HiSilicon Kirin 980 by Huawei | 37% improved performance:
Huawei has just announced its flagship high-performance SoC at this year’s IFA in Berlin: the HiSilicon Kirin 980 that is expected to power the next Mate 20 series. The key selling point is that it is the first chip based in 7nm of the world (manufactured by TSMC) that promises many power and efficiency gains over its predecessor and over 10nm chipsets by the competition.
Kirin 980 Architecture:
The Kirin 980 uses 8-core CPU design with 2 high-performance Cortex-A76 cores and 2 Cortex-A76 “energy efficiency” cores. We assume that those two Cortex-A76 cores with efficient power consumption have a lower clock than the high-performance ones and use ARM’s DynamIQ architecture since they form a single cluster. The other set consists of 4 Cortex-A55 low power cores.
Huawei has developed a “flexible programming” technology to assign the right cores to the right tasks and achieve better efficiency. The clock speeds are not revealed, but Huawei says they are higher than the previous generation.
Kirin 9880 Graphics Performance:
When it comes to graphics acceleration, the SoC uses a Mali-G76 GPU that was announced in May 2018 and offers extraordinary performance and efficiency gains compared to its predecessor Mali-G72 on the Kirin 970. The release, the GPU exceeds the previous generation by 46% and saves 178% more power. You can also take advantage of the new clock boost technology that recognizes when a demanding game is running and provides optimal gaming performance.
All of the above guarantees 37% better performance than its predecessor Kirin 970 found in the P20 and P20 Pro.
Still, do some of you wonder how you behave against Qualcomm’s SoC, the Snapdragon 845? Well, Huawei points out that the Kirin 980 outperforms 10nm chips by 20% and is 40% more efficient at the same time, not to mention the name of Snapdragon 845 in particular.
But the 7nm manufacturing process is not his only claim to fame. The chipset is also the first to support the 2133MHz LPDDR4X memory and incorporates a dedicated dual NPU chip. Huawei calls the latter “Dual Brain Power” and can help recognize up to 4,500 images per minute, which is about 120% faster than the only NPU chip last year in the Kirin 970 SoC.
Other notable features include 6,900 million full transistors within a 1 cm² die (1.6 times more than its predecessor), a Cat 21 LTE 1.4Gbps modem and fast WiFi speeds of up to 1,732 Mbps maximum download/upload speed.
HiSilicon Kirin 980 Specs:
The Huawei P20 Pro surprised us all with great camera performance, mainly thanks to the efficient ISP inside. This year’s ISP has been further improved and represents the fourth generation of the ISP that owns Huawei. It offers a 46% increase in data performance and better support for several cameras in general. Other ingenious features such as the new HDR color reproduction technology, multi-step noise reduction that eliminates artifacts without altering the details of the image and better motion tracking.
We still have to run the usual benchmark and battery tests on a running device to see how the Kirin 980 behaves in the real world. Unfortunately, that will not happen until Huawei publishes its Mate 20 and 20 Pro phones in October.