Last week, SK hynix was embroiled in what has been dubbed the Ghost RAM controversy. Today, further TechInsights investigations, highlighted by Bloomberg, have found that the chips are actually “years-old.” SK hynix now seems to be in the clear concerning U.S. regulations on supplying tech to China.
Huawei’s controversial Mate 60 phones use SK Hynix memory that has been available for years, TechInsights found https://t.co/ppKz4sVGmLSeptember 15, 2023
A teardown last week found many new Chinese-made components in the recently launched Huawei P60 Pro smartphone, but there were also various SK hynix branded RAM and NAND chips. If these were supplied after U.S. sanctions on Huawei had been imposed and enacted, SK hynix could have found itself in hot water over breaching agreed restrictions.
The Huawei P60 Pro was a remarkable device in that it launched with the Kirin 9000S system-on-chip, built on SMIC's 2nd gen 7mn process. The phone was described in China as a triumph of Chinese industrial ingenuity. The impression was that U.S. sanctions made Chinese homegrown technology stronger and more advanced. After some eager teardowns, it was discovered that quantities of South Korean ICs were also behind the design, specifically SK hynix Ram and NAND.
Bloomberg's report on the latest findings notes that SK hynix strongly denies doing business with Huawei post-sanctions. Multiple investigations are going on into how Huawei acquired these chips. However, the U.S. government and SK hynix can now be guided by TechInsights discovering that Huawei has been using old stock. This information raises questions about how much old RAM and NAND stock Huawei has or can obtain to satisfy the market for its Mate 60 Pro.
The Korea Herald also published updated statements from SK hynix execs on this hot topic. They don't offer any new information but show the components maker is sticking by its original assertions. "We have had absolutely no business (with Huawei)," reiterated SK hynix Vice Chairman Park Jung-ho to reporters. "We are investigating the circumstances... and we need to check more closely what kind of DRAM is being used in that phone."
According to official statements from SK hynix, the firm is "strictly abiding by the US government's export restrictions." It claims to have stopped supplying chips to Huawei in the fall of 2020.