Flying elephant news(Yi Huan/Wen) In the first year of 5G commerce, major mobile phone manufacturers are laying out 5G market in succession, and 5G chips have become the strategic focus of head mobile phone manufacturers and chip suppliers.
But at present, there are not many players. After Intel's exit, there are only five players on 5G mobile phone baseband chip in the world, namely Qualcomm, Huawei, Samsung, Lianfeng and Ziguang Zhanrui.
Players are few and there are many good plays. Fighting between 5G chip manufacturers is continuing and intensifying.
5G chip stage
In the era of 2G and 3G before 4G, there were more than ten mobile phone baseband chip suppliers. However, with the increasing challenges faced by each generation of technological upgrading, the chip industry has opened a strong survival mode, and there are few left in the 5G era.
Until Intel announced its withdrawal from the 5G smartphone modem business in 2019, only Qualcomm, Huawei, Samsung, Unifax and Ziguang Zhanrui remained in the global enterprises that developed 5G chips. Among them, Huawei and Samsung 5G chips were often used in their own products, and only Qualcomm, Unifax and Ziguang Zhanrui sold 5G chips to the market.
Qualcomm has released its own 5G baseband X50 as early as 2016, which only supports NSA in the transition period. Subsequent X55 improved the shortcomings of X50, not only increased SA, but also changed the process to 7nm, and added back the 2/3/4G baseband function missing from X50. It can be said that the function is very strong, but this chip was not produced in mass when it was released.
Huawei has invested in research and development of 5G technology since 2009, which can be said to have accumulated a lot. With the release of Kirin 990, Huawei has become a leader in the field of mobile phone chips integrated with 5G technology.
In addition, one month before the release of Qualcomm X55, Huawei pioneered the release of 5G baseband chip Baron 5000, which Huawei described as the first commercial chipset to support 5G 3GPP standard.
Samsung's Exynos has always been aiming at the development of Standard & Qualcomm's solution. It can't lag behind each other in terms of performance or function. However, after Samsung's own process progress was delayed, the 8 nm exynos was naturally left behind by the 7 nm Qualcomm snapdragon products, and with Samsung's own 7 nm mass production, its own exynos solution was again brought to the table.
After 2020, Samsung hopes to reposition the image of Exynos by re-entering the Chinese market. Its flagship single chip Exynos 980, which will be mass-produced, will cooperate with vivo to launch high-end mobile phones.
Ziguang Zhanrui has been cultivating the low-end mobile phone chip market since the exhibition era. At present, its share in the low-end market is more than 70%, and the proportion of mobile phone chips in many emerging countries such as Africa and Southeast Asia is very high.
Ziguang Zhanrui's first 5G baseband chip is Ivy 510, which conforms to the 3GPP Release 15 specification. It supports 2G to 5G multimode, 5G NSA independent and SA independent networking, sub-6GHz band, but does not mention the support of 28GHz millimeter band.
After the release of 5G baseband chip Helio M70, in fact, it is also constantly advancing the single-chip scheme. The first single-chip 5G scheme based on 7Nm process is expected to be launched in 2020. It is reported that its first exposure of 5G single chip will only support Sub6 band, does not support millimeter wave, so I am afraid it has no chance with the mainland market.
Judging from the commercial rhythm, it is obvious that Huawei and Gaotong are ahead of each other. However, Samsung, Lianfeng and Ziguang Zhanrui are also catching up with each other step by step, and have not been left too much.
Qualcomm remains the mainstream choice for mobile phone manufacturers
In the 5G era, Huawei, Samsung, Ziguang Zhanrui and other chip manufacturers are catching up, but with years of competitive advantage, Qualcomm is still the main chip supplier of many mobile phone brands.
Up to now, there are five 5G mobile phones on the market in China. Except one with 5G chips, the other four have Qualcomm chips.
During the two years from 2017 to now, Qualcomm has almost monopolized the chip supply of OV, Millet and other major global mobile phone manufacturers. Before that, Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Millet and OPPO, the top five mobile phone brands in the world, had even been Qualcomm's chip customers.
It is worth mentioning that with the continuous maturity of Huawei's self-developed chips, the proportion of Huawei purchasing Qualcomm chips has begun to decline year by year.
According to Qualcomm, 12 OEM manufacturers and brands worldwide, including OPPO, realme, Redmi, vivo, Motorola, HMD Global and LG Electronics, plan to adopt a completely new 5G integrated mobile platform on their 5G mobile terminals.
It can be seen that, after entering the 5G era, although Huawei has made rapid progress in chip research and development, which threatens the leading position of Qualcomm to a certain extent, Qualcomm still has strong control power because Huawei chips are mainly used for its own products.
Of course, in addition to Qualcomm, MediaTek is also a good choice for some mobile phones. According to the latest news, Samsung will buy the 5G chips of MediaTek, mainly in the low and medium-end market. As early as the first half of next year, Samsung's 5G mobile phones will be around 2,000 yuan.
In addition to Samsung, Huawei is also preparing to buy the 5G chip of MediaTek. At present, Huawei has not integrated the 5G baseband into the mid-end chip. In order to gain a certain share in the low-end market of 5G, the industry expects that Huawei will use CDK chips.
From the standpoint of 5G chip, next year's high-end models will be the battle between Qualcomm and Huawei, while the low-and medium-end models will become the main battlefield between Unicom and Qualcomm.
Apple's entry into the game of 5G chips
In recent days, the news that Apple plans to launch its own 5G baseband chip in the next three years will also quickly dominate the circle of friends, although it is expected to set off a wave of the best parts of the industry.
In this regard, it is not surprising that, after all, in the next 5G-led market, the importance of the 5G chip to the mobile phone is as if the heart is to a person, and as long as the core technology is mastered, it will have more competitiveness and voice in the market, and the apple is obviously trying to make a dash, An attempt to reverse the situation that has fallen behind.
But most people question whether Apple can launch its own 5G baseband chip in 2022 because it is a difficult task. In addition to designing and manufacturing the 5G baseband chip, Apple will have to undergo long certification and FCC approval.
Although Apple bought Intel's smartphone 5G baseband business in July and acquired about 2200 Intel employees, intellectual property rights and devices, it is really difficult for Apple to develop its own 5G baseband chip in 2022, and Apple developed a 5G baseband in 2023.
That is to say, Apple, the current entrant, will not have an impact on the current 5G chip market.