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Huawei relies on TSMC for 5nm based Kirin 1020 for the Mate 40 series

The Chinese smartphone maker has been making its own chips for quite some time now and has made huge progress in last few years. Using the latest tech in its chips is what Huawei wants to beat its rivals including Apple and Samsung.

While their Kirin 980 and 990 might be promising but falls apart when compared to the latest Qualcomm chips. Recently it launched its Kirin 820 SoC for mid-range smartphones with 5G capabilities, and to add to Huawei’s trouble, MediaTek is making some impressive smartphone SoCs as well with 5G capabilities, posing threat to Qualcomm as well.

Huawei's Kirin 1020 codenamed Baltimore to give 50% better performance than Kirin 990

In this scenario, like Apple, Huawei is thinking about 5nm node and if rumours seem to be trusted then Huawei’s upcoming Kirin 1020 codenamed Baltimore will give 50% better performance than Kirin 990 which is impressive.

Well, after the harsh US trade ban, Huawei’s supply chain cooperation is under serious threat because its sole wafer foundry TSMC is being pressurised with orders from a lot of companies including Apple, AMD, NVIDIA and others. However, TSMC won’t deny its second-largest customer and is set to make more money.

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Earlier reports from mydrivers suggest that TSMC urgently accepted Huawei’s order of up to 700 million US dollars that will be shipped before the ban takes effect in mid-September which mainly involves 7nm and 5nm process nodes. However, it is reported that it will not be 7nm and 5nm processes as TSMC’s 7nm process is already full.

Huawei relies on TSMC for 5nm based Kirin 1020 for the Mate 40 series

According to mydrivers, Huawei will be receiving 5nm and 12nm process nodes and TSMC’s 5nm capacity utilization rate is about 50%. This suggest Huawei will be utilizing the 5nm node for its Kirin 1020 SoC which is inturn designed for the Mate 40 series.

This new 5nm process has about 25,000 wafers and if the price is $15,000 per wafer then the order value is accounted for a huge $375 million. On the other hand, the other 12nm process orders are for the 5G base stations, while the 7nm process used for Kirin 990 and Kirin 980 may encounter some supply issues.

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If TSMC delivers the 5nm process nodes as promised then by the second half of 2020 Huawei will be able to deliver the Kirin 1020 SoCs which will be used for the first time on the Huawei Mate 40 series flagship smartphones, a good move to compete against Apple’s iPhone 12 series.

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Raunak Saha
Raunak Saha
A cs engineer by profession but foodie from heart. I am tech lover guy who has a passion for singing. Football is my love and making websites is my hobby.



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