5nm Kirin 1020 SoC tipped for next year's Huawei Mate 40 line

5nm Kirin 1020 SoC tipped for next year's Huawei Mate 40 line
Huawei's current flagship AP, the Kirin 990, is the chipset that powers the company's Mate 30 line. Manufactured by TSMC using its 7nm process, the version of this SoC with an integrated 5G modem stuffs 10.3 billion transistors inside. Introduced at the IFA show in Berlin back in September, the Kirin 990 will be powering the Huawei P40 series that could be launched as soon as Q1 of 2020.

When the time comes next fall for Huawei to release its most technologically advanced phones of 2020, the Mate 40 line, a new chipset should be under the hood. According to a post made on China's Weibo microblogging site (via GizChina), that would be the Kirin 1020. The tip noted that the component will be manufactured using the 5nm process, and since Huawei is one of TSMC's top customers, we have no doubt that the Kirin 1020 will be produced by the world's largest independent foundry. TSMC will start delivering 5nm chips to customers during the second quarter of next year. At 5nm, the Kirin 1020 could contain as much as 171.3 million transistors per square millimeter.

Kirin 1020 is expected to have a 50% performance boost over the Kirin 990

Apple will probably release the first smartphone to be powered by a 5nm chip when the 2020 iPhones are launched, presumably next September. These handsets will be equipped with the Apple-designed and TSMC built A14 Bionic. That will be followed by the Kirin 1020 powered Mate 40. The upcoming flagship Snapdragon chip, the 865 Mobile Platform, will be manufactured by Samsung using its 7nm EUV process. The first 5nm Snapdragon AP, the Snapdragon 875, won't roll off of TSMC's assembly line until 2021. The lower the process number, the more transistors fit inside a chip bringing improved performance and more energy efficiency. Both Samsung and TSMC could be manufacturing 3nm chips as soon as 2022.

A couple of days after the Kirin 990 was introduced, the CEO of Huawei's consumer group, Richard Yu, admitted that the chip did not include ARM Holdings' most powerful CPU core at the moment. Instead of including the Cortex-A77, the Kirin 990 sports the Cortex-A76 performance core. Yu said that the chip offered more power than a consumer needs and as a result, he said that trading extra power for a shorter battery life wasn't worth using the Cortex-A77 in the Kirin 990. The only problem with that analysis is that according to ARM, the Cortex-A77 provides a 20% performance boost with no additional draw on the battery. When pressed on this matter, the Huawei executive said that the company's internal testing contradicted ARM's claims. The Kirin 1020 will skip the Cortex-A77 CPU core and will use the Cortex-A78.

[img center [[354324]]:"The Kirin 990 SoC will power the Huawei P40 line next year"]

The Kirin 1020, said to carry the code name of Baltimore, will reportedly offer a 50% performance boost over the Kirin 990. That is twice the 25% improvement that the Snapdragon 865 is expected to provide over the Snapdragon 855.

Thanks to some luck and prescient action on the part of Huawei, the company can design upgraded chips even though it is banned from accessing its U.S. supply chain. When the manufacturer was first placed on the U.S. Commerce Department's entity list in the middle of May, U.K. chip designer ARM Holdings said that it would cut ties with Huawei. The firm said that this was because it uses American original technology. Luckily, Huawei anticipated a ban and had stockpiled some components. And then in October, ARM reversed its position and said that because "ARM’s v8 and v9 are UK-origin technologies," it could do business with Huawei after all.

And now it appears that Huawei will be able to keep upgrading its chipsets even without its U.S. supply chain. That will help the company next year as it attempts to surpass Samsung to become the top smartphone manufacturer in the world.



1. meanestgenius

Posts: 22797; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei keeps releasing flagship beast after flagship beast, and if this SoC is any indication, this will be another beast by Huawei! Can’t wait to see/read/hear more about this.

6. Cicero

Posts: 1159; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

In my point of view it is a normal upgrade of technology. This year A76 and next year A77 and A78 ARM design. Plus lpddr5, plus UFS advancement, plus batteries new graphene technology and so the r&d of smartphone market. I think we have to look on this development and we will know where the smartphones will head of. And regarding CPU we have to look on ARM, UFS and lpddr development we have to look at Samsung, modems and 5g again Samsung, QC and Huawei, implementing the production of 5nm and 3nm is on TSMC and Samsung, and so on. It is a mixture of companies which are in research and development on such technologies.

7. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 777; Member since: Dec 20, 2017


9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22797; Member since: May 28, 2014

And in my point of view, this is going to be another beast released by Huawei! Wooooooooo!!

10. Venom

Posts: 3973; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

In your point of view, Huawei can apparently do no wrong.

14. meanestgenius

Posts: 22797; Member since: May 28, 2014

Point out where I’ve ever said Huawei can do no wrong, as opposed to telling fabrications in order to change the facts to suit your false narrative. Don’t worry, I’ll wait....

23. Venom

Posts: 3973; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

The fact that you always get defensive whenever documented facts of Huawei's crimes are brought up is more than enough proof.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 22797; Member since: May 28, 2014

So you can’t provide any evidence of me saying Huawei can do no wrong....got it. The fact that you get far more defensive whenever any documented facts disproves your so called documented facts, as well as you not being able to provide any solid evidence of your own and the way you attack Huawei on practically every article that is put up about them says volumes about you.

13. Cicero

Posts: 1159; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Yes, will be. Like I said it is because of ARM A78, Samsung UFS and lpddr5 ram, their 5G modem, somebody screen, somebody cameras. Somebody is made r&d, implement that and all the phone makers will use it at a period of time.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22797; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei put a great deal of R&D themselves into all of their products. Let’s not act like that is not the case.

21. Cicero

Posts: 1159; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

You just repeating Hiawei, Huawei. I am saying Huawei, ARM, QC, Samsung, TSMC, Sony, Leica, Gorilla Glass, Apple and even MS.

22. meanestgenius

Posts: 22797; Member since: May 28, 2014

And? This is a Huawei article about Huawei is it not?

19. Fred3

Posts: 608; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Just a heads up the graphene battery in the new huawei phone is bs. The guy that posted these specs is not a trust-able scorse. Some of those specs he gave are false

2. DBozz

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

If Huawei is originated/owned by USA, right now they would have beaten apple by a long shot...

8. hjl2345

Posts: 105; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

I don't know... there seems to be something more than just AP performance that makes iPhones popular.

11. Venom

Posts: 3973; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Yup and we wouldn't have to worry about poor quality devices that have back doors to the Chinese government.

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 22797; Member since: May 28, 2014

No, we would just have to worry about poor quality devices with backdoors to the U.S. government.

24. Venom

Posts: 3973; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Good thing that we have multiple options in the US since the US doesn't ban everything under the sun like China does.

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 22797; Member since: May 28, 2014

There are multiple good options in China. In fact, the Chinese smartphone OEM’s are putting out better products than any U.S. smartphone vendor, and some of the best products in the smartphone industry overall. China also has not “banned everything under the sun”. As usual, you’re exaggerating and trying to pass it off as facts.

12. Fred3

Posts: 608; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

No they wouldn't. Apple has that status symbol that alot of people look up to simply because of the celebrities. When there was Huawei phones in the US, people made fun of the users that used them. So no they wouldn't have but they would be 3rd.

17. goojman

Posts: 58; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

I wish Samsung could make killer phones as good as Huawei. Samsung's Note series is da Bomb

18. WPX00

Posts: 513; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

the 50% improvement isnt impressive considering the 990 is shipping with 2018-era technology.

20. Mrmark

Posts: 426; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

What sorcery is this!!!!!!

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