Several U.S. companies temporarily cut their ties with Huawei earlier this year after the Department of Commerce added the Chinese tech giant to its 'Entity List'. Among the companies that suspended business with Huawei were Google and Qualcomm. Shortly thereafter, British semiconductor firm ARM followed suit.
Today, ARM announced that it has decided to keep supplying Huawei with its chip designs after its legal team concluded that its v8 and v9 architectures are of non-U.S. origin. That means supplying these technologies to the Chinese firm won't violate existing U.S. restrictions, ARM says.
The company explained in a statement:
“ARM can provide support to HiSilicon for the ARM v8-A architecture, as well as the next generation of that architecture, following a comprehensive review of both architectures, which have been determined to be of UK origin.
“Arm is actively communicating with department officials regarding any support of our partner HiSilicon, and we remain confident we are operating within the parameters of those guidelines."
Huawei relies on ARM's designs to build processors for its smartphone products. However, it faced challenges a few months ago in the wake of the U.S. ban on the supply of American products to Huawei on grounds of potential security threats.
Despite ARM's move, Huawei's business with other U.S. companies still remains in a state of uncertainty as its temporary reprieve granted by the U.S. is set to expire in November. It remains to be seen now what course of action Huawei will take in order to minimize business disruptions.