Hisilicon, an affiliate of Huawei, has been developing application processors for many years. The company's early products had issues that caused resulted in poor power consumption-performance ratio. But Huawei's strategic support and continuous R&D resource investments have helped improve Hisilicon's products.
After releasing its first in-house-developed baseband-integrated AP, the Kirin 910 in 2013, Hisilicon has released the Kirin 920, the first SoC AP in the industry that supports the LTE Cat.6 standard, in 2014. With Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7's big.LITTLE core combination, the AP's computing performance is rather strong, while its independent low-power-consumption core is able to monitor the working process while the system is in hibernation. The high quality audio processing unit is also a major feature of the AP.
Digitimes Research believes the Kirin 920 will have a product lifecycle of about one year. Since Huawei is estimated to have over 20% of its shipments adopt in-house developed architectures in 2014, the Kirin 920's shipments are expected to reach 12 million units by mid-2015.
Considering the R&D investment (almost US$200 million), as well as the production costs and expenses, the Kirin 920 is estimated to cost around US$20-25.
Since purchasing high-end solutions from Qualcomm costs over US$40, Huawei will be able to enjoy extra profits from its high-end product lines compared to its competitors which are still acquiring high-end APs from the US-based vendor. The new business model will give Huawei strong advantages in controlling overall costs, Digitimes Research believes.
Content from this article was part of a complete Digitimes Research Chinese-language report that has not yet been translated into English. If you are interested in an English version of the report or wish to receive more information about the report, click here to contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Digitimes Research also provides quarterly tracking services for market sectors such as Global Tablet, China Smartphone, China Smartphone AP, Taiwan ICT and Taiwan FPD. Click here for more information about Digitimes Research Tracking services.