HiSilicon, Huawei’s chip-making arm, is rumoured to be working on a new version of its Kirin 9000 flagship SoC. The new chipset is known as Kirin 9000L, according to several reports on the Chinese microblogging website Weibo. According to the reports, the forthcoming Kirin processor will be manufactured by Samsung Foundry, the Korean company’s sister firm that deals with semiconductor fabrication.
The new Kirin 9000L, like the original Kirin 9000 and the Kirin 9000E, will be based on a 5nm process node. The first two solutions used TSMC’s 5nm process nodes, while the third would use Samsung’s EUV process node. However, the rumoured CPU, GPU, and NPU configurations indicate that it would be marginally faster.
The Kirin 9000 and 9000E have prime Cortex-A77 CPU cores clocked at 3.13GHz, while the Kirin 9000L has a maximum frequency of 2.86GHz. While the new chipset retains the Mali-G78 GPU, it only has 18 cores. On the Kirin 9000 and 9000E, the Mali-G78 GPU has 24 cores and 22 cores, respectively.
Furthermore, the Kirin 9000L receives a less powerful NPU. According to Weibo reports, it will have a single big core NPU. The Kirin 9000 has two large NPU cores and one small NPU core. Meanwhile, the Kirin 9000E has one sizeable and one small NPU core.
The Kirin 9000L and the Kirin 9000E are said to be in use by Huawei in the P50 Series. Maybe 9000E is included in the Pro model and 9000L in the vanilla Huawei P50.
Samsung will produce the Kirin 9000L according to reports
The sources say that Samsung will make the Kirin 9000L processor for Huawei though the authenticity of this information is not confirmed. The second largest contract foundry in the world following TSMC is Samsung Foundry.
However, you may also be aware that the latest US sanctions prevent a company that uses software and/or components from delivering chips to Huawei in the manufacturing process. This is precisely why Taiwanese chip giant can no longer produce its Kirin chipsets, as TSMC was once the second biggest customer after Apple. These penalties impact Samsung Foundry as well.
That said, it was reported that Samsung has linked Japanese and European suppliers to create a small production line using non-US facilities. If all these reports are true, then the Kirin 9000L SoC should become official beforehand.