Chinese mobile chip design at world-class level

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/6 21:38:40

China's smartphone chip design has reached world-class level and that is definitely not just on paper, industry analysts said, after Chinese technology giant Huawei launched the world's first 7 nanometer (nm) chipset, winning the global race to develop the next generation of microchips.

Huawei's self-developed Kirin 980 integrated 6.9 billion transistors within less than 1 square centimeter, providing much better overall performance and efficiency, said the company at a product release event in Shanghai on Wednesday.

The Kirin 980 features dual Neural Processing Units (NPU), which will allow Huawei's smartphones to perform better AI functions for facial recognition, smart translation and image segmentation, according to Xiang Ligang, a Chinese communications industry observer.

"The design of the chipset has reached world-class level, and it's definitely not just on paper," Xiang told the Global Times Thursday.

Huawei representative Ai Wei said the company invested more than $300 million and three years in the research and development of the chip.

"Huawei's handsets have already given its customers the best experience in terms of taking photos. Its new products using the new chip will provide an even better user experience based on the upgraded AI function," Xiang said.

From the global industry perspective, this means the Chinese company has made a breakthrough in this area, Xiang noted. Huawei has led overseas competitors like Apple and Qualcomm, whose own 7nm chipsets are also planned for release soon.

"Huawei doesn't sell its chips to other Chinese companies for strategic reasons. Other Chinese companies need to catch up," Xiang said.

"It has no problem in mass production, although it is commissioned to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which is the only company in the world that supports mass production of the 7nm chipsets," he added.

Speaking of the possibility of Microsoft using Huawei's AI chip technology in its China Data Center, Xiang said: "With Huawei's current chip NPU and AI technology level, this cooperation is very likely and reasonable. If it happens, it will be a matter of course."

Posted in: COMPANIES

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