The info about the new Kirin processor comes from the leaker @RODENT950, and according to the tweet, the next-gen Kirin processor should arrive as the Kirin 9010 and it will be a 3nm chipset. Credit: Twitter.

Is Huawei about to pull a special card from its sleeve in the battle for smartphone supremacy?

According to an industry leaker, its flagship processor is about to get a boost, according to a report in GizmoChina.

Strangely enough, it has just been a few months since Huawei announced the Kirin 9000 processor.

The chipset comes in two variants – the Kirin 9000 and Kirin 9000E – and is found only in the Mate 40 series smartphone, GizmoChina reported.

Now, an industry leaker has disclosed details about the next flagship Kirin processor which has been reported to be called the Kirin 9010.

The info about the new Kirin processor comes from the leaker @RODENT950, and according to the tweet, the next-gen Kirin processor should arrive as the Kirin 9010 and it will be a 3nm chipset, GizmoChina reported.

The Kirin 9000 launched as the first 5nm processor for Android devices and after its announcement came the Samsung Exynos 1080 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888.

While most people will expect Huawei to stick to the 5nm process for at least two years, this leak reveals it is making the jump to 3nm for its next mobile chipset, which if all goes well, should launch this year and possibly appear in the Mate 50 series by Q4, GizmoChina reported.

Speculation is that other chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm could follow suit and switch to 3nm for their next-gen flagship chipset if the news about Huawei’s 3nm chipset is true.

The San Diego-based company is expected to announce a Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset later this year, which should be a 5nm processor like its sibling but with a higher clock speed, GizmoChina reported.

Samsung, on the other hand, has been reported to be skipping the 4nm process and jumping to 3nm. 

Apple is also expected to announce 3nm processors that will be built by TSMC but it is not expected to arrive until 2022. So there is a chance Huawei may be the first manufacturer to announce a 3nm chipset.

Chip processors are defined in nanometers (nm), in which the number defines the distance between transistors and other components within the CPU.

The smaller the number, the more transistors that can be placed within the same area, allowing for faster, more efficient processor designs.

Smaller transistors also consume less energy, which means lower power consumption. And because of lower power consumption, there’s lower heat dissipation, meaning cooler processors.

It isn’t as easy as it sounds though – the process of shrinking these processes. Making smaller transistors requires very precise instruments and machines, which is why processors built on smaller processes will be costlier than older, larger ones.

Moore’s Law, an old observation that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every year while the costs are halved, held for a long time but has been slowing down lately.

Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, transistors shrunk in size by half every two years, leading to massive improvements on a regular schedule. But further shrinking has gotten more complicated.

These new processors are the first major shrinks in a long time, and represent a brief rekindling of Moore’s law.

Sources: GizmoChina, TechTerms, HowToGeek, TheTechSite