At a time when Huawei and Honor and bracing up to face the challenges (opens in new tab) posed by the US ban on its products, the Chinese giant is getting support from MediaTek. The Taiwanese semiconductor giant could well be supplying chipsets for their future smartphones.
Earlier this week, as a part of the new trade sanctions imposed by the U.S., TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co) was no longer allowed to supply components to the Huawei Consumer Business Group. TSMC is the world’s largest contract chipset manufacturer, which gets about one-fifth of its business from Huawei and its subsidiaries. With the new ruling, Kirin chipsets would no longer be an option.
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At the press conference after the Honor X10 launch (opens in new tab) in China, Zhao Ming, President of Honor’s Business unit addressed the situation and talked about potential solutions. The biggest takeaway was that Honor will look towards MediaTek’s range of 5G chipsets for future products.
The future of its in-house Kirin chipsets is uncertain. While the Honor X10 ships with the new Kirin 820 SoC, upcoming smartphones are likely to be powered by MediaTek. He even stated that the company has good relations with MediaTek, and will look to strengthen this cooperation in the foreseeable future.
MediaTek has been instrumental in democratizing 5G (opens in new tab) and lowering the cost of entry with its Dimensity chipsets. Considering that all of Honor’s latest smartphones are already 5G-capable, this should fit well.
This wouldn’t be the first time Honor and MediaTek will work closely, as MediaTek has been a component supplier for Huawei and Honor’s networking equipment and IoT products. It’s unclear as to when this partnership will bear fruits, as changing the chipset platform means reconfiguring most components of a smartphone. For what it’s worth, the executive did mention that these processors will be directly optimized for Honor’s custom operating system and other features.
MediaTek now offers a range of affordable 5G chipsets in its Dimensity portfolio, starting with affordable entry-level chipsets, all the way to full-fledged powerful flagships. The current top-of-the-line processor is the Dimensity 1000 Plus (opens in new tab).
Via CNMO (opens in new tab)