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Hanwha Dropping Huawei

By: John Honovich, Published on Jun 06, 2019 < Fanzin

Hanwha Techwin is dropping Huawei Hisilicon from all of their products, the company has confirmed to IPVM.

Inside this note, we examine Hanwha's move, why Hanwha is doing this and what this means for the video surveillance industry.For background, see IPVM's report Huawei Hisilicon Quietly Powering Tens of Millions of Western IoT Devices.

Dropping Process

Hanwha told IPVM:

Roughly 25% of our current IP camera lineup has an embedded HiSilicon SoC. We are in the process of migrating these IP cameras to Ambarella, and our own SoCs. We anticipate 97% of these cameras will be transitioned by the end of this year, while the remainder will be completed by Q1 of 2020
The exact models were not disclosed, with Hanwha noting this would change month by month as their factory changes over each model (related: Hanwha now has a Vietnam factory).

In general, though, Hanwha has used Huawei in its lower cost models, e.g., here is Hanwha's lowest cost L series camera using a Hisilicon chip:

Replacement Hanwha and Ambarella Chips

Hanwha says they are replacing Huawei with a mixture of their own Wisenet chips and Ambarella chips. Ambarella's CEO called this out in their Q1 investor call:

Hanwha Techwin which was a HiSilicon customer and they transitioned to us, not only of the CV part, but also on the video product

Huawei Risks

Huawei is subject to the US NDAA government ban and has been 'red flagged' on the US 'entity' list. In addition to cybersecurity concerns, Huawei now faces supply chain barriers which could impact their ability to produce many products such as Hisilicon chips.

Hanwha's Surging Sales

Hanwha has been the biggest beneficiary of these bans, as the Korean manufacturer has invested heavily in both new product development and sales organization growth at the same time that Dahua and Hikvision have hit these barriers. In particular, Hanwha has done well with projects and larger integrators that desire lower cost products but do not want to risk further association or use of US government banned products.

The use of Huawei was the most obvious risk for Hanwha and dropping them will eliminate that. The biggest question will be the financial impact as Huawei's chips have been the lowest cost option on the market.

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