Huawei Announces Kirin 980, the World’s First 7nm Mobile Chip

Kirin 980 - Huawei processor evolution surprised everyone


Huawei announced the arrival of its new top-of-the-line mobile processor, the Kirin 980. The company press conference held in the previews of the opening to the public of IFA 2018 has uncovered the chip that will be entrusted with the task of operating the high ranges of the Chinese multinational until the arrival of its successor.

The model arrives with full of expectations and is the world’s first processor with 7 nm lithography. It is also the first in the world to use the new Cortex-A76 cores and the new Mali-G76 GPU, both developed by the ARM.

“Last year, with the Kirin 970, we demonstrated the potential of artificial intelligence in a mobile device to the whole world and this year we have designed a complete powerhouse that not only demonstrates the excellent potential of AI but guarantees to consumers cutting-edge performance. Equipped with completely redesigned CPUs, GPUs, and Dual NPUs, the Kirin 980 is the most advanced system to support next-generation productivity and entertainment applications,” said Richard Yu, Huawei CEO in the IFA 2018 presentation.


The specification

A mobile processor that continues the path of its predecessor, the Kirin 980 in which the artificial intelligence had so much prominence, and marks a milestone to be the first to arrive showing off construction with 7-nanometer technology.

It has LPDDR4X RAM of 2.133 MHz and is also the first to carry the Cat.21 modem. That means devices with the Kirin 980 will have data transfer speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps for download and 200 Mbps for uploading using a cellular network.

An increasingly central element in the mobile experience, the advancement of photography has not been left out of the Kirin 980:  Huawei guarantees that the new pair of image signal processors (ISPs) is 48% faster than in the previous generation, beyond to improve energy efficiency by 23% when used to capture videos.

Kirin promises greater fluidity and lowers energy consumption

The new Kirin 980 is presented after months of leaks and advances fulfilling. For now, on paper, the expectations that were deposited there and said to stand above the Snapdragon 845.

But before moving on to what Huawei told us in the presentation, let’s take a look at its specifications. This new chip comes in partnership with an eight-core configuration in two clusters.

We found two Cortex A76 cores, which will do their work at 2.6GHz with one of the latest ARM chip when the important thing is to go the maximum; another two Cortex A76 cores this time at 1.92GHz, which will be essential when it comes to saving energy or the requirement is lower; and finally four Cortex A55 cores at 1.8GHz.


With all these ingredients ensure that has achieved increased performance by 75% and energy efficiency by 58% as seen in one of the graphics shown. The Asian brand has no hesitation in comparing the Kirin 980 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and stating that the performance is 22% better in the case of its chip, consuming 32% less energy in terms of performance with games.

Compared with the Kirin 970 present in high-end emblem terminals such as the Huawei P20 Pro, it is 20% more powerful and has a 40% energy saving. It is a logical positive evolution.

As for its GPU, the Kirin 980 debuts the Mali-G76 to be the first manufacturer to mount it. This graph promises to improve the performance of graphics execution and again shows good figures on paper, with an increase in performance of 46% and an energy efficiency of no less than 178%. We now turn to the NPU, which becomes dual compared to the previous generation, allowing a better image processing that increases its speed by 220%.

Artificial intelligence

When we talk about artificial intelligence, the automatic learning and the deep play a decisive role both to fine-tune the performance and to perfect the photographic section.

For example, it improves its ability to recognize objects, claiming to be twice as fast as Snapdragon 845 and almost four times faster than Apple’s A11.


In addition, Huawei maintains that this Kirin can recognize four and a half thousand images per minute capturing completely clear moments, so the user should only worry about shooting the camera. In fact, the new dual ISP, its image processor, can take photographs 46% faster, improving energy efficiency by 23%. And the video also improves reducing delay by 33%, which brings us closer to recording in a more real time.


In terms of connectivity, Huawei entered a new dimension with 4G navigation at maximum speeds of 1.2 Gbps in their previous processor, now they increase a bit to reach maximum marks of 1.4 Gbps.

The modem integrated into the processor features LTE category 21 for download and the same category 13 technology for upload. In addition, Bluetooth is still in its version 5.0, counting on wifi with dual ac connectivity that will allow us to connect to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks.

Huawei talks about record figures for the transmission of information by wifi under certain conditions: up to 1.7 Gbps. A record number, if that was the case, not reached until now, as long as the competitors of the Chinese multinational do not deny this claim.

The processor should appear on the next top of the line Huawei, Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

Will all this be enough to make the Kirin 980 an even more decisive factor for Huawei to consolidate itself as the second largest smartphone maker in the world and also to expand its role in the semiconductor market?

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