Huawei Mate 40, the missing component

Everyone is waiting for Huawei Mate 40, but it is still not sure when it will arrive and, above all, how many will be produced

Huawei tries to reassure everyone: the Mate 40 series will arrive soon and will be composed of very powerful devices, thanks to the new Kirin 9000 SoC produced at 5 nm. But it is precisely this chip to raise doubts in the industry insiders, because according to the news coming from Asia Huawei would not have enough of it to meet all the demand.

Demand that is expected to be very high, given that Huawei has sold as many as 12 million Mate 30 in just the first three months since the official launch. As for the Mate 40, on the other hand, Huawei believes it will be able to bring it to market sometime between late September and early October. Some analysts, however, are betting on early 2021. But the real question, at this point, is not when but how many: how many Kirin 9000s does Huawei have available? Not enough, perhaps, because since September 15 it can no longer have them produced by TSMC because of the well-known ban of Donald Trump.

Kirin 9000, an SoC too advanced

Paradoxically, the problem of Huawei is that the Kirin 9000 is a very good chipset: it is very advanced and to build it is absolutely necessary the 5 nm production process. The Kirin 9000, in fact, is so complex that if it were already built at 7nm (which is impossible) it would be too big, consume too much energy and produce too much heat.

The direct competitor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, for example, is also a very good SoC but it is produced at 7nm. In the world the foundries able to produce processors at 5 nm are very few: practically only those of TSMC.

How many Mate 40 can Huawei produce?

From Asia come news, absolutely not official, that speak of a number of Kirin 9000 already in Huawei warehouses much lower than the estimated demand for Mate 40: only 8.8 million pieces. These are not the only estimates: others, also unofficial, speak of about 10 million pieces.

Huawei can't even replace the Kirin with alternatives from companies like Qualcomm and MediaTek. In fact, vendors must obtain special permission from the U.S. government to engage in any kind of business with Huawei. Exactly for this reason, Huawei can no longer collaborate with Google and, as early as 2021, the first Huawei smartphone without Android will arrive.