Huawei’s Kirin 9000C: The New CPU Powerhouse for Desktop PCs


Chinese tech giant Huawei is changing things up in its latest pre-built PC. Instead of using Western-built 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs, it’s using its own silicon. According to Huawei Central, the new Qingyun W515x comes with China’s advanced octa-core Kirin 9000C processor, which runs up to 3.1 GHz.

The new system is a slimline OEM PC aimed at large businesses. It has a plain black finish and a slim Micro-ATX form factor, supporting only low-profile PCIe cards. The Qingyun W515x comes in three configurations: 8GB RAM with 256GB storage, 8GB RAM with 512GB storage, and 16GB RAM with 512GB storage. It features a single NVMe M.2 PCIe slot for storage.

The exact CPU specs are still a secret, but the CPU cooler is a low-profile unit. It keeps the chassis temperature below 30°C even at maximum load. The fan is also very quiet, with a noise level of only 21.82 dB.

The front I/O of the Qingyun W515x includes three USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one Type-C port, an audio jack, and a disk drive. The rear I/O features three audio jacks, VGA, HDMI, a single serial port, four USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and an ethernet slot. The case has three low-profile slots, but the motherboard has only one PCIe x1 slot, making it suitable for small single- or dual-slot low-profile PCIe cards.

Details of the Huawei Kirin 9000C CPU Kirin 9000C

Due to U.S. regulations, Huawei can’t use Intel CPUs anymore, so they have switched to homemade solutions. The Kirin 9000C is an octa-core CPU with 12 threads and a 2.48 GHz frequency. It is built using SMIC’s 5nm process and includes an ARM-based Mali-G78 integrated graphics unit.

Unfortunately, we don’t have more details about the Kirin 9000C. However, it is believed to be similar to the Kirin 9000S, which also uses SMIC’s 5nm technology. In terms of performance, the Kirin 9000C is slower than the older Kirin 9000, which used TSMC’s more advanced N5 (5nm-class) process technology.

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Huawei has become skilled at hiding CPU specs. The Chinese chip maker often conceals its chip details from Western countries for protection. Since the U.S. banned China from getting chips and chipmaking tools from Western companies, China has been using unconventional methods to obtain the hardware it needs, especially from the grey market. By hiding its processor’s specs and performance capabilities, Huawei can continue using these tactics without drawing attention from the U.S. government.

The Future of China’s Semiconductor Industry Kirin 9000C

The best manufacturing process China currently has access to is 5nm technology. Due to U.S. regulations, China cannot access the latest chipmaking tools, so its chipmaking facilities must use older tools. These older tools, which don’t include extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), limit China’s ability to produce cutting-edge technology. As a result, China struggles to develop CPUs that can compete with the latest chips from Intel, AMD, Apple, and Qualcomm.

Nonetheless, new rumors suggest this might change soon. Kirin is reportedly developing a new CPU aimed at competing with Apple’s M3 silicon. If true, this would be a significant leap in performance for Chinese processors.

Conclusion (Huawei Kirin 9000C Processor)

Huawei’s new Qingyun W515x PC boasts a slim design and their in-house Kirin 9000C processor. This CPU uses China’s 5nm process technology, but specific details remain under wraps. This secrecy likely stems from U.S. restrictions on chip sales to China. While the Kirin 9000C falls short of Western CPUs, rumors hint at a new Kirin chip targeting Apple’s M3 performance. This could mark a turning point for China’s semiconductor industry, but for now, they rely on older manufacturing processes that limit their ability to compete with the latest chips globally.

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