Huawei is one of few smartphone manufacturers that have the capacity to design its own chip. The company has been designing its Kirin chips for a long time. However, Samsung is the only smartphone manufacturer that has the capacity to manufacture its own chip. Huawei only designs its chips, it does not manufacture them. This is why the U.S. ban is taking a toll on the company. TSMC usually manufactures Huawei chips but it uses a lot of American technology. The U.S. ban says that TSMC can not use those technologies for Huawei.
This is why the Taiwanese chipmaker was only able to deliver just under 9 million Kirin 9000 SoCs. The initial target was about 15 million units. Despite Huawei’s travails, it appears that the company is not giving up.
According to recent reports from @rodent950, Huawei’s next-generation flagship processor will be named Kirin 9010. The report claims that this chip will use the yet to be released 3nm process.
In addition, popular Weibo leakster, @长安数码君, also claims that Huawei is developing a 3nm chip and the internal tentative name is Kirin 9010. Recall that the only company with the capacity to work on 3nm is TSMC and Samsung.
Recently, there were reports that there is a serious bottleneck in the 3nm development process. The report claims that both TSMC and Samsung may have to delay their mass production date for the 3nm process.
Huawei is working ahead of time
Most likely, Huawei is developing and designing its 3nm process chip ahead of time. It probably doesn’t want to wait until after the ban before it commences the development process. If the ban is lifted, Huawei will use TSMC’s 3n process with Apple.
At present, the most advanced chip manufacturing process in the world is the 5nm process of Samsung and TSMC. However, due to the ban, Huawei cannot rely on these two foundries. This is seriously hindering the development of new Kirin chips. Currently, the Kirin 9000 and 9000E SoCs on Huawei’s flagship phones uses TSMC’s 5nm process and integrate up to 15.3 billion transistors. They are designed with 1×A77, 3×2.54GHz A77, 4×2.04GHz A55, and the maximum core frequency is up to 3.13GHz.