Research & Innovation
In the Innovation 2.0 era, theoretical breakthroughs and new inventions based on basic technologies will help address global challenges, supporting our vision and assumptions for the future. As we enter this new era, Huawei will further ramp up investment into innovation, taking innovation to the next level and constantly delivering value to the industry and society at large. We will continue working to build a fully connected, intelligent world, which will benefit more people, homes, and organizations.
Building Innovation 2.0
Huawei’s vision is a fully connected, intelligent world. To achieve this, we work to inspire passion for basic research around the world. Our combined passion drives development across the global innovation value chain.
Innovation 2.0 is, at its core, about making breakthroughs in fundamental theories and new inventions based on basic technologies that will help address global challenges in order to support our vision and assumptions for the future. This will create a steady stream of new inventions to drive progress in the digital world. In 2020, following the principle of openness for innovation, Huawei further expanded its efforts in basic research and actively pursued broader collaboration between the industry and academia. The accomplishments from such efforts and pursuit will be used to light up the future.
- In a post-Shannon world, future development and prosperity in the ICT industry will require new breakthroughs in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and other basic research areas. This is particularly true in mathematics, which is not just the foundation of science, but also a crucial support for ongoing technological advances. In 2020, Huawei published a list of 10 mathematical challenges facing the ICT industry. We hope that it will help guide and encourage new breakthroughs in theoretical research. Together we can solve global challenges like improving performance while reducing resource consumption; explainability in deep neural networks; and modernization of superlarge networks.
- Huawei is working to build an open ecosystem for research collaboration between the industry and academia. We believe business should shape academic research, and we have prompted extensive collaboration with universities and research institutions. These efforts support highly uncertain innovation projects and new ways to improve efficiency.
- Huawei attracts leading talent from around the world with our open basic research mechanism. We have postdoctoral research stations in all of our 10 major research centers in China. These stations bring together high-potential talent to develop a pool of innovative researchers and allow them to communicate with each other through this initiative. As a result, our postdoc researchers have covered more than 300 topics based on their work at Huawei. This initiative has also helped Huawei establish a fully-fledged research network. Our research projects are strategically designed and coordinated to enable the industry and academic sides to work together more effectively. In joint pursuit of excellence, we will continue transitioning towards a model that is innovation-led, basic-research-focused, and talent-centered.
Basic Research and Theoretical Breakthroughs
Huawei has increased its investment in basic research and theoretical breakthroughs to support the continued development of a digital, intelligent world.
We continue to explore and define new research directions and new services. We have expanded our collaborations with academic researchers; researched new air interface technologies, new network architectures, integration of communications and sensing, and key enabling technologies; and developed the fundamental theories of these technologies.
We continue to explore basic architectures and basic components for wireless networks, preparing for the future expansion of low-band and high-band networks with much higher spectral and power efficiency.
Carrier and Enterprise Networks
In this area, our research is focused on network protocols for connecting everything and every network, including deterministic services, intrinsic network security, and flexible addressing. We have also invited many academic and industry partners to join our research.
An end-to-end deterministic networking experiment on a trial network has successfully demonstrated that with this new system in place, jitter can be less than 15 microseconds over a distance of 2,000 kilometers.
In this area, we are working actively and closely with vendors and industry partners from around the world to complete the latest international video CODEC standards – VVC/H.266 and MPEG-5EVC – and develop the CUVA HDR standard.
We are the world’s largest contributor to video standards, and have created industry-leading video standardization solutions for applications such as 4K, 8K, high dynamic range (HDR), and 360-degree panoramic videos. This has helped ensure a better video experience for consumers and an open and flourishing video industry.
Innovation and Invention
Huawei has spent decades investing heavily in innovation and invention. We continued to see how this strategy successfully drives industry progress in 2020:
With new progress in high-speed optoelectronic materials and components, we have supported evolution towards higher bit rate per wavelength over long-haul. We continue to deepen our research into the ultra-high-speed signal processing technology and have demonstrated that 1 Tbit/s per wavelength is feasible.
We have made breakthroughs in key transmission technologies for achieving 800 Gbit/s over short distances in data centers. We have also introduced an all-optical architecture and novel technologies to data centers, ending the backplane dimension constraint on system capacity. This maximizes the computing performance of data center networks.
Thanks to breakthroughs in our camera technology, we have further improved our smartphones’ image definition, quality of HDR and strongly backlit images, color accuracy, night view noise reduction, and portrait mode effects, bringing users a brand new experience.
We have also overcome some tough challenges regarding spatial computing and spatial video, both of which are critical. Free-viewpoint video and indoor high-precision positioning services are hugely appealing to consumers.
Advances in our active noise canceling (ANC) and Bluetooth HD audio CODEC technologies have delivered a comfortable and nearly lossless ultra-HD audio experience to our device users.
Huawei is committed to sustained supply as well as innovation and breakthroughs in this area to increase competitiveness.
Euler kernel has become the first project to obtain both the ASIL-D and CC EAL 5+ certifications.
Our openEuler, openGauss, and MindSpore have been recognized as being among China’s top 10 open source projects and technical innovation platforms in light of their contributions to the expansion of China’s software industry.
RTOS, GaussDB, EulerOS, and HuaweiJDK are among the company’s most shipped software products.
Our GaussDB, a distributed, cloud-based database, delivers financial-institution-class levels of reliability, and has been integrated into class-A banking systems, where it is capable of handling critical bank functions.
RTOS, with its microkernel-based architecture, performed 30% better, with 30% less noise, than Linux on 5G networks.
We have obtained over 20 third-party certifications for our basic software.
By building trustworthiness in our basic software, we have achieved the requirements stipulated in our Software Process Trustworthiness Capability Framework V1.0, and have built a software management system that prioritizes trustworthiness.
Materials and Techniques
We are a leading innovator in the device sector. For example, we were the first to bring the Falcon Wing hinge design to foldable phones. Based on an inward-folding design, the phone’s amorphous alloy hinge allows it to fold out to reveal an eight-inch screen. Looking to the future, we will continue to innovate new precision mechanisms and flexible displays, crafting pocket-sized phones with big screens.
Huawei was the first company to pack a set of foldable, long-focus cameras into its phones. With this technique, phones can be less than 1 cm in thickness, while offering a 10x optical zoom. This is the highest smartphone zoom available to date.
By introducing low-profile and compact arrays, we have restructured and simplified the antenna array architecture, reducing its weight by 30%.
We have made breakthroughs in electromagnetic supersurface and material techniques, guaranteeing low channel loss.
We have applied antenna decoupling techniques during base station design, allowing for new physical structures that make site acquisition and deployment easier.
To address both the opportunities and challenges presented by digital sovereignty, better protect customer privacy, and improve product security and resilience, Huawei continues its research into theories, technologies, and engineering practices in trustworthiness. We have been an active player in driving advances in the theory and standardization of trustworthiness.
Huawei is a major contributor to trustworthiness-related task forces in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T), 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and other standards organizations. We actively participate in standardization for AI trustworthiness and are fully dedicated to enhancing the trustworthiness of open source software.
We are reshaping the architecture of trustworthy computing in the AI era with a multi-language trustworthy framework, compatible across various platforms, which offers data processing volume thousands of times higher than that of previous versions.