Kirin SoCs rumoured to make a comeback with Huawei's stacked chip design
Huawei's chipmaking division, HiSilicon, had been severely hamstrung by the US government's wave of sanctions imposed on it. That's why we haven't seen a new Kirin chip since the Kirin 9000 launched in late 2020. The situation got muddied further with Apple scooping up most of TSMC's sub-5 nm capacity. However, recent murmurs from Weibo suggest Kirin SoCs could be back on the menu soon.
Weibo user Fixed Focus Digital (H/T to Mochamad Farido Fanani for the tip) shared what looks like two configurations for an upcoming Kirin chip. The first has two Cortex-X3, two Cortex-A715 and four Cortex-A510 CPU cores, and an Arm Immortalis-G715 MC16 GPU. An alternate design features older hardware, namely 2 Cortex-X1, 3 Cortex-A78 and 3 Cortex-A55 CPU cores and an Arm Mali G710 MC10/6 GPU.
This could also refer to separate SKUs. Another Weibo post claims there are a total of three new SKUs, namely the Kirin 720, Kirin 830 and the Kirin 9100. The first two are said to debut later this year while the Kirin 9100 is due to launch next year, presumably alongside a Huawei P70 device.
While not confirmed in any official (or unofficial) capacity, Twitter leaker @tech_reve has heard the mystery Kirin chip will supposedly be manufactured on SMIC's cutting-edge N+2 (7 nm) node. A MyDrivers report, on the other hand, proposes an entirely different theory. Huawei has apparently figured out how to stack two 14 nm chips on top of each other to get 7 nm-like performance with a power consumption of 7 Watts, low enough to drive a modern-day smartphone.