Huawei's upcoming Kirin 1020 SoC rumored to launch with ARM Cortex-A78 cores this year
Rumors about the upcoming Kirin 1020 (codename Baltimore) flagship SoC started making the rounds in late 2019, implying that the jump to the 5 nm node could bring performance improvements of up to 50%. At that time, rumored specs included an integrated 5G modem and an ARM Cortex-A77 upgrade for the high-performance core cluster, but new Chinese sources claim that this particular cluster will actually feature the yet to be released Cortex-A78 cores.
We are not quite sure how Huawei is going to pull this one off, as the same sources also suggest that the 5 nm SoCs from Apple and Huawei are scheduled to be produced by TSMC in Q2 this year (shipping in Q3) and the A78 cores will barely be ready by then. Now, the insiders also mention that Huawei wants to mass-produce two 5 nm SoCs this year, so a more plausible scenario would have Huawei producing a Cortex-A77-based SoC in Q2 and launching it in Q3 with the Mate 40 smartphones, while production for the Cortex-A78-based versions may begin in Q3/Q4 and possibly launch in early 2021 with refreshed Mate 40 models.
Either way, it looks like Huawei is determined to launch the Cortex-A78-based SoC ahead of Qualcomm and Samsung, yet the bans and restrictions that the U.S government is trying to once again impose on the Chinese company may greatly hinder all these plans.