Huawei has introduced the latest mobile processor from their daughter HiSilicon into the Kirin 980, which, along with Huawei's claim of being the world's first commercial 7nm SoC, is the first SoC that includes Arm Cortex A76 CPU cores and Arm & # 39; s used Mali G76 GPU.
Huawei fully focuses on Qualcomm with this announcement and claims better performance than a Snapdragon 845 during the presentation. One of the most important differences with the current Snapdragon is the composition of the eight CPU cores of the Kirin 980, remarkable as the usual big.LITTLE & # 39; Arm CPU core configuration for an octa-core design makes way for a revised organization with three groups, as exemplified by AnandTech here:
Of the four Cortex A76 cores, only two have been clocked to maximize performance with certain applications such as gaming (and probably benchmarks) at 2.60 GHz, and the other two are more commonly used as more efficient performance chapters at 1.92 GHz. The other four A55 cores operate at 1.80 GHz and are used for tasks with lower performance. A complete analysis of the CPU core configuration and slides of the event are available at AnandTech.
Huawei claims that the improved CPU in the Kirin 980 results in "75 percent more powerful and 58 percent more efficient than their previous generation" (the Kirin 970). This claim translates to what Huawei claims 37% better performance and 32% greater efficiency than Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845.
The GPU will also receive a much-needed lift this year from Arm & # 39; s latest GPU, the Mali-G76, which is "new, broader performance engines with double lanes" and "offers dramatic improvements in both performance and efficiency for complex graphics and Machine Learning (ML) workloads ", says Arm.
Real-world testing with handsets is required to verify Huawei's performance claims, of course. The results that Huawei showed on the presentation contain a disclaimer, from today's press release:
The upcoming Mate 20 from Huawei will be powered by this new Kirin 980 – and could very well deliver results that are consistent with the full potential of the new chip – and is scheduled for an official launch on October 16th.
BERLIN, Germany – August 31, 2018 – In its IFA 2018 keynote entitled "The Ultimate Power of Mobile AI", Huawei Consumer Business Group introduced CEO. Richard Yu de Kirin 980, the system on a chip (SoC) that will bring about the next evolution of mobile AI. As the world's first commercial SoC manufactured with the 7MM process from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer Company (TSMC), Kirin 980 combines the best performance, efficiency, connectivity features and dual NPU AI processing power of its class.
"Last year we showed the world the potential of On-Device AI with the Kirin 970, and this year we have designed an all-round powerhouse that not only offers excellent AI capabilities, but also offers advanced raw performance." Mr. Yu. "Equipped with completely new CPUs, GPUs and Dual NPUs, the Kirin 980 is the ultimate engine for next generation productivity and entertainment applications."
Thanks to the advanced process technology of TSMC 7nm, Kirin 980 can pack 6.9 billion transistors in a 1 cm2 mold, 1.6 times from the previous generation. Compared to the 10nm process, the 7nm process delivers 20 percent improved SoC performance and 40 percent improved SoC flow efficiency.
The Kirin 980 is also the first SoC to insert Cortex-A76-based cores, which are 75 percent more powerful and 58 percent more efficient compared to their previous generation. The Kirin CPU subsystem uses an intelligent Flex planning mechanism that creates an energy efficiency structure with 3 levels, consisting of two super-large cores based on Cortex-A76, two large cores based on Cortex-A76 and four small cores Cortex- A55. Compared with the traditional big.LITTLE design, this solution indicates the large powerful cores for direct, intensive workloads; the large, high-efficiency cores for long-term performance; and ultra-efficiency cores to tackle everyday, light activities with extreme energy efficiency. Running with higher clock speeds compared to the previous generation, Kirin 980 delivers faster app launch times, better multitasking and a generally smoother user experience.
Because graphics in mobile games have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years, Huawei has integrated the Mali-G76 GPU into the Kirin 980 to provide unparalleled gaming experiences. Debuting with the Kirin 980, Mali-G76 offers 46 percent more graphics processing power with 178 percent improved energy efficiency compared to the previous generation. Mali-G76 also has an innovative clock boost technology that AI uses to intelligently identify gaming workloads and adjust the resource allocation for optimal gaming performance.
First "Dual-Brain" capability in the industry
The latest Kirin SoC represents a new era of on-device AI. The Dual NPU Kirin 980 improves the AI experience on the device with more 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 4,500 images per minute, an increase of 120 percent compared to Kirin 970, which is also the market leadership of Huawei in the On Space for device AI. In addition, Kirin 980 supports common AI frameworks such as Caffee, Tensorflow and Tensorflow Lite and provides a suite of tools that simplifies the difficulty of developing AI on the device, allowing developers to easily take advantage of the leading processing power of the Dual NPU.
Fully recommended ISP
In pursuit of the best smartphone photography experience, Huawei integrated its own fourth generation ISP into the SoC. In addition to 46 percent higher data throughput compared to its predecessor, the new ISP also provides better support for multi-camera configurations, as well as a whole new HDR color reproduction technology that can manipulate the image contrast to mark objects on different parts of an image . In addition, the Kirin 980 uses the Multi-pass noise suppression solution that accurately removes artifacts without scrubbing the details of the exfoliating scrubbing, resulting in better quality on photos made in low light. Another new function of the ISP is improved movement registration. When a user tries to take a picture of a moving person, the ISP can still recognize the subject with an accuracy of 97.4 percent, so that each user can capture fleeting moments with ease.
The emergence of video-based social media platforms generated a huge demand for video recording functions. Kirin 980 takes a new pipeline into use for processing video recordings, allowing the camera module to record video & # 39; s with a shorter delay of 33 percent.
World class connectivity
To provide the best connectivity to users of Kirin 980-powered devices, Huawei integrated the world's first modem to support LTE Cat.21 with a maximum download speed of 1.4 Gbps. In addition, the Kirin 980 supports carrier aggregation, even across frequency bands, so that users can choose their mobile operators and still enjoy the same premium connectivity experience regardless of where they are.
Inspired by nature
At IFA 2018, Huawei also announced the launch of two new gradient variants for the HUAWEI P20 series: Morpho Aurora and Pearl White, extending the range of gradient colors to four. In creating these two unique shades, Huawei once again turned to nature for inspiration. The Morpho Aurora is inspired by the Morpho butterfly, while the Pearl White exudes the same elegance as the iridescent mother-of-pearl.
The next generation AI experience is around the corner. Stay up to date with the launch of the first Kirin 980-powered Mate Series device, scheduled to arrive in October *.
* The specifications of the Kirin 980 do not represent the specifications of the phone that uses this chip. All data and benchmark results are based on internal tests. Results can vary in different environments.