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Who will be the biggest winner in the global battle for 5nm chips? (Part Two)

wangyi | Mediatek | 18/11/2020

Who will be the biggest winner in the global battle for 5nm chips? (Part Two)

 

Forecast 2021 handset shipments surge, while chip demand gap widens

 

Qualcomm has predicted that global shipments of 5G mobile phones will reach 450 million units in 2021, which will directly double from 2020. In the face of the surging market demand, Apple, Huawei, Samsung and Qualcomm jumped the gun in advance, and the remaining players of Mediatek and Unisplast have also warmed up. The 5nm chip developed by Apple and Huawei has been released in October 2020, and has been used in Apple iPhone12 series and Huawei Mate40 series respectively. In terms of integration, kirin 9000 has 30% more transistors than A14 chip. Apple A14 integrated 11.8 billion transistors, Huawei and Kirin 9000 integrated 15.3 billion transistors. In terms of transistor architecture, Apple A14 chip USES six core CPU and four core graphics processor. Huawei USES an eight-core CPU and a 24-core graphics processor. It is worth noting that Kirin 9000 is built with Huawei's self-developed baseband chip, balong 5000. The A14 chip is qualcomm's X55 baseband chip plug-in.

 

Samsung is developing its own 5nm chip

 

By contrast, it follows Apple, Huawei and Samsung. Qualcomm plans to roll out the 5nm chip in November and December, the last of its fleet in 2020. Among them, Samsung held a press conference for The Orion 1080 chip on November 12 in Shanghai, China, which is also the first time for Samsung to hold a press conference specially for a processor, which shows that Samsung attaches great importance to the Orion 1080. According to foreign media information, the Orion 1080 CPU is equipped with four ARM newest Cortex-A78 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores. Among the major mobile phone manufacturers, Huawei, Samsung and Apple each have their own ingenious designs for their flagship mobile phone system chips, while the remaining players such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are aiming at Qualcomm's 5nm chips.

 

Chip makers compete for high ground

 

As early as October 2020, Qualcomm officially announced that it would release its nanoscale flagship chip Snapdragon 875 around December 1, and the four design giants will each divide their territory in the flagship machine system chip market. Mediatek and Unisex, by contrast, are targeting the mid - to low-end market, aiming to warm up at the start of a commercial 5nm track. As the world's second largest mobile phone chip design, player research and development section mainly for the low-end mobile phone market.Since 2020, Mediatek's 5nm r&d plan has also attracted market attention. At first, it was reported that Mediatek specifically built a 5G high-end platform based on 5nm technology for Huawei. However, as the impact of the US ban on Huawei gradually expanded, it was reported in early September that Mediatek would cancel the r&d plan of 5G platform based on 5nm technology. Mediatek officials have denied the rumor that the 5nm chip is on schedule and will not change the product schedule for a single customer.

 

The 5nm chip maker is in the race

 

In February 2020, Ziguang Zhan launched huben T7520 chip based on the 6nmEUV process, and will achieve mass production of Huben T7520 chip by the end of 2020. A 5nm chip under this plan should also be in the purple light sharpness program. No matter what the position of the four giants is, it will not affect the orders of 5nm chipmakers upstream of the industry chain. The big 5-nm chipmakers are now just a handful: TSMC and Samsung, but they are also locked in a tight battle.
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