Huawei to Ship Their Own Cortex-A15 Silicon This Year in The HiSilicon K3V3

January 9, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

If there’s one thing you could praise Huawei for it’s that – like Samsung – they make a lot of the components that go into their own phones. Not a lot of the major players in the smartphone game can say that right now and companies like HTC and Motorola pretty much rely on other companies for parts and components for everything. That’s not exactly a bad thing but, it says something about a company when they have the ability to make – or in this case at least, design – their own silicon that’s going to power their phones.

Huawei have had a good showing at this year’s CES with the two new smartphones they debuted earlier in the week, the massive Ascend Mate and the Ascend D2. The two new devices might not be the premium devices you expect to see from Samsung and HTC but their head of consumer electronics seems to think they have something better than anyone else. It’s hard for us to say whether or not the devices are something that will give Samsung a run for their money as Huawei have traditionally failed to ship devices in volume – or at all – in the States.

One thing is for sure though, is that Huawei aren’t resting on their laurels and are looking to the next big thing when it comes to their own CPUs. The Chinese company use their own CPUs in both the Ascend Mate and the Ascend D2 with their K3V2 quad-core processor, the “problem” with this processor is that it’s based on the older Cortex-A9 architecture which is the same sort of technology that is inside last year’s Tegra 3 and Samsung’s Exynos processor that are in the Galaxy Note 2. While these processors aren’t exactly “slow” by any means, they certainly don’t keep up with the competition from the Snapdragon S4 Pro in the Nexus 4 and Sony’s new Xperia Z. With Tegra 4 packing in Cortex A15 as well there’s a lot happening on the processor front. Huawei’s “HiSilicon” K3V3 quad-core processors will be based on the Cortex A15 architecture and should provide a welcome speed boost as well.

It’s good to see Huawei licensing the core design from ARM and then designing their own processors but, for the most part this is perhaps marketing hype in order to bring their devices an extra bit of credit in the smartphone game. Huawei doesn’t manufacturer the chips and they probably won’t be coming with any optimzations or GPU changes that Samsung, Qualcomm and Nvidia should be bringing to the table either.