Development costs 'prohibitively high' for 7nm chips for everybody but Apple and TSMC

Posted:
in iPhone
In the short term at least, Apple's 2018 iPhones are liable to be the only smartphones with 7-nanometer processors, a report suggested on Tuesday.

Apple iPhone XS leak


Two major chipmakers -- Qualcomm and MediaTek -- have postponed their own 7-nanometer launches until 2019, DigiTimes sources said. Another manufacturer, UMC, has shifted investment into "mature" and specialty process nodes, while Globalfoundries has put its 7-nanometer FinFET technology on indefinite hold.

The issue is the capital expenditures required to produce chips under the 10-nanometer mark, which are "prohibitively high," according to DigiTimes. One firm, HiSilicon, said it was planning to spend a minimum of $300 million on a system-on-chip built using 7-nanometer tech.

That leaves Apple's exclusive chip manufacturer, TSMC, as the only company expected to churn out 7-nanometer mobile processors in the immediate future.

Samsung is believed to be working on a 7-nanometer process as a way of winning back orders from Apple. For years it was the exclusive manufacturer of Apple's A-series processors, but in the past several years Apple has transitioned completely to TSMC, presumably to reduce dependence on its main competitor in the smartphone market and one-time legal adversary.

Shrinking chip size allows electronics makers to boost speeds and improve power efficiency, the latter especially important in the mobile world.

Apple is all but confirmed to be readying three iPhones to announce at its Sept. 12 press event in Cupertino. These include 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED versions of the "iPhone XS," and a less expensive 6.1-inch LCD product. All of them should have a 7-nanometer "A12" processor, edge-to-edge displays, and TrueDepth cameras for Face ID and animoji.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,318member
    Huawei announced one themselves (short referenced in the AI article as HiSilicon), and supposedly available in a shipping smartphone before the end of the year, and more widely entering next year. 
    https://venturebeat.com/2018/08/31/huawei-debuts-the-kirin-980-the-worlds-first-7nm-mobile-chip/

    IMHO the early announcement is probably trying to one-up TSMC (and in the process Apple too), but no reason to think it's not legit. 
    edited September 4
  • Reply 2 of 88
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,377member
    gatorguy said:
    Huawei announced one themselves (short referenced in the AI article as HiSilicon), and supposedly available in a shipping smartphone before the end of the year, and more widely entering next year. 
    https://venturebeat.com/2018/08/31/huawei-debuts-the-kirin-980-the-worlds-first-7nm-mobile-chip/

    IMHO the early announcement is probably trying to one-up TSMC (and in the process Apple too), but no reason to think it's not legit. 
    Huawei isn't exactly high on my list of trustworthy companies.


    They may get it out in a shipping product sometime in October, but that would still be a month after Apple and nowhere near the volume that Apple will have. There entire run of the 980's may not even exceed what Apple sells in shipping devices on their first day.
    edited September 4 ronnracerhomie3ericthehalfbeeStrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 3 of 88
    hattighattig Posts: 827member
    Soli said:
    They may get it out in a shipping product sometime in October, but that would still be a month after Apple and nowhere near the volume that Apple will have. There entire run of the 980's may not even exceed what Apple sells in shipping devices on their first day.
    Still the fact is that these companies have said they will be releasing 7nm TSMC products this year: * Apple - A12 * Huawei - Kirin 980 * AMD - Vega 20 making the claim in the article incorrect - the Mate 20 will have a 7nm SoC this year, even if it's 1/10th the number of A12s Apple release on day 1, that's still likely to be a large number (millions by year end).
    edited September 4
  • Reply 4 of 88
    gatorguy said:
    Huawei announced one themselves (short referenced in the AI article as HiSilicon), and supposedly available in a shipping smartphone before the end of the year, and more widely entering next year. 
    https://venturebeat.com/2018/08/31/huawei-debuts-the-kirin-980-the-worlds-first-7nm-mobile-chip/

    IMHO the early announcement is probably trying to one-up TSMC (and in the process Apple too), but no reason to think it's not legit. 
    In the article you linked, it says HiSilicon are a "fabless" outfit, chip designers essentially. "In partnership with TSMC..." kinda suggests TSMC manufactured that one too. So they really are the only 7nm-capable company.
  • Reply 5 of 88
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,787member
    HiSilicon (Huawei) has had 7nm chips in mass production (TSMC) since around June according to many rumours. It has also been said that they have a contractual amount of orders (millions) to be fulfilled for launch phones (suspected to be three models in the short term). 

    Apple needs volume on launch because it releases one refresh every year.

    Huawei will release four flagship phones over the coming 12 months and as a result doesn't have anywhere near the pent up demand for September/October release. It will be spread out over the year and before year's end the Kirin 980 will also be in mid tier devices as well as non-handset devices.

    Quite why this report exists is a mystery as Huawei presented the Kirin 980 just last week to a world audience at IFA Berlin, live blogged and all:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13302/ifa-2018-huawei-kirin-980-keynote-live-blog

    They said it took three years to develop and gave the date of presentation for the first phone to use it: 16th October.

    Honor said the Magic 2 would also use it very soon. Rumours point to a December release. They wouldn't have announced that part if supply constraints were expected.

    This is the second time DigiTimes has made this type of claim (I'm basing this on AI articles). The first time was when they claimed only Apple and Samsung had the financial resources to bring 7nm to market.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/13/apple-samsung-could-be-only-smartphone-makers-with-7nm-chips-in-2018
  • Reply 6 of 88
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,207member
    gatorguy said:
    Huawei announced one themselves (short referenced in the AI article as HiSilicon), and supposedly available in a shipping smartphone before the end of the year, and more widely entering next year. 
    https://venturebeat.com/2018/08/31/huawei-debuts-the-kirin-980-the-worlds-first-7nm-mobile-chip/

    IMHO the early announcement is probably trying to one-up TSMC (and in the process Apple too), but no reason to think it's not legit. 
    HiSilicon is using TMSC for its fab.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 88
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Only Apple is rich enough to pull this off. That's because we buy their products.
  • Reply 8 of 88
    nunzy said:
    Only Apple is rich enough to pull this off. That's because we buy their products.
    That's why we buy their products.
    ericthehalfbeenunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 88
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,787member
    There were also rumours at one point claiming that Samsung was so interested in part of Huawei's 7nm fabrication that it was making offers on OLED panels for them to sweeten the deal.


  • Reply 10 of 88
    avon b7 said:
    HiSilicon (Huawei) has had 7nm chips in mass production (TSMC) since around June according to many rumours. It has also been said that they have a contractual amount of orders (millions) to be fulfilled for launch phones (suspected to be three models in the short term). 

    Apple needs volume on launch because it releases one refresh every year.

    Huawei will release four flagship phones over the coming 12 months and as a result doesn't have anywhere near the pent up demand for September/October release. It will be spread out over the year and before year's end the Kirin 980 will also be in mid tier devices as well as non-handset devices.

    Quite why this report exists is a mystery as Huawei presented the Kirin 980 just last week to a world audience at IFA Berlin, live blogged and all:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13302/ifa-2018-huawei-kirin-980-keynote-live-blog

    They said it took three years to develop and gave the date of presentation for the first phone to use it: 16th October.

    Honor said the Magic 2 would also use it very soon. Rumours point to a December release. They wouldn't have announced that part if supply constraints were expected.

    This is the second time DigiTimes has made this type of claim (I'm basing this on AI articles). The first time was when they claimed only Apple and Samsung had the financial resources to bring 7nm to market.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/13/apple-samsung-could-be-only-smartphone-makers-with-7nm-chips-in-2018

    blah blah Kirin blah blah Huawei blah blah 7nm blah blah

    Nobody cares about your constant Huawei shilling.

    Apple will be the THE FIRST company on the planet with 7nm chips. This is a fact. Huawei "announcing" they have the Kirin 980 means absolutely nothing. Apple will have working iPhones with the A12 7nm chip on September 12th. And they'll have 10's of millions shipping out a week later. Which means Apple would have had already received millions of A12 processors months ago. Unless you think you can fab a processor (in the millions) in only a couple days, and then get them into iPhones (by the millions) in a couple more days.

    All Huawei is trying to do is trick gullible/stupid people into thinking they were first, because Huawei knows Apple won't say anything about their A12 processor. So they can yap all they want knowing full well Apple will stay silent. Intelligent people know who's first (using INDUSTRY ACCEPTED STANDARDS). And that is Apple.

    Announcing is not shipping. The Kirin 980 is vaporware at this point. Just like last year when Huawei lied and claimed the Kirin 970 was the first processor with a neural processor (the A11 from Apple was first, and the 970 didn't ship until months later) by "announcing" it just before the iPhone came out. Do people actually fall for this crap?



    Now speaking about the 980, how come it takes Huawei years and over 1,000 engineers to build a processor that uses off-the-shelf CPU and GPU cores? And still uses the vastly inferior UFS for storage (while Apple will be on their 4th generation NVMe)? What exactly have they developed in terms of IP related to processors?

    I see you linked Anandtech, but left out the performance claims. They're stating a Geekbench single core score of 3,300 for an A76 core (as used in the 980). The A11 scores 4,200. So a year old A11 core on the older 10nm process is STILL significantly faster than an A76 core on 7nm. Doesn't seem that impressive to me. At all.
    melgrossbadmonkStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 88
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,207member
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huawei announced one themselves (short referenced in the AI article as HiSilicon), and supposedly available in a shipping smartphone before the end of the year, and more widely entering next year. 
    https://venturebeat.com/2018/08/31/huawei-debuts-the-kirin-980-the-worlds-first-7nm-mobile-chip/

    IMHO the early announcement is probably trying to one-up TSMC (and in the process Apple too), but no reason to think it's not legit. 
    Huawei isn't exactly high on my list of trustworthy companies.


    They may get it out in a shipping product sometime in October, but that would still be a month after Apple and nowhere near the volume that Apple will have. There entire run of the 980's may not even exceed what Apple sells in shipping devices on their first day.
    Nor  mine;

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13285/huawei-gpu-turbo-investigation

    Huawei's overhyped marketing isn't in line with either its technology or it stated performance.
    ericthehalfbeeStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 88
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,170member
    gatorguy said:
    Huawei announced one themselves (short referenced in the AI article as HiSilicon), and supposedly available in a shipping smartphone before the end of the year, and more widely entering next year. 
    https://venturebeat.com/2018/08/31/huawei-debuts-the-kirin-980-the-worlds-first-7nm-mobile-chip/

    IMHO the early announcement is probably trying to one-up TSMC (and in the process Apple too), but no reason to think it's not legit. 
    I was just going to post that too. Theirs will be the second out in a shipping product, not the first, which will be Apple’s.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 88
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,170member

    avon b7 said:
    HiSilicon (Huawei) has had 7nm chips in mass production (TSMC) since around June according to many rumours. It has also been said that they have a contractual amount of orders (millions) to be fulfilled for launch phones (suspected to be three models in the short term). 

    Apple needs volume on launch because it releases one refresh every year.

    Huawei will release four flagship phones over the coming 12 months and as a result doesn't have anywhere near the pent up demand for September/October release. It will be spread out over the year and before year's end the Kirin 980 will also be in mid tier devices as well as non-handset devices.

    Quite why this report exists is a mystery as Huawei presented the Kirin 980 just last week to a world audience at IFA Berlin, live blogged and all:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13302/ifa-2018-huawei-kirin-980-keynote-live-blog

    They said it took three years to develop and gave the date of presentation for the first phone to use it: 16th October.

    Honor said the Magic 2 would also use it very soon. Rumours point to a December release. They wouldn't have announced that part if supply constraints were expected.

    This is the second time DigiTimes has made this type of claim (I'm basing this on AI articles). The first time was when they claimed only Apple and Samsung had the financial resources to bring 7nm to market.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/13/apple-samsung-could-be-only-smartphone-makers-with-7nm-chips-in-2018
    DigiTimes is right about 50% of the time. Some others are right less than that. But they’re are (were) claiming theirs would be the first out, which clearly isn’t true.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 88
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,170member

    avon b7 said:
    There were also rumours at one point claiming that Samsung was so interested in part of Huawei's 7nm fabrication that it was making offers on OLED panels for them to sweeten the deal.


    Never heard any of those rumors. Where did you read them?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 88
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,207member
    avon b7 said:
    HiSilicon (Huawei) has had 7nm chips in mass production (TSMC) since around June according to many rumours. It has also been said that they have a contractual amount of orders (millions) to be fulfilled for launch phones (suspected to be three models in the short term). 

    Apple needs volume on launch because it releases one refresh every year.

    Huawei will release four flagship phones over the coming 12 months and as a result doesn't have anywhere near the pent up demand for September/October release. It will be spread out over the year and before year's end the Kirin 980 will also be in mid tier devices as well as non-handset devices.

    Quite why this report exists is a mystery as Huawei presented the Kirin 980 just last week to a world audience at IFA Berlin, live blogged and all:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13302/ifa-2018-huawei-kirin-980-keynote-live-blog

    They said it took three years to develop and gave the date of presentation for the first phone to use it: 16th October.

    Honor said the Magic 2 would also use it very soon. Rumours point to a December release. They wouldn't have announced that part if supply constraints were expected.

    This is the second time DigiTimes has made this type of claim (I'm basing this on AI articles). The first time was when they claimed only Apple and Samsung had the financial resources to bring 7nm to market.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/13/apple-samsung-could-be-only-smartphone-makers-with-7nm-chips-in-2018

    blah blah Kirin blah blah Huawei blah blah 7nm blah blah

    Nobody cares about your constant Huawei shilling.

    Apple will be the THE FIRST company on the planet with 7nm chips. This is a fact. Huawei "announcing" they have the Kirin 980 means absolutely nothing. Apple will have working iPhones with the A12 7nm chip on September 12th. And they'll have 10's of millions shipping out a week later. Which means Apple would have had already received millions of A12 processors months ago. Unless you think you can fab a processor (in the millions) in only a couple days, and then get them into iPhones (by the millions) in a couple more days.

    All Huawei is trying to do is trick gullible/stupid people into thinking they were first, because Huawei knows Apple won't say anything about their A12 processor. So they can yap all they want knowing full well Apple will stay silent. Intelligent people know who's first (using INDUSTRY ACCEPTED STANDARDS). And that is Apple.

    Announcing is not shipping. The Kirin 980 is vaporware at this point. Just like last year when Huawei lied and claimed the Kirin 970 was the first processor with a neural processor (the A11 from Apple was first, and the 970 didn't ship until months later) by "announcing" it just before the iPhone came out. Do people actually fall for this crap?



    Now speaking about the 980, how come it takes Huawei years and over 1,000 engineers to build a processor that uses off-the-shelf CPU and GPU cores? And still uses the vastly inferior UFS for storage (while Apple will be on their 4th generation NVMe)? What exactly have they developed in terms of IP related to processors?

    I see you linked Anandtech, but left out the performance claims. They're stating a Geekbench single core score of 3,300 for an A76 core (as used in the 980). The A11 scores 4,200. So a year old A11 core on the older 10nm process is STILL significantly faster than an A76 core on 7nm. Doesn't seem that impressive to me. At all.
    I'm looking forward to the first official benchmark releases for the A12, just so I can hear the protests from the usual "thermal throttling" crowd.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 88
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,207member
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huawei announced one themselves (short referenced in the AI article as HiSilicon), and supposedly available in a shipping smartphone before the end of the year, and more widely entering next year. 
    https://venturebeat.com/2018/08/31/huawei-debuts-the-kirin-980-the-worlds-first-7nm-mobile-chip/

    IMHO the early announcement is probably trying to one-up TSMC (and in the process Apple too), but no reason to think it's not legit. 
    I was just going to post that too. Theirs will be the second out in a shipping product, not the first, which will be Apple’s.
    Apple's A12 volume has priority until TMSC makes the initial volume contracted for with Apple. There has been little in the way of rumors on the A12X, but TMSC would have also had to provide a smaller volume of production prior to release of production to other clients. I'm guessing that Huawei is on deck after that happens.
    edited September 4 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 88
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,787member
    avon b7 said:
    HiSilicon (Huawei) has had 7nm chips in mass production (TSMC) since around June according to many rumours. It has also been said that they have a contractual amount of orders (millions) to be fulfilled for launch phones (suspected to be three models in the short term). 

    Apple needs volume on launch because it releases one refresh every year.

    Huawei will release four flagship phones over the coming 12 months and as a result doesn't have anywhere near the pent up demand for September/October release. It will be spread out over the year and before year's end the Kirin 980 will also be in mid tier devices as well as non-handset devices.

    Quite why this report exists is a mystery as Huawei presented the Kirin 980 just last week to a world audience at IFA Berlin, live blogged and all:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13302/ifa-2018-huawei-kirin-980-keynote-live-blog

    They said it took three years to develop and gave the date of presentation for the first phone to use it: 16th October.

    Honor said the Magic 2 would also use it very soon. Rumours point to a December release. They wouldn't have announced that part if supply constraints were expected.

    This is the second time DigiTimes has made this type of claim (I'm basing this on AI articles). The first time was when they claimed only Apple and Samsung had the financial resources to bring 7nm to market.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/13/apple-samsung-could-be-only-smartphone-makers-with-7nm-chips-in-2018

    blah blah Kirin blah blah Huawei blah blah 7nm blah blah

    Nobody cares about your constant Huawei shilling.

    Apple will be the THE FIRST company on the planet with 7nm chips. This is a fact. Huawei "announcing" they have the Kirin 980 means absolutely nothing. Apple will have working iPhones with the A12 7nm chip on September 12th. And they'll have 10's of millions shipping out a week later. Which means Apple would have had already received millions of A12 processors months ago. Unless you think you can fab a processor (in the millions) in only a couple days, and then get them into iPhones (by the millions) in a couple more days.

    All Huawei is trying to do is trick gullible/stupid people into thinking they were first, because Huawei knows Apple won't say anything about their A12 processor. So they can yap all they want knowing full well Apple will stay silent. Intelligent people know who's first (using INDUSTRY ACCEPTED STANDARDS). And that is Apple.

    Announcing is not shipping. The Kirin 980 is vaporware at this point. Just like last year when Huawei lied and claimed the Kirin 970 was the first processor with a neural processor (the A11 from Apple was first, and the 970 didn't ship until months later) by "announcing" it just before the iPhone came out. Do people actually fall for this crap?



    Now speaking about the 980, how come it takes Huawei years and over 1,000 engineers to build a processor that uses off-the-shelf CPU and GPU cores? And still uses the vastly inferior UFS for storage (while Apple will be on their 4th generation NVMe)? What exactly have they developed in terms of IP related to processors?

    I see you linked Anandtech, but left out the performance claims. They're stating a Geekbench single core score of 3,300 for an A76 core (as used in the 980). The A11 scores 4,200. So a year old A11 core on the older 10nm process is STILL significantly faster than an A76 core on 7nm. Doesn't seem that impressive to me. At all.
    Cores and SoCs. Two different things. SoCs and phones. Two different things.

    Vapourware? The Kirin 980 was sitting there and running at IFA 2018. It is just waiting for the phone to launch (October 16th).
  • Reply 18 of 88
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,787member
    melgross said:

    avon b7 said:
    There were also rumours at one point claiming that Samsung was so interested in part of Huawei's 7nm fabrication that it was making offers on OLED panels for them to sweeten the deal.


    Never heard any of those rumors. Where did you read them?
    They popped up during the year. They only have passing interest. I don't log them. There were also rumours of a homebrew GPU and a Kirin 1020. They are fun and some are more convincing than others but it's always a lottery.
  • Reply 19 of 88
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,377member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    HiSilicon (Huawei) has had 7nm chips in mass production (TSMC) since around June according to many rumours. It has also been said that they have a contractual amount of orders (millions) to be fulfilled for launch phones (suspected to be three models in the short term). 

    Apple needs volume on launch because it releases one refresh every year.

    Huawei will release four flagship phones over the coming 12 months and as a result doesn't have anywhere near the pent up demand for September/October release. It will be spread out over the year and before year's end the Kirin 980 will also be in mid tier devices as well as non-handset devices.

    Quite why this report exists is a mystery as Huawei presented the Kirin 980 just last week to a world audience at IFA Berlin, live blogged and all:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13302/ifa-2018-huawei-kirin-980-keynote-live-blog

    They said it took three years to develop and gave the date of presentation for the first phone to use it: 16th October.

    Honor said the Magic 2 would also use it very soon. Rumours point to a December release. They wouldn't have announced that part if supply constraints were expected.

    This is the second time DigiTimes has made this type of claim (I'm basing this on AI articles). The first time was when they claimed only Apple and Samsung had the financial resources to bring 7nm to market.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/13/apple-samsung-could-be-only-smartphone-makers-with-7nm-chips-in-2018

    blah blah Kirin blah blah Huawei blah blah 7nm blah blah

    Nobody cares about your constant Huawei shilling.

    Apple will be the THE FIRST company on the planet with 7nm chips. This is a fact. Huawei "announcing" they have the Kirin 980 means absolutely nothing. Apple will have working iPhones with the A12 7nm chip on September 12th. And they'll have 10's of millions shipping out a week later. Which means Apple would have had already received millions of A12 processors months ago. Unless you think you can fab a processor (in the millions) in only a couple days, and then get them into iPhones (by the millions) in a couple more days.

    All Huawei is trying to do is trick gullible/stupid people into thinking they were first, because Huawei knows Apple won't say anything about their A12 processor. So they can yap all they want knowing full well Apple will stay silent. Intelligent people know who's first (using INDUSTRY ACCEPTED STANDARDS). And that is Apple.

    Announcing is not shipping. The Kirin 980 is vaporware at this point. Just like last year when Huawei lied and claimed the Kirin 970 was the first processor with a neural processor (the A11 from Apple was first, and the 970 didn't ship until months later) by "announcing" it just before the iPhone came out. Do people actually fall for this crap?



    Now speaking about the 980, how come it takes Huawei years and over 1,000 engineers to build a processor that uses off-the-shelf CPU and GPU cores? And still uses the vastly inferior UFS for storage (while Apple will be on their 4th generation NVMe)? What exactly have they developed in terms of IP related to processors?

    I see you linked Anandtech, but left out the performance claims. They're stating a Geekbench single core score of 3,300 for an A76 core (as used in the 980). The A11 scores 4,200. So a year old A11 core on the older 10nm process is STILL significantly faster than an A76 core on 7nm. Doesn't seem that impressive to me. At all.
    Cores and SoCs. Two different things. SoCs and phones. Two different things.

    Vapourware? The Kirin 980 was sitting there and running at IFA 2018. It is just waiting for the phone to launch (October 16th).
    Building a prototype ≠ mass production. Until you can go into a store and by a device with that processor with the stated lithography then it's just vapourware because any claims about shipping a product can evaporate at any time. If you need some examples of how a working prototype or marketing piece is still vapourware just google failed Kickstarter products.

    And while you probably think there's a bias against companies that aren't Apple on this forum keep in mind that this also applies to Apple. It's applies to the current state of no AirPower and no AirPods case with inductive charging that was suppose to ship 3 seasons ago as well as Group FaceTime—which I believe was demoed—being removed from Mojave and iOS 12.
    edited September 4 StrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 88
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,207member

    avon b7 said:
    HiSilicon (Huawei) has had 7nm chips in mass production (TSMC) since around June according to many rumours. It has also been said that they have a contractual amount of orders (millions) to be fulfilled for launch phones (suspected to be three models in the short term). 

    Apple needs volume on launch because it releases one refresh every year.

    Huawei will release four flagship phones over the coming 12 months and as a result doesn't have anywhere near the pent up demand for September/October release. It will be spread out over the year and before year's end the Kirin 980 will also be in mid tier devices as well as non-handset devices.

    Quite why this report exists is a mystery as Huawei presented the Kirin 980 just last week to a world audience at IFA Berlin, live blogged and all:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13302/ifa-2018-huawei-kirin-980-keynote-live-blog

    They said it took three years to develop and gave the date of presentation for the first phone to use it: 16th October.

    Honor said the Magic 2 would also use it very soon. Rumours point to a December release. They wouldn't have announced that part if supply constraints were expected.

    This is the second time DigiTimes has made this type of claim (I'm basing this on AI articles). The first time was when they claimed only Apple and Samsung had the financial resources to bring 7nm to market.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/13/apple-samsung-could-be-only-smartphone-makers-with-7nm-chips-in-2018

    blah blah Kirin blah blah Huawei blah blah 7nm blah blah

    Nobody cares about your constant Huawei shilling.

    Apple will be the THE FIRST company on the planet with 7nm chips. This is a fact. Huawei "announcing" they have the Kirin 980 means absolutely nothing. Apple will have working iPhones with the A12 7nm chip on September 12th. And they'll have 10's of millions shipping out a week later. Which means Apple would have had already received millions of A12 processors months ago. Unless you think you can fab a processor (in the millions) in only a couple days, and then get them into iPhones (by the millions) in a couple more days.

    All Huawei is trying to do is trick gullible/stupid people into thinking they were first, because Huawei knows Apple won't say anything about their A12 processor. So they can yap all they want knowing full well Apple will stay silent. Intelligent people know who's first (using INDUSTRY ACCEPTED STANDARDS). And that is Apple.

    Announcing is not shipping. The Kirin 980 is vaporware at this point. Just like last year when Huawei lied and claimed the Kirin 970 was the first processor with a neural processor (the A11 from Apple was first, and the 970 didn't ship until months later) by "announcing" it just before the iPhone came out. Do people actually fall for this crap?



    Now speaking about the 980, how come it takes Huawei years and over 1,000 engineers to build a processor that uses off-the-shelf CPU and GPU cores? And still uses the vastly inferior UFS for storage (while Apple will be on their 4th generation NVMe)? What exactly have they developed in terms of IP related to processors?

    I see you linked Anandtech, but left out the performance claims. They're stating a Geekbench single core score of 3,300 for an A76 core (as used in the 980). The A11 scores 4,200. So a year old A11 core on the older 10nm process is STILL significantly faster than an A76 core on 7nm. Doesn't seem that impressive to me. At all.
    Huawei is saddled with an inferior GPU design in the Mali, and has decided to go with a second NPU on the 980 as that is about the only tech that they can really leverage. 

    Samsung will be out with it's first 7nm Exynos, and Qualcomm with the 7nm SD 855, early in 2019, both of which will find their way into the S10, and I expect both to be technically superior to the Kirin 980. After that, all of the flagship Android OS devices will be pretty much at parity through the next 7nm node, and the Apple will likely get the lead production at 5 nm, and I'll bet that they will leverage whatever die they can afford.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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