Huawei's Kirin 9000S: Chip Wars, 5G Wonders, & More!

Huawei's Kirin 9000S

The announcement of the Huawei Mate 60 Pro took the tech world by surprise. It appeared seemingly out of nowhere, quietly listed on Huawei's official website and its first-party online store, without the usual fanfare associated with Huawei product launches. However, the real intrigue lay in the heart of this announcement - the Huawei Kirin 9000S.

As many are aware, Huawei faced significant limitations in the wake of U.S. sanctions, affecting what components it could use in its smartphones. Among the myriad challenges, the most critical was the restriction on access to chipmaking tools necessary for 5G capability. This compelled the Chinese tech giant to stick with less advanced SoCs (System-on-Chips) that supported only 4G networking. But with the Kirin 9000S, Huawei has managed to break free from this constraint.

The Mate 60 Pro Phenomenon

Just one week after the official announcement, Huawei had already shipped over a million units of the Mate 60 series. The company has ambitious plans to ship at least 12 million units of the Mate 60 Pro. However, the absence of a formal announcement regarding 5G support has led to considerable confusion surrounding the Huawei Kirin 9000S. In this article, we aim to address these questions comprehensively.

Manufacturer of Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 9000S Chip

In the past, Huawei collaborated with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) to manufacture its HiSilicon chipsets. However, the U.S. sanctions forced Huawei to terminate this partnership. Consequently, TSMC, a leading chip manufacturer, was not involved in the production of the Kirin 9000S SoC.

Instead, Huawei turned to SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation), a Chinese chip manufacturer, to produce the Kirin 9000S. According to a report from TechInsights, SMIC employed a 7nm (N+2) process for fabricating this chipset. Notably, the Huawei Kirin 9000S chip measures 107 mm square, making it 2% larger than the 5nm chipsets produced by TSMC. TSMC was responsible for manufacturing the Kirin 9000 chip, which measures 105 mm square.

What's particularly interesting is that the Kirin 9000S chipset boasts larger critical dimensions compared to the regular 9000 chip. Critical dimension refers to the size of a feature on a transistor or integrated circuit, and it significantly influences the device's overall electrical properties.

Does the Huawei Kirin 9000S Support 5G?

As mentioned earlier, the Huawei Mate 60 Pro marks the return of 5G capability to Huawei phones after a nearly three-year hiatus. The new Kirin chipset comes equipped with a Baron modem, enabling support for fifth-generation mobile communication technology.

Despite this, Huawei has not disclosed detailed information about the 5G capabilities of the Kirin 9000S. However, we do know that the chipset introduces support for satellite connectivity in the newly released phone. In fact, the Huawei Mate 60 Pro is the world's first commercial phone to offer satellite calling. While its predecessor, the Mate 50 Pro, had satellite connectivity, it was limited to text messaging, similar to current iPhone models. Thus, the Kirin 9000S chip positions the new Huawei phone as more capable than the current iPhone 14 lineup in terms of satellite connectivity.

The Architecture

Like other mobile chipsets on the market, the HiSilicon Kirin 9000S is ARM-based. However, Huawei didn't rely solely on off-the-shelf default ARM cores. Instead, the Chinese phone manufacturer opted for custom cores, similar to Samsung's Mongoose architecture.

Regarding specifics, the Kirin 9000S features eight cores. Some benchmarks may indicate 12 cores, which is due to the CPU's support for hyper-threading, allowing for up to 12 threads. This feature positions the new HiSilicon chip as the first ARM-based chip on the market to support CPU hyper-threading.

Within the eight-core configuration of the Kirin chipset, the prime core is a custom Taishan core, clocked at 2.62 GHz. Meanwhile, three custom Taishan cores, operating at 2.15 GHz, serve as the median cores. Additionally, there are four stock ARM Cortex-A510 cores, which are efficiency cores with default clock speeds.

On the graphics front, the Huawei Kirin 9000S houses a Maliang 910 GPU with a clock speed of 750 MHz. Furthermore, the new chipset introduces upgraded versions of DaVinci, ISP (Image Signal Processor), and the Baron modem.

Performance of the Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 9000S SoC

When it comes to performance, the Huawei Kirin 9000S lags behind the current Android flagship, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Based on AnTuTu benchmarks, the Kirin 9000S achieves a score of 700,000, whereas the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 reaches an impressive 1,275,749 on the same platform.

In Geekbench testing, the Kirin 9000S records a single-core score of 1,300 and a multi-core score of 3,300. In comparison, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 posts a single-core score of 1,878 and a multi-core score of 5,151. Consequently, the new Kirin chipset closely competes with the Snapdragon 888 in terms of performance.

To provide perspective, the Kirin 9000S is roughly two generations behind in terms of Android performance. However, this performance differential is unlikely to significantly impact real-world usage, as it still outperforms most current mid-range smartphones. For instance, the fastest mid-range phone, the Redmi Note 12 Turbo, achieves an AnTuTu score of 1,148,376.

Huawei's Commitment to Innovation

Huawei's journey in the smartphone industry has been marked by a relentless commitment to innovation. Despite the challenges posed by sanctions and restrictions, the company has consistently pushed the boundaries of what's possible in smartphone technology.

The Kirin 9000S is a testament to Huawei's dedication to staying at the forefront of technological advancements. By developing custom cores like the Taishan core and partnering with Chinese chip manufacturers like SMIC, Huawei has found creative solutions to the obstacles it faced.

The 5G Revolution

5G technology represents a seismic shift in the world of mobile communication. With its higher speeds, lower latency, and capacity to connect billions of devices, 5G has the potential to revolutionize industries ranging from healthcare to entertainment.

For Huawei, regaining 5G capabilities with the Kirin 9000S was crucial. The inclusion of the Baron modem in this chipset not only enables 5G connectivity but also opens the door to new possibilities in communication. The introduction of satellite calling in the Mate 60 Pro is a testament to Huawei's innovative approach to connectivity.

The Future of Huawei Smartphones

As Huawei navigates the complex geopolitical landscape, its smartphones remain a symbol of cutting-edge technology and design. While the Kirin 9000S may not claim the title of the fastest chipset on the market, it showcases Huawei's ability to adapt, innovate, and deliver compelling products to its loyal customer base.

Looking ahead, Huawei's future in the smartphone industry is likely to be shaped by ongoing technological advancements, regulatory developments, and its ability to forge new partnerships in the ever-evolving global tech ecosystem.

Final Thoughts

The Huawei Kirin 9000S is more than just a chipset; it's a symbol of resilience and determination. Huawei's journey to overcome challenges and continue offering cutting-edge technology is a testament to the company's unwavering commitment to its customers and the pursuit of innovation.

While the smartphone industry is fiercely competitive, Huawei's ability to surprise the world with products like the Mate 60 Pro and the Kirin 9000S reminds us that innovation knows no bounds. As consumers, we can look forward to exciting developments in Huawei's future offerings as the company continues to push the envelope of what's possible in the world of technology.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the Huawei Kirin 9000S emerges as a remarkable chipset, signifying Huawei's resilience in the face of adversity. While it may not quite match the performance of the very latest Android flagship processors, its 5G support and innovative features, such as satellite connectivity, position it as a compelling choice for consumers. As Huawei continues to navigate a complex technological landscape,

the Kirin 9000S represents a significant step forward in its quest to remain a competitive force in the smartphone market.

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