It has been almost a year since Huawei launched the Kirin 970 and now is about the time for the new chipset to arrive! At the recent IFA 2018, Huawei has announced the new Kirin 980 – the world’s first commercial 7nm SoC. Aiming to bring the next evolution of mobile AI, Kirin 980 combines best-in-class performance, efficiency, connectivity features, and Dual NPU AI processing power.
Here are the details of Kirin 980 according to the official press release:
The cutting-edge TSMC 7nm process technology enables Kirin 980 to pack 6.9 billion transistors within a 1cm2 die size, up 1.6 times from the previous generation. Compared to the 10nm process, the 7nm process delivers 20% improved SoC performance and 40% improved SoC efficiency.
The Kirin 980 is also the first SoC to embed Cortex-A76 cores, which are 75% more powerful and 58% more efficient compared to their previous generation. In an octa-core configuration, the CPU in Kirin 980 is comprised of two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores; two high-efficiency Cortex-A76 cores; and two extreme efficiency Cortex-A55 cores. To take full advantage of this unique configuration, Huawei developed an innovative Kirin CPU subsystem with Flex-Scheduling technology that flexibly allocates the right cores to the right tasks. This solution designates the large high-performance cores to handle immediate, intensive workloads; the large, high-efficiency cores to provide sustained performance; and ultra-efficiency cores to tackle everyday, light activities with extreme power efficiency. Running at higher clock speeds compared to the prior generation, Kirin 980 enables quicker app launch times, better multi-tasking and a generally smoother user experience.
As graphics in mobile games have become more and more sophisticated in recent years, Huawei has integrated the Mali-G76 GPU into the Kirin 980 to deliver unparalleled gaming experiences. Debuting with the Kirin 980, Mali-G76 offers 46% greater graphics processing power at 178% improved power efficiency over the previous generation. Mali-G76 also features an innovative clock boosting technology that utilizes AI to intelligently identify gaming workloads and adjust resource allocation for optimal gaming performance.
Industry’s First “Dual-Brain” Power
The latest Kirin SoC represents a new era of On-Device AI. The Dual NPU Kirin 980 elevates the On-Device AI experience with greater processing power and intelligence. The synergy between the Dual NPU results in an image recognition capability that is greater than the sum of two—the Kirin 980 can recognize up to 4,600 images per minute, up 120% compared to Kirin 970, further demonstrating Huawei’s industry leadership in the On-Device AI space. Additionally, Kirin 980 supports common AI frameworks such as Caffee, Tensorflow and Tensorflow Lite, and provides a suite of tools that simplifies the difficulty of engineering On-Device AI, allowing developers to easily tap into the leading processing power of the Dual NPU.
In pursuit of the best smartphone photography experience, Huawei integrated its proprietary 4th generation ISP into the SoC. In addition to a 46% increase in data throughput compared to its predecessor, the new ISP also provides better support for multi-camera configurations, as well as an all-new HDR colour reproduction technology that can manipulate picture contrast to highlight objects on various parts of an image. In addition, Kirin 980 utilizes the Multi-pass noise reduction solution that accurately removes artifacts without scrubbing away image details, resulting in better quality on images taken in low-light scenarios. Another new feature of the ISP is improved motion tracking. When a user attempts to snap a photo of a moving person, the ISP can still recognize the subject with 97.4% accuracy, so any user can capture fleeting moments with ease.
The rise of video-centric social media platforms brought together with it a surge of demand for video capture features. Kirin 980 adopts a new pipeline dedicated to processing video captures, allowing the camera module to shoot videos with 33% shorter delay.
To deliver the best connectivity to users of Kirin 980-powered devices, Huawei integrated the world’s first modem supporting LTE Cat.21 with a peak download speed of 1.4Gbps. Additionally, the Kirin 980 supports carrier aggregation, even across frequency bands, so users are free to choose their mobile operators and still enjoy the same premium connectivity experience, regardless of where they are.
The new Mate series which is set to arrive in this October will be the first devices to have the new Kirin 980 on it. Other than Kirin 980, Huawei also announced the launch of two new gradient variants for the Huawei P20 series: Morpho Aurora and Pearl White, expanding its range of gradient colours to 4.