back to article Huawei first to preview its 7nm phone SoC – the HiSilicon Kirin 980

Four major companies design the key chips for smartphones, and Huawei's HiSilicon became the first to announce its 7nm designs today at the giant IFA show in Berlin. The HiSilicon Kirin 980 series is the first to disclose details of chips based on the new production techniques – although you can expect Apple to follow in a few …

Silver badge

> Four major companies design the key chips for smartphones

Qualcomm, Mediatek, HiSilicon, Samsung and Apple... I count five mentioned in the article. What am I missing?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Apple do not design SoCs for the market.

They make them for internal consumption in their iGadgets.

2
0
Chz

Mediatek's presence in the phone market is as a minor player, even if they're quite dominant in other markets. I think they power an outright majority of Android tablets, but that's not saying a lot given the state of them.

0
1
Silver badge

Four major companies design the key chips for smartphones....Qualcomm, Mediatek, HiSilicon, Samsung and Apple...

Could any well informed commentards help me and other ignoramii out by explaining who exactly does what?

On the fab side of things, I've got (I think) a good idea of what's involved, who's playing and who's paying. But on the design side, exactly who's actually designing what? Almost everything seems to be ARM based, but then Uncle Tom Cobley and all claim that they design their own silicon. Is ARM simply an instruction set? Or a code library? Or is the ARM element a core CPU component to which other companies bolt on third party IP to make an SOC? How complicated is this third party design - are we talking Shenzen generic levels of difficulty, or do the "designers" actually need to be chip design gurus?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

The starting point is RTL supplied directly from Arm or created in-house.

A set of libs are chosen for a specific foundary tech (cells + memories etc) and the RTL is used to synthesize a netlist which is then floorplanned and place 'n' routed. (Various steps required to achieve this.)

You need to know what you are doing to achieve perf, power and area targets.

1
0

>Could any well informed commentards help me and other ignoramii out by explaining who exactly does what?

The innards of a phone broadly break down into application CPU (ACPU), modem (sometimes called CCPU) and memory. There are ancillary bits like power supply and radio filters, but nobody ever mentions their manufacturers.

A modern ACPU contains several ARM cores, usually of different capabilities to allow power optimisation. The modem will usually have one or two small ARM cores for control, but the heavy lifting is done by DSPs and dedicated logic circuitry.

In the majority of current handsets, ACPU and modem are combined in a single System on Chip (SoC) package. Apple are the main exception to this.

Hi Silicon, Samsung LSI and Mediatek make ACPUs, modems and SoCs.

Qualcomm and Spreadtrum make modems and SoCs

Intel make modems (their mobile APCUs were discontinued)

Apple only make ACPUs

There are others, but they are either specialist (e.g. in IoT devices), regional (i.e. you won't find them outside of China), or no longer making chipsets (Icera, Broadcom, Marvel, Renesas, STE.... )

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Huawei said it's around 58 per cent more efficient

Don't cut the battery by 58%

5
0

A lot of drain is screen anyway, under normal usage. Playing games or something, OK, then it's more likely the SoC.

0
0
Unhappy

Hot Dog?

What's the Hot Dog thing? I can't get the video.

(Using Opera VPN. Americas, Asia and Europe all fail.)

On second thoughts don't tell me. It's probably going to become a meme (and or 'viral') and it'll be plastered over every 'news' website in the next few days.

0
0
Silver badge

Sounds like something I would like in a laptop PC if it can handle 16GiB or more of memory.

0
0

For the sake of my shares, hopefully they are all licencing some ARM technology!

0
0

If it truly is 50% more efficients and saves the battery by 58%, it is sure to revolutionize the whole tech market :)

0
0
Headmaster

No phone has yet to be announced with the 980

if no phone is to be announced, what's it for?

0
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018