Kirin 9010 and Snapdragon 888+ rumored for late 2021: 3 nm process for HiSilicon's chip, possibly to appear in a Huawei Mate 50 smartphone
A known tech tipster has gone for broke with some outlandish rumors that would be incredible if genuine. The self-professed “tech lover” @RODENT950 starts off by claiming that Huawei’s next chip out of its wholly owned semiconductor company, HiSilicon, will be called the Kirin 9010. No surprise there, considering the Kirin 9000 has already been showing what it can get up to in a Mate 40 Pro smartphone. However, according to the leaker, the next-generation Kirin chip will be 3 nm, whereas the Kirin 9000 is based on a 5 nm process.
This is quite a claim, as it is widely believed 2022 would be the year for 3 nm chips, with Apple being at the head of the queue for any kind of volume available. Additionally, HiSilicon is a fabless semiconductor firm, so like many other companies it had to rely on what TSMC could provide. TSMC has been banned from shipping chips to Huawei, and even building its own foundry will still leave the Chinese OEM far behind its rivals as its new plant starts with 45 nm processing (the first 45-nm commercial products were introduced in 2007). So time for a huge pinch of salt here, as it’s certainly unclear just how Huawei will get its 3 nm chips even if research and development work is already in place.
It’s further rumored that the Kirin 9010 will appear in the second half of 2021, possibly just in time to be found in some handy benchmark comparisons with the alleged Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ SoC, which is also expected to turn up in the latter half of the year. However, the Plus variant of the SD888 is likely to be produced on a 5 nm node. If this news about Huawei is true, then it may even be possible that 2021’s Huawei Mate 50 series could be the first Android devices to sport a 3 nm chipset.