By Wang Xinxi
Source: Hot micro review (ID: redianweiping)
Recently, the release of Huawei's Hongmeng operating system 2.0 has once again aroused heated discussions in the industry. However, for Huawei, the most urgent problem is not the operating system, but the chip.
After Meiguang announced that it would cut off the supply of Huawei, Samsung and Hynix announced that they would not provide Huawei with chips and other parts after September 15. In addition to TSMC's inability to provide Huawei with chip manufacturing, the three major storage giants in the world will not provide Huawei with memory chips.
Huawei will face the situation that processor and memory chip are out of stock at the same time. According to the information disclosed by the industry, Huawei has already stored a large number of chips, of which the storage chip Huawei can still support for two years, while the microprocessor chip can only support half a year at most.
What is a cloud mobile phone?
Therefore, Huawei must look for alternatives. Not long ago, the Kunpeng cloud mobile phone led by Huawei was put into public test. In the view of many people, cloud mobile phone is a breakthrough path that Huawei chooses to bypass the chip. Huawei Kunpeng cloud mobile phone is likely to replace the current physical mobile phone in the future, and can also solve the problem of core shortage. But is that really the case?
In other words, the core of the cloud mobile phone is a coreless mobile phone, which gives the computing power of the original mobile phone processor to the server. The mobile phone is only used as a receiving terminal and network device, so that the hardware requirements of the mobile phone can be minimized. The mobile phone will become
Some people mentioned that cloud phones are currently facing two major market pain points. One is that cloud phones have been done, such as Blu-ray clouds, more clouds, but most users are gamers, active users have never reached tens of millions.
Baidu also released its own ARM server-based Baidu in April
But the current situation, consumers on the market cloud mobile phone recognition is not high.
2. cloud mobile phone is more dependent on the network than traditional mobile phone, want mobile phone smooth, data picture synchronization, broadband needs to reach more than gigabit speed.
For now, the stability and coverage of 5g network is the key. To solve these problems, it is necessary to spread the 5g network in an all-round way. At the same time, operators need to reduce the cost and speed up. Although it will be some time before 5g network is fully deployed, Huawei has its own advantages.
First, Huawei's cloud mobile phone is more popular in terms of technology, brand and user group size. It has the opportunity to expand the user group from game players to a wider user group, so as to expand the market cake.
First, thanks to Huawei's advanced 5g technology, it has the ability to promote the construction and popularization of 5g networks, while it is only a matter of time for operators to reduce fees and speed up. The reduction of network delay and the improvement of broadband speed will provide unlimited possibilities for the popularization of cloud mobile phones in the future.
The theoretical transmission rate of 5g can reach 10Gbps, and the delay is only 1ms, which can fully meet the needs of cloud mobile phones. In other words, the essence of Huawei's cloud mobile phone is to enlarge the advantages of 5g network network, and use cloud services and cloud space to replace the role of chips, so as to get rid of the performance limitations of high-end chips.
That is, the precision of mobile phone chip is not high, but the premise is that the existing lithography technology in our country can fully meet the manufacturing requirements of cloud mobile phone for lower performance chip.
The cloud mobile phone has changed the runway, but it can not solve the core problem
We know that the traditional smart phone, which provides core performance and computing power by chip, is the brain of smart phone. Smart phones have been pursuing smaller nm chips and faster communication experience. However, cloud mobile phone is actually a new runway.
At present, Huawei's mobile phones are medium and high-end ones, and Kirin chips are 5-7nm. Currently, there are only 3 companies in the world that can produce 5-7nm chip technology, such as Qualcomm, Samsung and TSMC. Among them, TSMC, which supplies Huawei with production technology from the United States, will be punished by the United States as long as TSMC manufactures Kirin chips to Huawei.
At present, the highest chip production technology in China is only 28nm, and TSMC production technology can produce 5 nm chips, which is far from enough.
Compared with traditional smartphones, cloud phones are excellent extension applications of physical phones, without the support of high performance chips and memory, and can also complete most of the operations of traditional mobile phones. To some extent, this is actually a screen. It also has the advantage of lighter weight, less power consumption, and no need to worry about cell phone loss because your data is in the cloud.
In the view of sun Yanbiao, President of the first mobile phone industry research institute, cloud mobile phone is another step forward in the development process of mobile phone product form. The best promotion point of cloud mobile phones should be achieved in China's 5g network, so that cloud phones can be recognized by more consumers.
It can be said that the cloud mobile phone has got rid of the previous linear playing method. It is no longer pursuing the chip performance of smaller nm level and pushing the performance optimization by squeezing toothpaste. Instead, it is connected seamlessly in the cloud, which does not need any configuration and gets rid of the competition of hardware performance. With the maturity of 5g technology, cloud mobile phones will be able to run current applications and large-scale games in the future, bringing new imagination space to cloud game market and intelligent office.
However, the paradox at this time is that in 5g era, chips are still needed to encode and decode 5g wireless complex signal transmission, which requires very powerful functions.
As a result, some industry insiders question: even if Offline、 privacy factors and other circumstances can be ignored, the cloud experience is consistent with local computing and storage, but sending and receiving, displaying massive amounts of data, taking massive images and playing games to get pictures from the cloud, uploading the cloud and so on need to be calculated.
Theoretically, most of the CPU、GPU pressure can be transferred through the cloud to BP and specific Codec directly codec the network data received
Therefore, cloud mobile phones may be a new way to break the bottleneck of current chips and put computing power, storage and services into the cloud, but it does not mean that cloud phones do not rely on the computing power of local chips. In the future, when using the physical cloud mobile phone, the image will be transferred from the cloud to the mobile phone, which will also need CPU and GPU for processing.
However, if we look at the direction of continuous progress of mobile phones in the future, it may be one of the trends that mobile phones require less computing power. It can be less dependent on CPU and GPU. At least, files and images transferred based on cloud can be easily processed.
For PC devices, the cloud is already developing, and the cloud computer can put more than 99% of its computing power in the cloud, with little requirement for the performance of the terminal devices
From this trend, will mobile phones also have the same trend in the future? That is to say, the terminal hardware itself only exists as a screen for information collection, without complex local functions, extremely low CPU and memory, and the speed of reading data by mobile phone is no longer excessively dependent on chip, but more on the function and network of server.
With the development of AI vision, AI voice and other technologies, this information collection ability will be gradually strengthened. By this time, mobile phones may not need too high computing performance, which can bypass the bottleneck of chip computing power and performance requirements.
Generally speaking, cloud mobile phone is an innovative direction worth trying, but it is still difficult to solve the problem of Huawei lack of core. At present, Huawei Cloud mobile phone is only a cloud server, mainly for enterprise customers, providing part of the mobile application virtual running environment, used in office and cloud games and other scenarios, but it can not replace the role of mainstream smartphones.
From the development process of chip performance, it is not yet the bottleneck time.
Although 7Nm has entered the mid-range computer market, apple and Huawei's new machines have been equipped with chips with 5nm process, but the industry still has some time to go before 3nm research and development. When it really develops to 1nm process, it may be the time when chips encounter bottleneck. However, it is still a little far away from this time point, and the entire industry chain around the chip still has the power and space to continuously upgrade along the existing route.
Cloud phones are more like disruptive innovation
The play of cloud mobile phone, to some extent, breaks the continuous innovation of mobile phone hardware linear upgrade. With cloud storage, mobile phone no longer needs storage space. There is no need for high-performance CPU, mobile phone APP high-speed computing analysis to cloud computing computing analysis to cloud computing, which means the rapid decline in mobile phone hardware costs, and even the profits of mobile phone manufacturers and the entire mobile phone industry chain.
As some people in the industry pointed out, if the price of mobile phone terminal is reduced, the cloud cost and the pipeline cost of operators will be very high, and then the mobile phone can not be sold at a high price, and the whole ecological chain will not agree.
But because it replaces the local high-speed computing analysis through cloud computing, the cost and price of mobile phones are greatly reduced, which is a good thing for consumers. From this level, it is a damage to the original business model. It can be called a destructive innovation.
Similar to the past, mobile phones are a destructive innovation relative to fixed phones. Although they are expensive to use and have poor signal quality, they are easy to carry. When mobile phones enter the market, mainstream market users still prefer fixed phones because they are reliable and cheap. But with the development of cellular technology, mobile phones are constantly updated, the cost of use is reduced, and the price is declining, which is beginning to attract more and more mainstream market users.
Cloud mobile phones also guide the trend of reducing the cost of hardware use, weakening terminal hardware, and strengthening cloud technology. At present, mobile phones are increasingly subject to the development of physics. The 18 month performance upgrade trend of Moore's law is weakening, and the bottleneck of battery performance is becoming more and more obvious. In this case, it is a good innovation direction to put chips with high power consumption in the cloud.
Once this trend develops forward, its prospect is not only limited to mobile phones, but also may drive the development of wearable devices and intelligent hardware. For example, VR, AR, intelligent glasses and other devices can solve many bottleneck problems caused by immature software and hardware due to the great improvement of cloud computing power.
From the point of view of cloud mobile phone, the current problems it faces are 5 G network coverage is not comprehensive and privacy security, expensive and continuous growth of cloud computing costs and data transmission costs, industry chain vested interests block and other pain points. However, although due to the limitations of various objective reality conditions, its bright prospects are not seen in a short time, but the technical problems may eventually be solved by technology, it may indicate the direction of future tide flow.