TSMC’s investment plan actually surfaced, which reveals the Kirin 1000 name, and 5nm manufacturing process. That’s not all the information that surfaced, though.
5nm Kirin 1000 coming later this year, along with the Snapdragon 875
This investment plan also mentions the Snapdragon 875, as that processor will also be made using a 5nm process. This investment plan even mentions the Kirin 1100, which is scheduled to arrive next year.
The Kirin 1100 will be made using a 5nm+ manufacturing process, it seems. That will be an improved version of the 5nm process, but not an entirely new technology.
That being said, the Kirin 1000 will feature ARM Cortex-A77 cores. As a reminder, the Kirin 990 utilizes Cortex-A76 cores. ARM Cortex-A77 should bring a considerable improvement in performance, up to 20-percent.
These new cores will also offer a smaller node size. The Kirin 1000 is expected to include the Mali-G77 GPU, and a dual-core NPU which should improve processing power, communication capabilities, thermal and structural design.
The trial production of this processor started last year, it seems. The chip is expected to arrive in the coming months.
The Huawei Mate 40 flagship series will be the first to feature the Kirin 1000
The Mate 40 flagship series will be the first to ship with this processor. The Huawei P50 series, which is scheduled to arrive in Q1 next year, is also expected to include this SoC.
Huawei did announce a new SoC not long ago, the Kirin 985. That processor is placed between the Kirin 820 and 990 in terms of sheer power, so it’s not exactly a flagship-grade chip.
The Kirin 990 is plenty powerful, though. It will be a year old soon, but it’s still amongst the most powerful processors in the game. This processor fuels quite a few Huawei and HONOR phones at the moment.
Huawei may be forced to switch its SoC production over to SMIC altogether in the future, due to the US, but for the time being, TSMC is handling its flagship SoCs.
The Kirin 710A is the first processor that SMIC made for Huawei, and it quite probably won’t be the last. The US ban is affecting Huawei in a number of ways it seems, and it may disrupt the company’s SoC plans as well.