World-beating secret of Huawei’s first 5G CPU revealed

A chief executive unmasked the Kirin 9000S and how it got around manufacturing limits.

The Huawei Mate 60 Pro received praise for its impeccable performance and camera prowess, thanks to the Kirin 9000S SoC. This processor has a 7-nanometer process node, a must to run this flagship smartphone.

But according to a firm’s CEO, Kirin 9000S isn’t a true 7-nm chipset; it’s a 14-nm chipset.

If you don’t know, the number + nanometer corresponds to the process node. This is linked to chip manufacturing, where smaller nodes mean more transistors and higher performance.

The Kirin 9000S was a breakthrough on its own, yet teardowns mentioned nothing about it being a 14-nm chipset.

Minatake Mitchell Kashio, CEO of Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, shared with the South China Morning Post that special techniques were applied to Kirin 9000S to make it “perceivable” as a 7-nm chip.

The reason is the US sanctions against China. Manufacturing a 7-nm chip will be a direct violation to these sanctions as current restrictions intend to keep China locked in 14-nm and 10 years behind the technology.

The only way to get past that is to create newer chips and apply techniques to push their capabilities and artificially mimic advanced processors.

Still, there’s no solid evidence that Kirin 9000S was really fabricated via the 14-nm process.

For now, check out the specs of Huawei Mate 60 Pro here. Its estimated price is around €890 or ₱54,901.88.


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