Business / Product

Huawei's Kirin 920 to shake global chip market?

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-16 11:26

BEIJING - When it comes to chips for powering smartphones, it has long been a story of the world's leading smartphone chip-maker -- US firm Qualcomm. This time, it is a Chinese-made chip that has caught the eye of market observers.

The octa-core Kirin 920, unveiled by Huawei-owned HiSilicon on Friday, features support for QHD displays, 4K video recording and a high-speed LTE category-6 platform, something even the global industry leaders find it difficult to offer.

Huawei's Kirin 920 to shake global chip market?
Samsung chip facility opens in Xi'an 

While it is too early to say this signals the rise of China in the global mobile processor market, the news should still come as a boon to the country's IT sector, especially the chip-making industry, which has been lagging far behind the world heavyweights.

China relies heavily on imported chips, which are among the country's top four import categories in terms of value, along with oil, iron ore and LCD panels.

As its reliance on foreign oil and iron ore cannot be reversed overnight, China has been working hard to promote the other two industries.

China has become less reliant on LCD panel imports in recent years, as its two leading makers of the panels, BOE and TCL, have been making strides in innovation. However, chips, known as the "heart" of the digital information industry for their importance, continue to be imported in massive quantities.

With China's smartphone market booming, the country imported $232.2 billion worth of integrated circuits, generally known as chips, in 2013, up 34.6 percent year on year, according to customs authorities.

The figure was higher than the $219.6 billion worth of imported oil for the year, making chips top the list of imports, resulting in a trade deficit of $144.1 billion for the industry, which had been expanding for four years in a row.

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