China is at a crossroads, having gambled on launching TSMC-engraved chips from 2020 until the end of 2023 with the aim of boosting its local semiconductor industry with the help of Huawei and SMIC. The United States caught them lying, and today we have more information about the SoC, the controversial Kirin 9006C, which has been seen on Geekbench’s camera. Was it worth the price?
Not really. China has played the marketing game and outside of Xi Jinping’s country, the news is not good. In their own country, they are literally deceiving users by claiming it’s a domestically manufactured 5nm SoC when it has been proven otherwise. Now Geekbench shows the deficiencies of the architecture, as despite being made by TSMC, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and Apple are years ahead of Huawei.
Huawei’s has an edge with its light, proprietary OS
The company does have some advantage, though. Not just due to the lithographic node revealing the potential of TSMC’s SoC, because the 5nm EUV process from the Taiwanese company will never be the same as SMIC’s 5nm DUV version.
Moreover, if that advantage wasn’t enough, the Qingyun L540 and Qingyun L420 laptops run without Windows, meaning they use their own OS called UnionTech OS Desktop, which debuted in 2020. This operating system is much simpler than Microsoft’s, and as a result, Huawei can optimize it for their SoC, giving them an edge that only Apple can match.
Knowing all this, comparisons of scores must be made to understand where China and Huawei stand and how they fare against US companies like Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Apple, and Qualcomm.
Kirin 9006C falls short on Geekbench
Several scores for the Kirin 9006C SoC are available in the Geekbench database, from which some arguments can be drawn. Additionally, there are scores for both the L540 and L420 models, and in none of these cases is it anything to boast about compared to the marketing that China is pushing.
The best scores were found in the L540, with 1,262 points in single-core and 3,605 points in multi-core tests. Starting with the most similar comparison, Apple’s first-generation M1 chip in a late 2020 MacBook Air achieved 2,375 points in single-core and 8,665 points in multi-core tests. Both SoCs were manufactured on TSMC’s 5nm process, and as mentioned earlier, also have their own proprietary operating systems.
In summary, Apple’s first-generation M1 scored 88.19% higher in single-core tests and 140.36% higher in multi-core tests. Thus, the Kirin 9006C’s performance on Geekbench only proves that it’s in a different league.
It’s like comparing a lightweight boxer with a heavyweight, especially when the former is a beginner and the latter is a semi-professional. The difference in performance with other current SoCs is so significant that it’s better not to mention it to avoid further embarrassment.
What can be said is that China remains several generations behind the best that the United States has to offer, and they cannot compete even with equal lithographic processes, let alone their own.