Huawei announced its latest SOC Kirin 980 at IFA this week. It is as small as a fingernail and it has 6.9 billion transistors. It is 5G ready and the first chip to support 2,133MHz LPDDR4X RAM. Huawei Mate 20 and Honor Magic 2 are the two devices which will be powered by this SOC later this year according to Huawei.
Aug 31st, 2018 at IFA Huawei announced its latest SOC Kirin 980, it took 3 years of development and is the first 7nm mobile SOC with many revolutionary features like it is the world’s first Cortex-A76 architecture chipset, the world’s first dual NPU design, and the world’s first chipset to support LTE Cat.21.
Kirin 980 Features
- The Kirin 980 integrates 6.9 billion transistors in an area of less than 1 square centimeter which means a much better performance and power consumption than 10nm SOC.
- This chipset is the first Cortex-A76 based in the world and has a 75% improvement in single core performance.
- The Kirin 980 also includes the world’s first commercial use Mali-G76 GPU performance is improved by 46%.
- The LPDDR4X memory operates at speeds up to 2133 MHz.
- The fourth-generation ISP utilises a multi-pass noise reduction to capture quality images and preserve important details.
- This ISP also has a dedicated video pipeline to effectively improve video clarity and reduce shooting delays by 33%.
Huawei engineers took around three years to build the new Kirin 980 first 7nm SOC, it took more than 5000 engineering prototypes and 1,000 senior semiconductor design experts to build this SOC. The end result of this hardwork is a 20 percent speed improvement and a 40 percent reduction in power consumption relative to Huawei’s previous generation.
With a 7nm architecture and LPDDR4X memory that operates at speeds up to 2133 MHz, it is more than 20% faster than its previous generation.
GPU Performance and efficiency
The Kirin 980 is built with a 3 energy efficiency architecture which has 2 super cores, 2 large cores and 4 small efficiency cores.
It uses the Flex-scheduling intelligence mechanism to allow the CPU to adapt in heavy, medium and light-load scenarios by reducing its power consumption and giving users a longer battery life while still achieving an overall higher performance experience.
When comparing Huawei Kirin 980 with Qualcomm latest Snapdragon 845 SOC, Kirin 980 has been shown to produce 22 percent higher frame rates than the 845, and it is power consumption when gaming is said to be 32 percent lower.
When Huawei demonstrated PUBG demo Kirin 980 was a clear winner with high frame rate and consistent frame rate than Snapdragon 845. However, the company has worked closely with PUBG and Mobile Legends developers to further optimize their games for GPU Turbo, so other titles may not benefit.
Photography performance is the most highlighted feature of kirin 980. According to Huawei Kirin 980 is 46 percent faster at camera processing than Kirin 970 and with a related 23 percent improvement in power efficiency while recording, and 33 percent improvement in latency. This is all due to a new dual ISP (image signal processor).
AI – NPU
Huawei Kirin 980 has a dual-core NPU. It doubled down it’s AI (neural processor unit) processing due to which it can perform AI-assisted image recognition tasks at a rate of 4,500 images per minute.
If we compare Kirin 980 AI-assisted image recognition task rate with Snapdragon 845 it is around 2300 images per minute and Apple A11 at 1200 images per minute.
AI will also help in Battery optimization.
With a Wi-Fi speed clocked at 1732 Mbps, Kirin 980 has the current world fastest Wi-Fi speed, which is higher than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845’s best of 866Mbps.
It also supports support LTE Cat.21 which is 5G ready.
The GPS is supported by industry leading L1 + L5 dual frequency ultra-precise positioning to give you a more accurate target location when using map navigation, even in complex terrains, as said by Huawei.
Full Keynote Video
HiSilicon Kirin 980
|Process||7 NM TSMC FinFet|
|RAM||LPDDR4X @ 2133MHz|
|MODEM||LTE Cat 21|