No matter how hard the US tries to punish Chinese manufacturer Huawei for posing a threat to national security, the company continues to fight back. After losing access to its US supply chain in 2019 and being forced to give up the Google Mobile Services version of Android in 2019, Huawei developed HarmonyOS with version 3.0 of the software that runs the Mate 50 series. The following year, the US forced chip foundries that used American technology to produce chips to avoid shipping advanced silicon to Huawei.
Huawei’s EUV patent could eventually help China manufacture advanced chips
The strong demand for the Huawei Mate 50 Pro gives the company a good feeling these days
The main supplier of EUV lithography is a Dutch company called ASML and they are not allowed to sell these machines to China. Since the invention of the EUV helped push chips to a 7nm process node and below, Huawei’s patent could help China’s SMIC eventually compete with TSMC and Samsung Foundry. At the moment, SMIC is believed to be able to produce 7nm chips for cryptocurrency mining, but is limited to a 14nm process node for smartphone chips.
This is a cycle that Huawei may be able to ride for some time, even with the restrictions placed on it by the US. As Geiszler points out, the technology contained in the patents that Huawei licenses is not subject to US restrictions. That’s because the technology is made public.
As it produces fewer devices, Huawei is paid for a number of cross-licensing deals
Huawei also agreed to extend its licensing deal with Nokia, which received revenue from Huawei when the deal was first signed in 2017. While Huawei has generated $1.2 billion from patent licensing over the past three years ending in 2021, still has a long way to go. to catch up with a company like Nokia that brought in $1.59 billion in patent licensing revenue in 2021 alone. Huawei’s patent license revenue for the full year 2022 will not be calculated until sometime next year.
The money generated by patent licensing still doesn’t make up for the billions of dollars in sales lost by Huawei due to the US restrictions. However, the US actions have helped Huawei become more aggressive in licensing its own patents. And with some cross-licensing deals, the company gets cash back from companies on the other side of the deal, as Huawei doesn’t produce as many devices as it used to.