RIP Kirin: New flagship Kirin processors production will stop in September due to U.S. sanctions, what’s next for Huawei?

by RPRNA Group

Huawei’s first Kirin mobile processor debut around 2012 and now after 8 years, Huawei is finally ready to break its ties from the flagship chipsets with one last high-end Kirin processor released in the coming month.

At a conference in China, Huawei Consumer BG CEO, Richard Yu confirmed that Huawei’s new flagship, Huawei Mate 40 series will launch with Huawei’s last flagship SoC. (via Huawei Central)

The CEO of Huawei confirmed that this is a massive effect of recent U.S. sanctions imposed on its chip supplies and new chip manufacturing of flagship Kirin processor will discontinue after September 15.

Aside from this information, the CEO didn’t reveal the exact launch of both Huawei Mate 40 series and the new Kirin chip. However, Huawei is likely to aim for IFA 2020 in September for the new chip introduction.

What’s the matter?

Last year, U.S. included Huawei into the Entity-List, banning important technologies supplies such as processors and most importantly Google Mobile Services to Huawei.

The U.S. sanctions have vastly impacted the market growth and sales of Huawei outside of the Chinese market. Most of the consumers remained doubtful due to the lack of necessary Google software services, which are not available in newly launched phones.

In February, U.S. President Donald Trump extended the reach of Entity-List and cut Huawei off from the global chip suppliers starting with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a major chip supplier of Huawei.

This is one of the major blows from the U.S. to the Chinese smartphone maker, as the new regulations block shipments of chips to Huawei from companies including TSMC.

How does it affect Huawei:

Well, Huawei’s chip designing subsidiary, HiSilicon, prints its chip design directly through TSMC and it’s the only market leader opened for large contracts. On the other hand, Samsung is also an option but the South Korean tech giant won’t be an easy deal get chips for Huawei.

What’s next?

Under the current situation, Huawei cannot print its own chipset because of the lack of knowledge and technologies requires to manufacture the chips. Also, it won’t be easy for Huawei to acquire such technology in the near future.

Instead of going to in-house production, Huawei has the only option left to contact other chip suppliers such as MediaTek, which has already become a major chip provider for Huawei’s 5G mid-range smartphones.

However, Qualcomm is a bigger and powerful chip maker compared to MediaTek but since Qualcomm is a U.S. company, it’ll require special business licenses from the U.S. to make business with Huawei.

Next Flagship?

According to some rumors, next year P-series phone, Huawei P50, likely to come with a new processor, possibly acquired from any third party chip maker.

Other processors from Kirin?

Huawei has recently introduced a new low range processor called Kirin 710A, which is made by China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). Still, SMIC is a small fish in comparison to TSMS and Samsung, and can only produce silicon size of 14nm.

Conclusions:

Currently, there’s no official statement available regarding Huawei’s current or future plans on its semiconductor policy but one thing is for sure that the Chinese smartphone maker is in big trouble. It’s not only about being in the Entity-List but the U.S. has already closed most of Huawei’s doors to acquire required technologies, while there are only a very few options left and who knows those options may soon be soon closed too.

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