Huawei’s HiSilicon 1020 5nm chipset might be a bigger chip than the Apple A14 Bionic and cost more: but will it be faster?
A Weibo tipster recently claimed that Huawei’s upcoming Kirin 1020 SoC might end up costing more than the Apple A14 Bionic. Tipster “Mobile chip master” claimed that the upcoming 5nm chip would cost more and be a bigger chip than the A14, though it’d be smaller than Apple’s planned ARM SoC for MacBooks.
This has some interesting implications or Kirin 1020 performance and the pricing for future Huawei smartphones. HiSilicon, the company that manufactures Kirin chips, is a subsidiary of Huawei’s. Since HiSilicon isn’t exactly an independent business, minimising cost per unit isn’t necessarily a key focus. This means Huawei, in turn, can afford to put a larger, more expensive chipset into its future smartphones.
Will the Kirin 1020 outperform the Apple A14? Rumors indicate that the new Huawei chip will use ARM A78 performance cores. This would likely faster performance than the current-gen Apple A13 Bionic. However, ARM’s vanilla core designs have historically performed worse than Apple’s custom cores.
Moreover, Apple’s always invested more die space for the GPU component, meaning iPhone graphics performance that’s as much as 50 percent higher than equivalent Android flagships. Putting all this together, while it’s possible for a larger Kirin 1020 to substantively close the gap to the A14 Bionic and even perhaps outperform other SoCs in the Android space like the upcoming Snapdragon 875, Apple’s A14 will probably remain in a performance category of its own. But whether or not Huawei smartphones will be worth buying, between the lack of Android services and ongoing security concerns, is a whole other question.