Huawei To Announce Kirin 980 Today at IFA
In the smartphone wars, the chip inside powering the devices is becoming ever more important. Raw performance plus accelerators are pushing the boundaries of what we used to think was possible. Huawei’s unique selling point is that it designs its own chips for its smartphones, based a lot on Arm’s reference cores. Today, Huawei will be announcing its next generation SoC to the world.
As proudly declared on stage at the Honor launch event yesterday, with Honor’s own upcoming Magic 2 smartphone having it inside, Honor’s CEO George Zhao proudly declared that Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei CBG, will be announcing the Kirin 980 today.
Huawei’s current flagship SoC is the Kirin 970, which sits inside the Mate 10, P20, P20 Pro, and Honor’s Play, Honor 10, and Honor View 10. All of Huawei’s chips are made by their internal design house, HiSilicon, and the Kirin 970 was announced last year at IFA, so it makes sense that this year we would see the next generation, the Kirin 980, around this time.
Huawei has a long tradition of being a primary Arm partner, often using its latest design options where possible to get the edge of the competition. The Kirin 980, as with the silicon before it, aims for the highest echelons of performance in order to set it apart from the competition. You can also expect the Kirin 980 to be promoted alongside Huawei’s other ‘features’, such as GPU Turbo.
As for the internals of the Kirin 980, we’ve had a pre-briefing and can’t tell you much until the actual presentation. We went into a lot of detail with Huawei’s Benjamin Wang about the new chip design, and suffice to say that it follows in Huawei’s tradition to be a large number of ‘firsts’.
|HiSilicon High-End Kirin SoC Lineup|
|SoC||Kirin 980||Kirin 970||Kirin 960|
|CPU||POWER*||4x A73 @ 2.36 GHz|
4x A53 @ 1.84 GHz
|4x A73 @ 2.36GHz|
4x A53 @ 1.84GHz
|SOME*||4x 16-bit CH|
LPDDR4 @ 1833 MHz
|4x 16-bit CH|
LPDDR4 @ 1866MHz
|Interconnect||YES||ARM CCI||ARM CCI-550|
|Storage I/F||NO DOUBT*||UFS 2.1||UFS 2.1|
|ISP/Camera||SMILE*||Dual 14-bit ISP||Dual 14-bit ISP|
|2160p30 HEVC & H.264|
Decode & Encode
|Integrated Modem||IF YOU INSIST*||Kirin 970 Integrated LTE|
DL = 1200 Mbps
UL = 150 Mbps
|Kirin 960 Integrated LTE|
DL = 600Mbps
UL = 150Mbps
|NPU||8-BALL SAYS YES*||Yes||No|
|Mfc. Process||???||TSMC 10nm||TSMC 16nm FFC|
|*May be subject to change|
Huawei's keynote is today at 2pm CEST (8am ET), which will be live blogged if the data allows. Our full Kirin 980 information reveal is half-an-hour later, at 2:30pm CEST. It's going to be a lot of fun. Stay tuned.