China's mobile solution provider HiSilicon Technologies is expected to see its shipments of application processors continue to grow in 2019 with its chips powering nearly 70% of handsets shipped by its parent company Huawei in the year, according to Digitimes Research.
HiSilicon is able to ramp up its AP shipments as Huawei has been using more of its chips to power its high-end smartphones, while also raising the ratio of chips from HiSilicon for its entry-level to mid-range models - a segment where Huawei is expected to see its shipments decrease 5% on year in the second half of 2019, Digitimes Research estimates.
Overall, HiSilicon's AP shipments will account for 20% of total handset AP demand in China in 2019, excluding those used by Samsung Electronics.
HiSilicon launched Kirin 990 5G, its first 5G SoC, in September featuring a neural-network processing unit (NPU), and it is expected to continue releasing NPU-focused 5G SoCs as a means to significantly ramp up its AP shipments in the first half of 2020.
However, its AP shipments in 2020 could be impacted by the US-China trade dispute, which may dent consumer acceptance of Huawei's new handsets without the support of GMS (Google Mobile Services), undermine its ability to secure supply of key components, and hinder the use of new Arm architectures.