Huawei’s PC motherboard hints at plans to enter desktop market

Huawei could be expanding to the desktop PC market with a motherboard that uses an Arm processor.
Huawei could be expanding to the desktop PC market with a motherboard that uses an Arm processor. (Huawei)
Huawei appears to be laying the groundwork to enter the desktop PC market after posting details online of a new PC motherboard that will run a version of an Arm processor previously intended for servers.

The potential entry of Huawei into the desktop PC market was reported Wednesday by Tom’ Hardware. Huawei didn’t comment on its PC plans to that publication and didn’t immediately respond to a request by FierceElectronics.

What’s known is that Huawei showed a Kunpeng desktop PC motherboard at the Huawei Full Connect Conference in September as reported by ITHome. Huawei also posted specs online about the board.  

The specs describe a desktop board, model D920S10, that is based on the Kunpeng 920 processor which supports the Linux desktop operating system and is compatible with mainstream hardware for memory, hard drives and network interface cards. Huawei’s website also includes a page where desktop purchasing managers at companies can apply to obtain pricing and other information.

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That Kunpeng processor is an ARMv8 processor which will run in either four or eight cores and is based on 7nm fabrication. It can be scaled up to 64-cores for servers.

The potential entry into the PC market comes as Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment maker and a leading producer of smartphones, faces continuing trade problems with the U.S. Huawei is expected to bring a lawsuit this week challenging an FCC decision that bars U.S. carriers from using government subsidies to buy its equipment and services.

RELATED: Huawei to sue over FCC restrictions on USF spending—report 

In May, the U.S. blacklisted Huawei as a national security threat, preventing the sale of chips made in the U.S. to the Chinese company. Many U.S. companies have sought permits to continue sales to Huawei, and some have been granted this fall, according to Commerce Department officials.

Arm, based in the UK, continues  to license its chip technology to Huawei’s chip making subsidiary HiSilicon. Huawei has been able to make its latest Mate 30 smartphone with no U.S. parts, according to UBS and reported in the Wall Street Journal. A Huawei spokesman told FierceElectronics that Huawei executives have said the company wants to use U.S. parts in its devices but has not been permitted to do so by the U.S. government and has been forced to find alternatives.

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