Samsung is likely to produce Kirin chips for Huawei

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2021-03-22 07:47:10

Over the past few years, Huawei has launched two flagship smartphones, the P series and the Mate series. These flagship smartphones are also equipped with the most advanced processors, manufactured by Huawei itself. However, Huawei is having difficulty producing Kirin processors, due to heavy sanctions from the US.

Last May, the US Department of Commerce changed its export rules, forcing all global semiconductor manufacturers that use US technology to obtain a license before being able to cooperate and supplying components to Huawei. Including TSMC, the largest manufacturer of mobile chips today.

Huawei is TSMC’s second largest customer, after Apple. Before the new US export rule went into effect, TSMC produced and delivered a batch of 5nm Kirin 9000 chips to Huawei. These chips are equipped with the Mate 40 and Mate X2.

Huawei is also developing two other variants of the Kirin 9000 chip, the Kirin 9000E and the Kirin 9000L. In particular, the Kirin 9000E has fewer GPU cores than the Kirin 9000 (22 cores versus 24 cores), and has less than one NPU processing core. The Kirin 9000L is similar, but will have a lower clock rate (2.8Ghz vs. 3.1Ghz).

The Kirin 9000L variant is expected to be made by Samsung Foundry, the world’s second-largest foundry after TSMC. The chip will be manufactured using Samsung’s 5nm EUV process. These Kirin 9000L chips are also rumored to be in the Huawei P50 line of smartphones, which is coming soon.

For now, the relationship between the US and China is still unclear, after President Biden took office. However, the likelihood that Huawei can return to normal operations is quite low. As long as the US side will continue to use sanctions against giant Huawei, to gain an interest on the negotiating table with the Chinese side.

Reference: phonearena

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