Huawei Allegedly Used Years-Old SK Hynix 'Ghost RAM' in Mate 60 Pro

SK hynix LPDDR RAM
(Image credit: SK hynix)

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.

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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.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • gg83
    Obviously.
    Reply
  • purpleduggy
    nice anti huawei propaganda piece. i bought a mate 60 pro. its faster than my galaxy s23 ultra or iphone 13 pro. here's a surprise for you: the ram inside both latest iphones and samsung devices are years old too because the memory bandwidth does not fill out the entire speed of the most cutting edge modules. go look.
    Reply
  • purpleduggy
    you wouldn't need to come out this strong against huawei if they weren't a threat. they'd be ignored.

    -KrdcTsScKkView: https://youtu.be/-KrdcTsScKk
    Reply
  • neojack
    purpleduggy said:
    you wouldn't need to come out this strong against huawei if they weren't a threat. they'd be ignored.

    -KrdcTsScKkView: https://youtu.be/-KrdcTsScKk

    Yes yes and it's good for your citizen score too !
    Reply
  • purpleduggy
    neojack said:
    Yes yes and it's good for your citizen score too !
    let me prove otherwise:
    tiananmen square
    winnie the pooh

    ^I would not mention either of those terms if I was astroturfing for huawei.

    I just like huawei, their mate phones in the past were incredible. They constantly made all competing phone cameras look primitive. especially apple. I think their competition is good for US company stagnation, even if they copy, just like Xiaomi. The competition is necessary. Apple/Samsung would be a very different beast if it wasn't for competition from Huawei.

    By the way my main phone is an S23 Ultra.
    Reply
  • The Historical Fidelity
    purpleduggy said:
    let me prove otherwise:
    tiananmen square
    winnie the pooh

    ^I would not mention either of those terms if I was astroturfing for huawei.

    I just like huawei, their mate phones in the past were incredible. They constantly made all competing phone cameras look primitive. especially apple. I think their competition is good for US company stagnation, even if they copy, just like Xiaomi. The competition is necessary. Apple/Samsung would be a very different beast if it wasn't for competition from Huawei.

    By the way my main phone is an S23 Ultra.
    I mean if you can suffer through their proprietary OS and known security back doors, then more power to you.
    Reply
  • systemBuilder_49
    purpleduggy said:
    nice anti huawei propaganda piece. i bought a mate 60 pro. its faster than my galaxy s23 ultra or iphone 13 pro. here's a surprise for you: the ram inside both latest iphones and samsung devices are years old too because the memory bandwidth does not fill out the entire speed of the most cutting edge modules. go look.
    You really don't have a clue, do you? I know because I have 3 friends who were victimized by Huawei's theft of IPR in two market spaces (networking and cellular). Huawei steals so much foreign property illegally that it would make the British Museum blush! They stole the cisco router IOS operating system and hired MANY qualcomm employees with huge (to Huawei) salaries that lasted exactly 1 year while they pumped these hapless ex-employees for information ...
    Reply
  • DyD0
    systemBuilder_49 said:
    You really don't have a clue, do you? I know because I have 3 friends who were victimized by Huawei's theft of IPR in two market spaces (networking and cellular). Huawei steals so much foreign property illegally that it would make the British Museum blush! They stole the cisco router IOS operating system and hired MANY qualcomm employees with huge (to Huawei) salaries that lasted exactly 1 year while they pumped these hapless ex-employees for information ...
    There's a guy who was a contractor and dealt with Huawei. In fact he mentioned Huawei does is reverse engineering.

    Answer to Can China's Huawei Technology beat Cisco in Cisco's core business, i.e high end routers, etc? by Stan Hanks https://www.quora.com/Can-Chinas-Huawei-Technology-beat-Cisco-in-Ciscos-core-business-i-e-high-end-routers-etc/answer/Stan-Hanks?ch=15&oid=30226795&share=368babe9&srid=OfnH&target_type=answer
    And surprisingly Cisco use Huawei Cose to their devices.
    Quote from:
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/seriously-cisco-put-huawei-x-509-certificates-and-keys-into-its-own-switches/
    Actually, if your friends have strong proofs, they can bring this to the court or US government. US government will be super happy to do anything to eliminate its competitor. Otherwise it's just a bull-kaka.
    Reply