the dismantling was mainly completed by a domestic company called “XYZone”. For comparison, the company also dismantled the Huawei P30 released in 2019.

From the dismantling results, the parts of Huawei P40 include Sony lens, LG Display panel, NXP’s NFC chip, Samsung’s flash memory, Desay’s battery, HiSilicon chip, NXP’s near field communication chip, mainly from China and Japan , Korea and other places.

However, compared with the parts composition of Huawei P30, P40 has relatively reduced the use of US components, mainly reflected in the memory, communication and radio frequency chip sections.

In response, Dan Wang, a technology analyst at research firm Gavekal Dragonomics, said: Huawei has shown resilience by replacing many U.S. components in one phone design cycle. And the continued use of Qorvo and Skyworks chips also shows how difficult it is to break reliance on American technology.

Image credit: Ars Technica

Since the U.S. added Huawei to its controlled “entity list” in May last year, it has implemented a series of suppression measures against Huawei, such as: prohibiting Google from providing GMS services to Huawei, and attempting to make TSMC impose restrictions on Huawei, but these suppression measures didn’t do much. However, from the Android operating system to the RF front-end chip and Arm’s chip architecture, it can be seen that US companies or US-led companies still occupy the strategic bottleneck of Huawei’s mobile phones in many aspects, and the road to domestic replacement still has a long way to go.

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