After the official launch of Huawei’s new 7nm chip, Kirin 980 at IFA in Berlin, Germany, Huawei unveiled this processor for the first time in China at its “Knowledge-core” and Kirin 980 communication meeting. At the meeting, a couple of attendees were quite curious to know the cost of its research and development (R&D).
According to Huawei Fellow, Ai Wei, the company started the 7nm process research as early as 2015, so the development process of the Kirin 980 took about 3 years. He listed some important milestones during the developmental process including the implementation of customized special base units in 2016, the building of a high-reliability IP, SoC engineering verification in 2017, and the successful mass production in 2018.
As for the research and development costs of Kirin 980, Ai Wei said that Huawei invested far more than $300 million. He also revealed that the Kirin 980 chip was systematically built to conserve power. He noted that the new A76 cores are only active during heavy duty tasks in order to reduce power consumption. Finally, Huawei Fellow Ai Wei also said that the capacity of this 7nm chip is completely clean and there are no issues associated with it. According to him, the development of this chip was discussed with TSMC three years ago, and soon, it will arrive with the Mate 20.