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HiSilicon is no longer the exclusive supplier of Huawei

HiSilicon is the largest chip company in China, but it has always had only one customer – Huawei. The strategy to retain HiSilicon as an internal division of Huawei worked well for the global telecommunications giant. In particular, the HiSilicon Kirin series of single-chip systems capable of processing neural network algorithms has provided Huawei with a huge advantage over its competitors.

But it turns out that HiSilicon has recently quietly expanded its activities, starting supplying chips to some technological sectors. During the ELEXCON 2019 trade fair in December in Shenzhen, Shanghai HiSilicon Technology, founded by Huawei on April 1, 2019, introduced 4G communication chips for the open market. This is the first time that Huawei has revealed that HiSilicon is no longer its personal chip supplier.

At the exhibition, Shanghai HiSilicon Technology’s platform and solution marketing director Zhao Qiujing announced a new, more open strategy for selling chips to external customers. Huawei and HiSilicon adhere to their vision of “Everything is connected.” Shanghai HiSilicon wants to supply key chips and components for terminals, which are the foundation of digital and intelligent technologies in various industries.

In an effort to achieve this goal in the face of global competition and take advantage of new opportunities offered by the integration of 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of things, HiSilicon has optimized its product range. The naming system has been changed and the scope has been expanded.

HiSilicon has renamed its earliest and best-selling series of Camera chips. Now it is called Smart Vision and, if previously it was aimed at the field of professional security monitoring, now it is positioned on a wider range of computer vision products in the field of consumer and automotive electronics.

Two other HiSilicon product groups – televisions and set-top boxes – are combined into the Smart Media series. By providing an integrated computing platform to external developers, HiSilicon hopes to grow its market: from independent television brands to smart terminals with screens of any size and smart home centers.

HiSilicon will actively expand its communications business. The scope of AI and the Internet of things is very extensive. HiSilicon now sells 4G and 5G chips, conquering the market for connected smart devices. The company relies on serving home networks via Wi-Fi and a passive optical network.

In addition, HiSilicon now has three business groups. This is a sector of displays, focused on devices for large, medium and small screens; an automotive electronics group aimed at the market for intelligent connected cars with machine vision; and a robotics division that employs the potential of promising areas.

All these changes mean that Huawei continues to optimize its activities, seeking to maximize efficiency and profitability. The result of open third-party access to HiSilicon products will not only increase competition, the appearance of more interesting products, but also a more dynamic development of this chip developer, as well as other industry participants. This approach will also complicate the application of the US sanctions pressure policy.

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