HiSilicon Kirin 980 is World’s first 7nm chipset

HiSilicon Kirin 980

As expected, Huawei has announced the HiSilicon Kirin 980 flagship chipset which will take over the 970 on the P20 Pro and Honor 10. Huawei also stressed that the new chipset is 37% faster than its predecessor. The 980 was introduced in Berlin at the IFA, and it’s expected to be in the upcoming Mate 20-series and of course the P30 and P30 Pro smartphones early next year.

HiSilicon Kirin 980, fastest Chipset?

As stated above, the chipset is the world’s first 7nm-based chip (manufactured by TSMC). With this comes plenty of power and efficiency gains over its predecessor and probably over the 10nm chipsets, including the Snapdragon 845. Nonetheless, the HiSilicon Kirin 980 comes with 8-cores of processor and 2x high-performance Cortex-A76 cores and 2x “power-efficient” Cortex-A76 cores.

Of course, the two power-efficient Cortex-A76 cores will be clocked lower than the high-performance ones. The cores will use ARM’s DynamIQ architecture to form a single cluster. The chipset also comes with 4x low-power Cortex-A55 cores. Huawei also integrated a “Flex-Scheduling” technology on the chipset.

HiSilicon Kirin 980

This should be able to assign the right cores to the right tasks and achieve better efficiency. Even though the clock speeds weren’t revealed yet as at the time of writing, Huawei assured they will be higher and faster than the 970.

In the graphics department, the chipset will be using the flagship Mali-G76 GPU which was introduced in May by ARM. We reported about the Mali-G76 GPU, the successor to the Mali-G72 which comes with 46% performance improvements and 178% power efficiency. It also has a new clock-boosting technology which recognizes when a demanding game is running and provides optimal gaming performance.

Now, does it stand a chance with the Snapdragon 845? Well, Huawei didn’t say that, but if it’s 20% better than 10nm chips in terms of performance and it’s 40% better when it comes to power efficiency then that should include the Snapdragon 845 right?

We have to keep in mind that the new HiSilicon Kirin 980 chip is also the first to support 2133MHz LPDDR4X memory (aka memory speed) and incorporates a dedicated dual NPU chip. This is far better than the 1866MHz the Snapdragon 845 can reach. The chip also recognizes up to 4,500 images per minute, which is around 120% faster than last year’s single NPU chip on the Kirin 970.

It also features 6.9 billion transistors crammed inside a 1cm² die (1.6 times more than its predecessor). There’s 1.4Gbps Cat 21 LTE modem and blazing fast WiFi speeds of up to 1,732Mbps peak download/upload speeds. We can’t wait for benchmark results to really prove how powerful the HiSilicon Kirin 980 really is. That should be in October, when the Mate 20 and 20 Pro devices are released.


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