According to the latest report released by IHS Markit, the 5G modem chip of Huawei is ‘inefficient and too large’, which indirectly leads to the Huawei Mate X 5G version. The 5G experience is not good. The latter is equipped with the Kirin 980 processor + Barong 5000 5G modem chip. Both chips are independently designed by Huawei, manufactured by the foundry TSMC.
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The Barong 5000 5G modem chip is currently the first commercial smartphone modem chip to support 5G / 4G / 3G / 2G. However, it is worth noting that the Kirin 980 processor itself integrates a 4G / 3G / 2G modem chip. According to the IHS Markit report, the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G version’s Kirin 980 ‘is useless.’ Moreover, this also increases the chip size of the Barong 5000 5G modem chip by 50%, which is much larger than Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem and Samsung Exynos 5100 5G modem. Plus, it does not support the mmWave 5G spectrum.
However, according to IHS Markit’s report, it expects that next year’s smartphone processor will integrate 5G / 4G / 3G / 2G multimode modem, which may gradually reduce the price of 5G smartphones. This should happen because the smartphones will no longer need a separate modem chip. This will also eliminate the need for storage and power management chips for 5G modem chips. As the price of 5G smartphones decreases, the application of 5G is expected to be more extensive.
The IHS Markit report also praised Huawei’s efforts for 5G commercial use. Although there is some functional duplication between the Barong 5000 5G modem chip and the integrated modem inside the Kirin 980, IHS Markit hopes that Huawei can further improve the integration of 5G chips in the future.