The Huawei Kirin 9000S SoC for smartphones generated a lot of buzz, and now the Kirin 9006C will take over. Of course, we have discussed the US ban on China, with most news focusing on GPUs and mobile phones. But what about processors for computers? Well, Huawei is already working on it.
Specifically, Huawei will compete with Apple, Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Samsung in the development of SoCs for laptops and desktop computers. The HiSilicon Kirin 9006C paves the way for Arm laptop development in China using its own hardware.
Here’s what we know about the Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 9006C SoC: yes, it’s 5 nanometers.
First and foremost, the Kirin 9006C is said to be a SoC designed by HiSilicon (Huawei) and manufactured at 5 nm. However, who is behind these 5 nm? Logic suggests TSMC, but the US ban would make this impossible. This could only be possible if SMIC is behind this SoC or if there was an order made in the past and kept until now.
Just two weeks ago, we talked about TSMC’s former Vice President of Research and Development claiming that Huawei can manufacture 5 nm chips. In summary, existing DUV equipment that allows for manufacturing 7 nm chips also allows for manufacturing 5 nm chips. However, large amounts of money would be required to make this possible. But Burn Lin, the “chip guru,” was clear when he said he wouldn’t be surprised if Huawei managed to produce 5 nm chips.
However, don’t expect this chip to be as powerful as its competition. It’s a simple 8-core SoC with 4x Cortex-A77 paired with 4x Cortex-A55. One Cortex-A77 will reach 3.13 GHz while the rest will settle at 2.54 GHz. The Cortex-A55 operates at 2.05 GHz. In terms of graphics, a Mali-G78 MP22 GPU (22 cores) is used. This GPU performs slightly better than the Apple A15 Bionic found in the iPhone 13. Basically, it would be a Kirin 9000 but without the in-house developed Maleoon 910 graphics, possibly due to a lack of support considering its purpose for a PC.
This SoC will debut in the Huawei Qingyun L540 laptop.
The Huawei Qingyun L540 is an ultrabook featuring a 14-inch IPS panel with a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels at 60 Hz, covering 100% of the sRGB color space. The Kirin 9006C SoC powers the panel, which can be paired with up to 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512 GB of NVMe SSD storage.
Connectivity-wise, the laptop has a Mini Ethernet port, WiFi, Bluetooth, 1x USB-C, 2x USB-A, a headphone jack, and HDMI video output. There’s also an HD webcam and a fingerprint reader for added security. The battery capacity is a standard 56 Wh, but given the use of an Arm SoC, its autonomy should be extended.
As for the operating system, thanks to Geekbench 6, we know it’s UnionTech OS 20, which is based on Linux. The starting price (8GB RAM + 256 GB SSD) is 6,000 yuan (about 780 euros). The reason for the high price is its adaptation to more than 330,000 office and industry software applications and compatibility with over 80,000 office peripherals. This makes it primarily targeted at professional use.
The Kirin 9006C: Huawei’s 8-core, 5nm SoC debuts in the Qingyun L540 laptop first seen on El Chapuzas Informático.