5nm Huawei Kirin 9006c Isn’t Made by SMIC


Huawei Kirin 9000S

Huawei recently launched a laptop called the Qingyun L450, which came with a brand-new HiSilicon Kirin 9006c. What made this chipset stand out from the recently launched Huawei Kirin chips is that it’s a 5nm SoC.

So far, after the US sanctions, Huawei could come up with 7nm chipsets. So, seeing a 5nm Huawei Kirin SoC inside the Qingyun L450 laptop sparked interest. Many thought that the Chinese manufacturer had finally found a way to push through the limitations and produce advanced chips.

Well, a teardown from Tech Insights has put an end to all the rumors. It has been revealed that the Huawei Kirin 9006c isn’t made by SMIC, which is a Chinese semiconductor foundry behind the recent 7nm breakthrough Huawei has made. Instead, the 5nm chip is from TSMC.

About the 5nm Huawei Kirin 9006c SoC

Before you ask, Huawei didn’t find a way to get back its contract with TSMC. That would mean the Chinese manufacturer would be breaking the sanctions. So, how is the brand getting TSMC 5nm chipsets? Well, the Huawei Kirin SoC inside the Qinguyan L450 isn’t actually new.

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Huawei Kirin Chipsets
Image Credit: AndroidAuthority

Instead, it is based on a very old and less manufacturing process that’s from 2020. This suggests that Huawei is utilizing the old 5nm stockpiles from TSMC. But it’s worth noting that there are still reports about SMIC working on its 5nm node to come up with advanced Huawei Kirin chipsets.

Huawei Kirin Chip
Image source: Android Authority

However, in the current state, there’s nothing substantial about the process. Perhaps SMIC is still in the early stages, and we may soon get concrete reports about the progress. But so far, Huawei is still using the 7nm chipsets. Even the Kirin 8000 SoC that debuted with the Nova 12 series was a stepped-down version of the Kirin 9000 SoC. That is, it wasn’t actually a new SoC and was based on the same 7nm node.

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