Huawei smartphones have become a tough sell globally due to the ongoing sanctions imposed by the US government. Besides not having official access to Google Mobile Services, the Chinese smartphone maker couldn’t produce new smartphones with 5G support as it could only procure Qualcomm Snapdragon chips without 5G. That might soon change according to a report by Reuters citing research firms who are close to the matter.
Reuters reported that Huawei might make a return to making 5G smartphones by the end of this year with help from China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co (SMIC). Quoting three third-party technology research firms covering China’s smartphone sector, the report says Huawei should be able to procure 5G chips domestically using its own advances in semiconductor design along with SMIC’s chipmaking. This could mean pairing a 5G modem with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
It also added that the sources spoke on anonymity because of confidentiality agreements with clients. Reuters approached both Huawei and SMIC on the matter, but they didn’t respond to comment. It is reported that 5G versions of their flagships could be launched sometime in early 2024.
The report states that Huawei had made breakthroughs in electronic design automation tools for chips produced at and above 14nm. When used with SMIC’s N+1 manufacturing process, they believe that Huawei could make chips that are equivalent of 7nm. However, the effort is expected to be costly as the forecast yield rate is said to be less than 50%.
While it is interesting to see the potential of Huawei smartphones with 5G support out of the box, having a separate 5G chip could mean lower power efficiency compared to a smartphone that uses a 5G integrated SoC.
Before the US ban, Huawei’s HiSilicon subsidiary has been producing Kirin chipsets for mobile devices as well as Balong 5000 5G chips. Unfortunately, the production of such chips came to an end after the US government cut off Huawei from TSMC, which is a vital chipmaker for the Chinese tech giant. The last in-house developed Huawei 5G SoC is the Kirin 9000 5G which powered the Huawei Mate 40 Pro.
The latest Huawei flagships such as the Huawei P60 Pro and Huawei Mate X3 are pretty impressive flagship devices but it is just unfortunate that it doesn’t support the 5G and they don’t come with Google Mobile Services pre-installed. However, there are alternative solutions to enable 5G such as an add-on 5G case for the P60 Pro that enables 5G SA and NSA support via eSIM. This similar 5G solution was also made available for the previous Huawei P50 Pro flagship.
[ SOURCE ]