Huawei has long used open source software throughout its product lines. In recent years, the company has emerged as one of the world's top contributors to open source projects.
Open source embodies Huawei's business philosophy that success doesn't happen by working alone. The greatest achievements are the result of collaboration with others. Huawei's developers actively contribute to the work and operations of all the world's major open source software foundations.
As China's most active player in open source, Huawei has recently taken up the role of mentor to other Chinese companies that aspire to themselves become effective contributors.
Open source software refers to software that is developed collaboratively, primarily by freely sharing codes, and released under an open source license. This is typically done on dedicated sharing platforms.
Anyone can inspect, modify, or improve open source software because the source codes-the parts of the software that determines how it operates-are publicly available. With access to the source codes, programmers can improve a program or add features to it.
In open source's early days, the vast majority of contributors were in the U.S. This has changed. Chinese developers, collectively, have become the second largest group of contributors to GitHub, the world's largest repository of open source software. Huawei and Intel were the top 2 contributors to the Linux Kernel 5.10 (the core of the Linux open source operating system) when it was released in December 2020.
Open source software is found everywhere. 90% of large companies use open source software extensively in their operations, according to the latest annual survey performed by Red Hat, a company that offers software support. Open source software powers Android, the world's most widely used smartphone operating system. Open source is used in video games and in car software. Most cloud servers also run with open source software.
Here are some of the most important benefits of open source software
Huawei began to contribute to open source software communities around 2010. In 2020, Huawei's was the 10th largest contributor to GitHub1 . This was a huge jump from 2019 when Huawei was in 27th place.
Huawei's contributions as recorded by GitHub don't tell the whole story. Huawei also contributes extensively to other repositories, such as Gitee, China's largest open source software repository.
|GitHub Open Source contributor Index in 2020
|Rank in 2020
|Rank in 2019
|Number of contributors
|Source: Open Source contributor Index2
Although China recently emerged as one of the top contributors to open source software, the level of familiarity among developers and companies is still extremely uneven. In particular, many Chinese users of open source code neither understand the value of contributing nor how to do it. Huawei has been propagating knowledge of open source software in China by targeting students in universities and in high schools.
In collaboration with China’s ministry of education, Huawei has worked with universities and technical schools, 72 so far (late 2021), to expand the curriculum on open source software. By late 2021, a total of 45 universities and technical colleges had begun to offer mini-course on open source software.
Shenzhen Bay Laboratory teamed up with Huawei and Peking University to design MindSpore Sponge, a molecular dynamic library.
Molecular dynamics is a simulation tool for observing on a computer the behavior and evolution of molecules. During simulations, molecules and atoms interact for a fixed period of time, providing a dynamic view of the evolution of the system. Molecular dynamics is used in chemical physics, materials science, and biophysics. It is also used by pharmaceutical researchers to predict how specific drug molecules would interact with protein targets.
Because they are highly complex, molecular dynamic simulations can use up enormous amounts of computing power. MindSpore Sponge was designed in a highly modular way. This modularity enables it to shorten the calculation time required by simulations, which means that scientists can increase the complexity of their computational experiments.
The EU is promoting the development of an open source-based European data infrastructure called GAIA-X. When operational, GAIA-X will enhance Europe’s digital sovereignty. It will maintain the privacy of European data while allowing users to work simultaneously with multiple clouds. Huawei is an active member and supporter of Gaia-X. We contribute open source projects to the organization so that Gaia-X is both extremely open and extremely secure.