Despite the fact that rumors about the return of Kirin processors have been directly refuted even by Huawei, such information still keeps popping up online. At the moment, Huawei doesn’t have the capacity to build processors on modern manufacturing processes that would allow the company to be competitive in the market, but it might have to turn to 12 or 14nm processors in order to continue developing smartphones. And the first models equipped with such processors could be launched as early as this year, in the second half.
Huawei’s Kirin processors could return sooner than expected
Already there have been unofficial reports that the US wants to slap even more sanctions on Huawei. These could restrict the company from buying modern chips from Qualcomm, its US partner, which currently sells it modern chips but without 5G. Banning access to 4G technologies would mean Huawei would no longer be able to produce modern phones in any way, and 12 or 14nm chips could be used as a compromise solution until Chinese processor factories develop their own solutions to make 7, 5 or 4nm chips.
Huawei Central, an online publication that tracks the company’s business and has provided unofficial information that has been verified in the past, cites the Weibo account of a well-known Chinese leaker who says that in the second half of the year, Huawei could launch a new Kirin chip based on proprietary technology. It’s unclear on what type of lithography this chip might be developed on, but it’s hard to believe it could be smaller than 10nm, given the capabilities of China’s fabs. It is mentioned that the level of information accuracy could be around 70%, so there is a probability that this will not happen.
Last year SMIC, China’s largest processor fab, managed to develop a proprietary 7nm processor, but limited in capabilities, dedicated to the cryptocurrency mining domain. This process would be impossible at the moment to adapt for smartphone processor production.
via Phone Arena