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Research & Development

Huawei remains tightly focused on its ICT pipe strategy. To build a Better Connected World, we continue to invest in key technologies, basic engineering capabilities, network architecture, technical standards, and product development. We aim to create a better user experience by providing broader, smarter, and more reliable data pipes, with higher performance and zero wait time.

We are committed to translating leading technologies into better and more competitive products and solutions that help our customers succeed.

Wireless networks: Huawei achieved the following in 2016:

  • In line with our All Cloud strategy, we released the CloudRAN and CloudAIR endto- end mobile cloud solutions: CloudRAN redesigns wireless networks with cloud architecture, and CloudAIR revolutionizes the usage of air interface resources.
  • Released our 4.5G Evolution concept and furthered LTE evolution, building on the industry-wide consensus on 4.5G and the growing number of 4.5 commercial networks. Widely deployed our Massive MIMO technology, a key 5G technology, on existing 4G networks.
  • Launched the industry's first NB-IoT chipset, the first NB-IoT communications module, and the first NB-IoT commercial release for base stations. All these efforts have helped to nurture the emerging NBIoT ecosystem.
  • Released version 2.0 of our WTTx solution, with increased data pipe capacity, fixedmobile convergence, more efficient operations, and more support for service innovation.
  • Released our indoor digital solution LampSite 3.0. This solution represents a major breakthrough on the RF bottlenecks that have held back the industry for years. It enables a neutral host model in which the same indoor infrastructure can be shared by multiple carriers. 

Carrier and enterprise networks: Huawei announced its All Cloud strategy to help carriers, enterprises, and industries go digital by enabling networks that are ubiquitous, experience-driven, agile, on-demand, and ultra-broadband.

For the telecom market, we:

  • Launched our leading Flex-PON solution to overcome the challenges of smooth migration to gigabit access.
  • Unveiled our PID to simplify WDM networks and overcome the challenges of the ultrahigh bandwidth required by video services.
  • Launched our 128 Tbit /s NE5000E 2+8 router cluster system, able to handle traffic spikes on backbone networks and provide high-speed data center interconnects.
  • Released the VideoSense solution, enabling carriers to deliver visualized, manageable video services with a guaranteed experience.

For industry/enterprise customers, we accomplished the following:

  • Our CloudCampus solution employs cloud technology to manage campus networks on the cloud throughout their lifecycles.
  • Our CloudEPN solution helps to connect enterprises to their branch organizations and enables fast provisioning of valueadded services.
  • We upgraded our CloudFabric solution for DC networks. With its smart analysis system built on big data, the upgraded solution is able to locate a network fault within minutes.

All carriers and enterprises/industries are scrambling to build the strengths that they will need to compete in the cloud era. In this context, Huawei launched the Agile Controller, the industry's first unified SDN controller able to handle different customer scenarios. It enables customers to build agile, on-demand All Cloud networks that will help them succeed in their business.

Software: We focused on building competitive Digital Native software platforms. Specifically:

  • We officially launched our converged video platform and began global delivery. The platform features cloud architecture, high capacity/high performance, agile operations and maintenance, and supports an inspired 4K video experience.
  • Our billing solution now supports incremental delivery of suites; smooth evolution of the baseline version; and five best cloud deployment practices, including CDR cloud and Bill cloud. It delivers the best bill run performance and supports open APIs and six types of openness scenarios.

At the Global Mobile Broadband Forum held in Tokyo in November 2016, Huawei announced its Wireless X Labs plan, which aims to bring together carriers, technology providers, and vertical industry partners to jointly explore future use cases for mobile applications, drive innovation in business and technology, and promote an open industry ecosystem.

  • We further advanced our platform suite strategy to enable third party developers to deliver applications as delivery service vendors (DSVs), and our open and innovative platform has drawn positive response from throughout the industry.
Cloud core networks: Huawei has remained dedicated to providing end-to-end connection and communications to any access network, and to enabling upper-layer applications through differentiated experience controls.

Specifically, we:

  • Released our CaaS 2.0 solution, a unified enabling platform to open our communications capabilities including realtime voice and video, data pipe functions, and user data functions. This solution delivers network capabilities as a service for application in any industry.
  • Announced the OceanConnect open platform ecosystem. With the IoT connection management platform at its core, the ecosystem brings together a great range of applications and access technologies.
  • Developed the concept of Big Video network that supports convergent video services for communications and industry applications across networks and geographical areas.
  • Launched the world's first "six-in-one" cloud videoconferencing endpoint, the TE10. Connecting to a wide range of cloud platforms, the TE10 delivers video services for every type of business.
  • Unveiled the world's first 5G end-to-end network slicing prototype and verified its multi-service slicing technology.
  • Released the industry's first future-oriented Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) solution that delivers lower network latency and a better service experience.

Network energy: Guided by our forward-looking principles of using silicon instead of copper and using bits to manage watts, we combined basic research in power electronics with ICT technology, and continued to provide customers with competitive products and solutions.

Specifically:

  • We continued to push the boundaries of efficiency in our power supplies, and developed a smart base station power solution to help customers reduce O&M costs.
  • For large cloud DCs and high-reliability enterprise applications, we launched a UPS module with efficiency of 97.5% and power density of 50 kVA/3U, able to support all of the world's power grids.
  • We worked on photovoltaic (PV) power systems and grid control algorithms and rolled out our smart PV solution 3.0, with improved end-to-end efficiency and increased capacity to deliver low voltage power.

In the IT field, Huawei has innovated in many different ways on cloud applications. We have provided customers with leading servers, storage devices, networks, and other IT infrastructure and helped them create high-performance computing solutions that are efficient, accelerated, and integrated.

In cloud computing, we achieved impressive results:

  • In public cloud, we have developed distinctive competitive strengths. We continuously increased the IOPS capability of our block storage service, which is now leading the industry, and launched a baremetal server to support mounted block storage devices and automatic service provisioning.
  • In private cloud, we have maintained a leading position in our SPECvirt performance, and our host replication DR mechanism delivers unmatched secondlevel Recovery Point Objective (RPO) performance.
  • In NFV, our software switch is No. 1 in terms of forwarding performance. It provides carrier-class virtual machine reliability, enabling fault detection and protection switching within seconds in the event of a fault on the virtual or physical machine.
  • In hybrid cloud, we launched the industry's leading hybrid cloud solution, which supports standard OpenStack APIs. It outperforms all other solutions in terms of automatic inter-cloud connectivity and image sharing across heterogeneous cloud environments.
  • In the storage field, we have accomplished the following:
  • In enterprise storage, we released an enhanced version of OceanStor V3, the industry's most competitive storage equipment, to support SAN/NAS activeactive failover, all-flash drives, and deduplication and compression. We also got a head start in launching the most cost-effective entry-level storage equipment that uses Huawei-made CPU. As many customers around the world continue to upgrade mechanical hard drives to solidstate drives (SSDs), we launched the next generation flash array Dorado V3, which is an industry leader for its capability to deliver 150,000 IOPS.
  • In cloud storage, we released our HD video solution OceanStor 9000 to support next-generation 4K HD video production systems. Based on the concept of softwaredefined storage (SDS), we released FusionStorage 6.0, the industry's first enterprise solution with converged storage of distributed blocks, files, and objects. This solution enables access and storage of structured, unstructured, and semistructured data across different platforms.
  • We also began to shift from selling data storage to offering storage services, and rolled out the Storage as a Service (STaaS) solution. It is the industry's first storage solution to provide a unified data and control plane for enterprise storage, distributed storage, cloud storage, and to intelligently integrate storage with applications. Based on this solution, we led the creation of the OpenSDS Industry Alliance, which has attracted more than 10 leading providers and customers from around the globe.

Big data: We added a number of key technologies to our FusionInsight, such as unified SQL, unified search, multi-tenant, large heterogeneous environment, relational analysis, and real-time analytics on data streams to address the unique needs of telecom, finance, and security sectors. By using the Superior scheduling engine, the FusionInsight solution supports enterprise-level multi-tenant functionality in a large heterogeneous environment. FusionInsight's real-time analytics on streaming data mean that for the first time financial risk controls can be effected in real time, rather than retrospectively. In addition, building on existing industry practices, we created Apache CarbonData, a new Hadoop native file format that delivers ultimate multi-dimensional analytics on big data platforms. We also developed the ELK engine that delivers the best interactive experience.

In the server domain, we accomplished the following:

  • We launched our KunLun server line at CeBIT 2016. Focused on mission critical enterprise applications, our KunLun servers are an industry breakthrough that paves the way for open-architecture computing. It incorporates Huawei-made NC chips, RAS, open design, and other innovative technologies.
  • Our ES3000 V3 NVMe PCIe SSD (ES3000 SSD for short) uses Huawei-made chips and standard PCIe interfaces and can significantly improve the performance of databases and enterprise cloud services. Thanks to its superior performance, it won the Best Internet Technology Innovation Award at the Global Technology Innovation Conference in 2016. 
  • Our FusionCube solution has expanded from single-database scenarios to fullservice cloud DC applications.
  • Working with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), we pursued collaborative innovation in areas such as HPC and SAP to develop mature, efficient HPC platforms for industries.

Huawei has continued to increase investment in forward-looking fundamental research and innovation, and has made great advances at the frontiers of ICT. Our aim is to drive progress in the industry and to develop successful business models via breakthroughs in technology.

5G mobile communications: Huawei, under the leadership of 3GPP, has actively promoted the formulation of unified global 5G standards, continued to invest in 5G technology research and innovation, and actively worked with carriers to perform field tests of key 5G technologies. We have also achieved important results in the development and verification of new technologies, in network architecture, and in our collaboration with industry players. These advances have helped us maintain a leading position in the industry.

Specifically, we:

  • Delivered a super-fast speed of 70 Gbit /s over millimeter bands using MIMO technology.
  • Became the first company to release a 5G-oriented CloudRAN solution, which uses cloud technology to redefine wireless network architecture.
  • Conducted the industry's first live demo of 5G end-to-end network slicing technology to support diversified 5G use cases.
  • Continued to strengthen our partnerships with 5G-PPP, 5GIC, 5GVIA, IMT-2020, and other industry alliances; and established the 5GAA with several leading partner companies to jointly drive the development of unified standards for connected vehicles.

In network technology research, we:

  • Launched the industry's first VR-ready network solution. This solution incorporates new technologies to provide non-blocking, deterministic low latency, and high throughput networking infrastructure, so as to address the challenges presented by future online VR video services.
  • Announced the next-generation distributed router architecture that boosts cloud computing and cloud networking. The router exploits optical connections and pizza box architecture to provide more than 10 Pbit /s ultra-large system capacities.
  • Such routers can be deployed in various scenarios including the edge of the network, the core nodes, or in DC networks. In network theory research, we:
  • Proposed the concept of the applicationdriven network with the aim of creating the most efficient network architecture so that networks can better address the great variety of demands that will be placed upon them by new service applications in the future.
  • Achieved breakthroughs in models, theories, and algorithms in the areas of information consumption, network controls, and network measurement.
  • Published concept white papers, built the architecture prototype, and achieved impressive results in high performance measurement. We ultimately defined a theory-based, application-driven target network that is highly automated and will satisfy the needs of the coming digital world. In DC evolution, Huawei has continued to optimize the architecture of our DC 3.0 prototype and greatly improved its overall performance. Specifically, we:
  • Released the industry's No.1 TPCx-BB solution, and played a leading role in drafting international energy testing standards for big data benchmarking.
  • Released a series of models and a scale-out parallel emulation platform for typical ICT application scenarios.
  • Developed an industry-leading NVM file system with innovative NVM technology. The DC 3.0 architecture enables major architecture innovations and new software and hardware for the next-generation DCs. Huawei will be offering customers cost-effective, green DC solutions with world-leading performance.
  • Optical network research: Huawei proposed Optical Network 2.0 for the All Cloud era, and has made significant technological innovations in optical transmission. Specifically, we:
  • Released a prototype of 320 Tbit/s OXC, the industry's largest cross-connect capacity. This resolves the capacity bottleneck caused by digital cross-connects in optical networks.
  • Unveiled the industry's first all-silicon OXC chip, with 32x32 ports, to deliver ultra-low power consumption and ultra-fast switching.
  • Announced a 4-port silicon photonics coherent transmission prototype, able to support Tbit/s-level transmission. Huawei Optical Network 2.0 aims to deliver the best customer experience by providing ultra-large bandwidth, super-low latency, ultra-high energy efficiency, fast service provisioning, and IT-enabled operation and maintenance. 

Artificial intelligence (AI): Huawei has focused on strategic businesses, improved the delivery efficiency and service quality of our Global Technical Service (GTS) team by using AI technologies, and realized early detection and prevention of network faults. All these efforts have helped us to continuously create value for customers. Our achievements include the following:

  • Our distributed real-time stream processing system StreamSMART and online learning algorithm StreamMBT enable GTS to provide smart customer services. They have increased the accuracy of automatic fault classification to over 85% and can cover 90% of anomaly scenarios.
  • Our Network Mind uses reinforcement learning to better schedule network traffic, and improves transmission efficiency by 40% across applications.
  • Our Honor series smartphones are able to intelligently deliver personalized services and are helping the handset industry enter the AIera.
  • The Huawei recommendation engine can build an accurate model within minutes and boosts downloads of the apps it recommends by 40%, representing a major improvement to user experience.

Batteries: We continued to focus on three features: large capacity, fast charging, and safety.

Specifically, we:

  • Delivered a 5V/8A high-current fast charger with new electrode material in our Honor series smartphones, which can charge to over 90% in just 30 minutes.
  • Unveiled the industry's first long-life, heatresistant, graphene-assisted Li-ion battery. The special additive in the electrolytes and doped electrode material allow Li-ion batteries to remain functional even when exposed to temperatures 10°C higher than the industry's current upper limit. This has brought about revolutionary changes for energy storage in telecom base stations in warm climates.

Huawei works with global partners on innovation to advance technological progress at our 15 research institutes and centers, and at 36 joint innovation centers around the world.

The following are some highlights from 2016:

To explore new breakthroughs and innovations in the ICT industry, the Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP) sponsored more than 200 innovation and research projects, including research in basic science such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry.

We worked with mathematicians from around the world, including Fields Medal and Wolf Prize winners, on projects ranging from fundamental mathematical theory to key engineering questions. We invested heavily in research into image processing, data mining, network optimization, and related areas. We also collaborated with physicists around the world (including Nobel Prize winners and their teams) on research projects relating to next generation storage systems and media, such as materials science for new storage media; component modeling and simulation; and applications of new memory interface protocols. In addition, we significantly reduced the costs by using new storage media in software and hardware, and dramatically increased their lifespan. This work has boosted Huawei's research reputation in the field of next generation storage systems. 

Huawei maintains ongoing, in-depth collaboration with global universities in areas such as databases, DC power consumption, and distributed technology. In 2016, we solved the problem of slow response to parallel queries in big data environments with limited resources.

Huawei is a major contributor to ICT standards. We are actively involved in the development and promotion of major international standards. We are also active in open-source communities as part of our ongoing efforts to build out the industry and cultivate an ecosystem that promotes shared success.

In 2016, we:

  • Actively participated in 5G, video, IoT, and other major industry initiatives, and promoted broader industry cooperation across multiple industry organizations.
  • Worked with industry partners in the 3GPP to advance the unified 5G standards around the world. In the IETF, we committed significant effort to supporting the healthy development of IP standards and the IP ecosystem. 
  • In the IEEE, we focused on research into Wi-Fi and Ethernet basic technologies, and took strides toward establishing a research presence in vertical industries. In ETSI and ITU, we helped to accelerate industry upgrade by leading the development of carrier technology standards, and lobbied for more spectrum to be released for the wireless industry.
  • With industry partners, we created the Green Computing Consortium, ECC, 5GAA, OPRC, and other industry alliances to build up consensus across industries and to expand the addressable market size.
  • Facilitated cooperation between GSMA and OPRC, and helped to establish the Digital Maturity Model and Metrics (DMMM) working group within the TM Forum to discuss the goals of digital transformation for carriers, based on empirical business metrics. 
  • As a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), we analyzed the needs and application scenarios relating to the digitization of vertical industries.
  • In the Broadband Forum (BBF), we promoted the establishment of the Open Broadband Initiative (OBI), and improved industry consensus on PON convergence and networking cloudification, leading to a better and broader environment for the network industry.
  • Promoted collaboration among open source communities, standards organizations, and industry alliances including ETSI NFV, OPNFV, OpenStack, and OPEN-O. Worked with partners to establish the NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative (NFV-ITI) alliance to accelerate commercialization of NFV. As of December 31, 2016, Huawei has filed 57,632 patent applications in China and 39,613 outside China, with a total of 62,519 patents granted.

As of December 31, 2016, Huawei is a member of over 360 standards organizations, industry alliances, and open source communities, and holds more than 300 positions of responsibility within these organizations. Huawei is a board member of IEEE-SA, BBF, ETSI, TM Forum, WFA, WWRF, OpenStack, Linaro, OPNFV, and CCSA. In 2016, we submitted more than 6,000 proposals to standards organizations (over 49,000 to date). Huawei has consistently invested over 10% of its revenue in R&D every year. In 2016, approximately 80,000 employees were engaged in R&D, comprising 45% of our total workforce. Huawei's R&D expenditures totaled CNY76,391 million in 2016, accounting for 14.6% of the company's total revenue. We have spent more than CNY313,000 million on R&D over the past decade.