Reviving Kirin SoCs: Huawei's Stacked Chip Innovation

Kirin SoC

A new rumour from Weibo says Huawei plans to launch new Kirin SoCs for smartphones. These potential advancements could reshape the smartphone market. The SoCs might be manufactured on SMIC's 7 nm node or take an innovative approach by stacking two 14 nm chips on top of each other.

Huawei's renowned chipmaking division, HiSilicon, has been facing substantial challenges. The imposition of stringent sanctions by the US government significantly hamstrung its operations. Consequently, the launch of new Kirin chips has been notably scarce, with the Kirin 9000 being the latest significant release in late 2020. The situation was further compounded as Apple secured the lion's share of TSMC's sub-5 nm capacity. However, the recent buzz on Weibo has sparked speculations that Kirin SoCs could be making a resurgence.

Exploring Potential Chip Configurations

Weibo user Fixed Focus Digital (H/T to Mochamad Farido Fanani for the tip) unveiled what appear to be two configurations for an upcoming Kirin chip. In the first configuration, the chip boasts two Cortex-X3, two Cortex-A715, and four Cortex-A510 CPU cores, coupled with an Arm Immortalis-G715 MC16 GPU. Conversely, the alternate design showcases slightly older hardware, featuring 2 Cortex-X1, 3 Cortex-A78, and 3 Cortex-A55 CPU cores, complemented by an Arm Mali G710 MC10/6 GPU.

It's important to consider the possibility that these configurations might refer to distinct Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), thereby catering to a diverse range of smartphone models and performance requirements. In alignment with this notion, another Weibo post alludes to the existence of three new SKUs: the Kirin 720, Kirin 830, and Kirin 9100. If these speculations hold true, the Kirin 720 and Kirin 830 are anticipated to debut later this year, while the Kirin 9100 might be unveiled next year, potentially alongside a highly awaited Huawei P70 device.

Potential Manufacturing Strategies

Although the finer details remain unconfirmed, tantalizing insights have emerged from industry insiders. Notably, Twitter leaker @tech_reve has suggested that the mysterious Kirin chip might find its roots in SMIC's cutting-edge N+2 (7 nm) node. This strategic partnership between Huawei and SMIC could potentially revolutionize the company's chip capabilities, redefining performance benchmarks in the smartphone industry.

Equally intriguing is a theory presented in a MyDrivers report. This theory proposes a groundbreaking approach to chip design: the stacking of two 14 nm chips, resulting in performance levels akin to traditional 7 nm chips. Remarkably, this innovation might be achieved with a remarkably low power consumption of 7 Watts. If successful, this breakthrough could pave the way for exceptionally efficient and high-performance Kirin SoCs, ushering in a new era of smartphone technology.


The world of smartphone technology is ever-evolving, and Huawei's potential reentry into the market with revamped Kirin SoCs exemplifies the dynamic nature of innovation. While the veracity of these rumors remains to be seen, the speculation alone underscores Huawei's unwavering commitment to overcoming challenges and delivering cutting-edge solutions. Whether through strategic collaborations, unconventional chip designs, or a combination of both, Huawei's journey towards technological excellence continues to captivate industry observers. The potential success of the Kirin SoCs revival could herald a new era of competition, driving the envelope of performance and user experience in the realm of mobile technology.

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