Huawei shows off 7nm Kirin 980 SoC

Kirin 980

Kirin 980

The upgraded technology of the Kirin 980 augurs well for Huawei, which unseated Apple as the world's second largest smartphone brand in the second quarter, as the Shenzhen-based company moves to compete more aggressively in the premium segment of the global smartphone market and differentiate itself from rival Chinese Android handset brands like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.

The first smartphone powered by the new Kirin 980 SoC will be the Huawei Mate 20 series, which will launch on October 16th in London.

Huawei also launched at IFA 2018 AI Cube, its home speaker with 4G router and built-in Alexa that can perform several tasks such turning on the TV or playing music.

Huawei says the Corte-A76 cores make the Kirin 980 75 percent more powerful and 58 percent more efficient than the previous generation of Kirin chipsets. In an octa-core configuration, the CPU in Kirin 980 is comprised of 2 x high-performance Cortex-A76 cores; 2 x high-efficiency Cortex-A76 cores; and 4 x extreme efficiency Cortex-A55 cores.

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Using this technology, the Kirin 980 packs 6.9 billion transistors within a 1cm die, delivering 20% more performance and 40% more power efficiency compared to chips which used the 10nm manufacturing process.

The integrated graphics processor has been updated to the latest Mali-G76 GPU bringing along a 46% improvement in processing power with an unbelievable 178% improvements in power efficiency. The third device of the lot, the Mate 20 Lite, has already been launched - albeit unofficially - with a Kirin 710 processor. To that end the Kirin 980 has increased the computational ability of the included Image Signal Processor ISP by 46%. According to Huawei's testing, the Kirin 980 tallied an average frame rate of 59.3 FPS compare to 48.5 FPS for the Snapdragon 845. The Kirin 980's DSU features 4MB of L3 Cache. More significantly, the dual neural processor means that the Kirin 980 can recognize objects in video in real time. The ISP utilizes multi-pass noise reduction without scrubbing away image details, improved motion tracking and a new pipeline dedicated to processing video for 33 percent shorter delay.

Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned.

Huawei's numbers for the Kirin 980, especially for power efficiency of the GPU either demonstrate the true strengths of ARM's designs or a serious measuring error. This includes carrier aggregation across frequency bands, allowing users to have the same speeds with their telco of choice. While the Kirin 980 is not a 5G chip, it's the first in the world to have a mode with LTE Category 21 support, thus being capable of delivering 1.4Gbps download speeds when connected to the right infrastructure.

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