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Richard Yu: Huawei Mate 40’s Kirin 9000 could be the last flagship Kirin chip

Huawei has faced numerous challenges due to restrictions from the US government. Despite the lack of access to Google, the Chinese smartphone maker has persevered and they are about to release their next Huawei Mate 40 series smartphones in the coming months.

During the 2020 Summit of China Information Technology Association, Richard Yu has confirmed that they will be releasing their Huawei Mate 40 very soon which will be powered by their latest Kirin 9000 chipset. However, he shared that this could be their final flagship chipset due to the current situation with the US.

Richard Yu said after 15th September, Huawei would not be able to produce its high-end chipsets. The Trump administration had cut off the Chinese tech giant from TSMC, a vital semiconductor partner for its Kirin chips. TSMC has confirmed that it would not be able to supply Huawei in the future but it would still fulfil outstanding orders from the Chinese company.

Richard Yu has warned that supplies of the Mate 40 would be limited. He admitted that Huawei has made huge R&D investments but when it comes to semiconductor, Huawei only did chip design but skipped on chip production.

Although Huawei had shifted some of its production to Shanghai-based SMIC, its capabilities are still way behind TSMC which are already working on 5nm technology. SMIC had only started its own 14nm process recently and are making Kirin 710A chips which is a derivative of the older mid-range Kirin 710 chipset.

According to a recent report, Huawei could turn to Qualcomm and MediaTek to power its future 5G flagships in 2021. However, this would require Qualcomm to apply for a license from the US Commerce Department before they could supply chips to Huawei.

SEE ALSO:  Is Huawei planning to sell its flagship smartphone business?

You can watch the video of Richard Yu talking about the Mate 40 and Kirin 9000 from the 13:50 mark:


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Alexander Wong