Huawei could return to the mobile chip market with Kirin 9100, a high-end 14nm processor

Following restrictions placed on Huawei by the US government, processor manufacturers have limited its access to the latest processor manufacturing technologies. Once one of the leaders in the mobile processor market, Huawei has found itself turning to solutions from other companies, such as Qualcomm, to develop new smartphones. With the P60 expected next year, Huawei could return to proprietary solutions if the latest rumours prove true.

Huawei could bypass US limitations with new Kirin 9100 processor for smartphones

According to a leaker on the social network Weibo, Huawei may have plans for 2023 to develop a new high-end chipset. Huawei can’t access new production technologies for chipsets, such as 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10nm nodes, but the company may develop processors on older manufacturing processes. So its next Kirin processor could be the Kirin 9100, which could use a 14nm architecture.

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With such an old architecture, we might assume that this processor wouldn’t be able to deliver performance similar to today’s, but the source of this information claims that it will be able to keep up with today’s 5nm processors. This seems hard to believe, given how many transistors are found in today’s chips compared to a few years ago, but even power consumption should be significantly higher on such an architecture.

huawei kirin 9100

What we can sense right now, however, is that Huawei will most likely not integrate a 5G modem into this processor. Even the Qualcomm processors it currently uses lack 5G connectivity, following US sanctions.

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Raw processing power is probably not as important to Huawei as independence from other companies’ processors and competition in the market with other phone makers for these components. Given that all companies are fighting to grab places in processor factories for the newest production nodes, such as 4 or 5nm, Huawei could grab low prices and free production lines on 14nm.

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