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Huawei has officially announced the next-flagship SoC from the company, which will be powering the upcoming Huawei and Honor flagship smartphones at IFA 2018. The HiSilicon Kirin 980 is the latest chipset from the company, which is the successor to the HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC.
Just like the original Kirin 970 SoC, the Kirin 980 also comes with a dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit) to enhance the Ai capabilities of the smartphone, that beholds the Kirin 980. As of now, the company has confirmed that the Honor Magic 2, Huawei Mate 20, and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro will be the first set of devices to be powered by this chipset.
HiSilicon Kirin 980 highlights
- First mobile SoC to be based on the 7nm process
- 5G Ready with Balong 5000 Modem
- Dual ISP
- Dual NPU
- Multi-mode LTE modem
Kirin 980 specifications
Unlike most of the smartphone SoC, the Kirin 980 has a unique approach, where the chipset offers two big cores, two medium cores and four little cores. The two big and medium cores are based on ARM Cortex A76 architecture with a clock speed of 2.6 GHz and 1.92 GHz, respectively. Whereas the four little cores are based on ARM Cortex A55 architecture with 1.8 GHz clock speed.
The Kirin 980 is also the first SoC to feature Mali-G76 GPU as well. The GPU comes with clock boosting technology that will adjust the resource allocation depending on the requirement of an app or a game. The GPU also offers up to 46% improved performance and 178% improved efficiency over the Kirin 970 SoC.
Compared to the SoC based on 10nm manufacturing process (Snapdragon 845, Kirin 970 SoC, etc.) the Kirin 980 (based on 7nm manufacturing process) can offer up to 20% improved performance and 40% improved efficiency. In comparison with the Kirin 970 moniker, the Kirin 980 can offer 75% improved performance and 58% better energy efficiency.
The latest piece of silicon from Huawei also comes with an improved dual NPU and dual ISP, which will, again offers a ton of AI features on the camera. The NPU on the Kirin 980 also comes with AI frameworks like Caffee and Tensorflow. Lastly, the SoC comes with Cat 21 FDD/TDD LTE model with a maximum download speed of 1.4 Gbps using 4 x 4 MIMO.