What’s up with... Huawei v. US Dept of Commerce, TSMC, Apple v. Google

via Flickr ©  Phrawr  (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © Phrawr (CC BY 2.0)

  • Geopolitical tensions intensify
  • TSMC announces it is to invest $12 billion in the US
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) lands $2.2 billion from Chinese state investors


Brace yourself, don safety helmets, the tech world is dividing 

  • Geopolitical tensions have intensified even further in recent days as the US authorities extended the reach of its export ban on goods and services to Huawei to cover any equipment or software produced by a US company, no matter where in the world it is being used. That move – designed to stop Huawei’s “efforts to undermine U.S. export controls,” according to the US Dept. of Commerce – immediately impacted Huawei’s relationship with Taiwanese chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC), a major supplier to the Chinese equipment vendor. Huawei described the move as “arbitrary and pernicious,” according to a report from the BBC.
  • In a not unrelated move, TSMC announced it is to invest $12 billion in a new manufacturing plant (specializing in next-generation 5 nanometer chips) to be based in Arizona. 
  • Meanwhile… Shanghai-based chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) has landed a $2.2 billion investment from Chinese state investors, reports Reuters. And so the world continues to divide itself between east and west…
  • Watch wars: As June is LGBTQ Pride month around the world, Apple has decided to celebrate by offering a flavour of the iconic flag that can be attached to your Apple Watch and wrapped around your wrist. Plus it’s released two Pride straps that work with all existing Apple Watch models. 
  • Not to be outdone, Google is said to be poised to launch the Google Pixel smartwatch with an innovative gesture feature - no, not that sort of gesture. There’s apparently an optical sensor in the body of a smartwatch to detect gestures made with a wearer’s fingers, wrist or arm. No, I said! Not that sort of gesture. Sensible info can be found here
  • Radisys, which is focused on the development of open architecture systems for telcos, has thrown its hat into the software-defined fixed broadband access system ring with the launch of Connect Open Broadband, a disaggregated passive optical network (PON) system based on the Open Networking Foundation’s SEBA (SDN-Enabled Broadband Access) reference platform and “enhanced with Radisys innovation” (unspecified). Radisys is currently owned by Reliance, which also owns Reliance Jio, the disruptive operator that has fixed broadband ambitions (Jio Fiber) to go along with its mobile operations – it’s hard to imagine Radisys isn’t already heavily involved in that particular rollout. The question is, can it win business elsewhere and challenge the likes of ADTRAN, which has been scoring some notable software-defined access victories of late? 
  • SoftBank might sell part of its 24% stake in T-Mobile US to Deutsche Telekom to help fund a major share buyback scheme, according to this Barron’s report. SoftBank is, it’s fair to say, having a nightmare currently. It has just reported a $12 billion loss for its latest financial year, seen the value of its investments in WeWork and Uber crumble, and announced the resignation from the board of Jack Ma, the influential co-founder of Alibaba.
  • Ericsson has cemented its role as a key international supplier to China Telecom and China Unicom by confirming it has landed 5G radio access network (RAN) supply deals as well as being a provider of 5G core systems. See this press release for more details.
  • The Swedish giant is also highlighting how it is using virtual reality (VR) technology as it’s trained staff at its new ‘5G Smart Factory’ production facilities in Texas.

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