The Kirin 990 chipset recently announced by Huawei features a variant with an integrated 5G modem that saves battery power and frees up additional memory. The component is designed by the HiSilicon unit of the Chinese manufacturer and is produced by TSMC using its 7nm + EUV process. Essentially, EUV, or extreme ultraviolet lithography, is a more accurate method for creating models on a chip. This allows multiple transistors to fit inside the integrated circuit, making it more powerful and energy-efficient. The 5G version of the chipset to have 10.3 billion transistors and the 4G variant carries “only” 8 billion. The Kirin 990 will debut within the Huawei Mate 30 line and should power the collapsible Mate X (every time the device is launched) and the P40 series next year.
Recently, an unknown Huawei device with SoC Kirin 990 was compared in Geekbench. For those unfamiliar with the benchmarking process, it is done to objectively compare two different devices or the same device that works with different specifications or components. It is simply a way to make these comparisons without putting personal feelings into the equation. Last Thursday, an unknown Huawei device with model number NLE-AL00 was listed on Geekbench and Android 10. A source cited by GizmoChina states that the device is not one of the new Mate 30 models and could be Mate 30 X or a new flagship of the Honor brand. In addition to running Android 10 (which is questionable for any Huawei model coming in the light of the US supply chain ban), the mysterious device is equipped with 8 GB of RAM.
Apple Bionic A13 is, for now, the fastest chipset found on a smartphone
With the release of this benchmark test, it seems that Apple did not lie when it stated that the Bionic A13 SoC, which powered the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models presented last week, is the fastest chipset currently in a phone. While the Kirin 990 had single-core and multi-core scores of 3842 and 11644 respectively, the A13 Bionic scored a single-core score of 5472 and a multi-core score of 13769. Based on a clock speed of 1, 86 GHz that was in the list In the Kirin 990 Geekbench test, the results seem to come from the 4G LTE variant of the chipset. This is because the Cortex-A55 cores in the 5G version of the Kirin 990 operate at 1.95 GHz, while in the 4G LTE version, these cores run at 1.86 GHz.
We must note that the A13 Bionic is designed in California by Apple, but it is also produced by TSMC using an improved version of its 7nm + EUV process called N7 Pro. And get ready to have more powerful chips in the near future. TSMC should start pumping 5 nm chipsets next year, followed by 3 nm chips from 2022. To show you exactly what is at stake here (and if the 10.3 billion transistors inside a single Kirin SoC 990 of 5G does not surprise you), a single chip made with the 5 nm process will contain 171.3 million transistors per square millimeter. And while some say that the industry may not be able to exceed 3 nm, at least at the speed we’ve experienced since the early 1970s, TSMC says it is looking for ways to improve the packaging of a chip. A method that is examined stacks transistors vertically rather than side by side. Another possibility is to move away from silicon and approach materials with different properties. Last month we told you that TSMC is reviewing the periodic tables for a possible replacement of silicon.
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