Huawei’s Kirin 980 is the First Mobile 7nm Chip in the World

Huawei has unveiled the processor that it hopes will take out Qualcomm and Samsung both. Its Kirin 980 is built on a 7nm processor, the first mobile processor to do so, and brings a 20% performance increase while reducing the efficiency at 40% over its predecessor.


In terms of basics, the processor is built around eight cores, in a 2 + 2 + 4 layout. There are two high-power Cortex-A76 cores for the most demanding tasks, followed by two lower-clocked Cortex-A76 cores for lesser demanding ones, with the former two clocked at 2.6GHz and the latter at 1.92GHz. Finally, there are four Cortex-A55 cores for everyday stuff, clocked at 1.8GHz.

It is accompanied by the newer Mali-G72 GPU, which is up to 46% faster, and 178% more power efficient, a remarkable step up from before. There is a neural processor unit (NPU) included as well, which can now recognize 4500 images per minute, an improvement of 120% compared to Kirin 970.

The new ISP brings a 46% increase in terms of data output, which can be helpful in multi-camera setups and better HDR output, while also claiming to improve noise reduction.

Connectivity and Availability

The Kirin 980 also brings some major improvements in terms of connectivity, being the first to support Cat.21 LTE, allowing speeds of 1.4Gbps. With 5G on the horizon, this is the best you can do before taking the plunge. It also supports Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1732 Mbps.

The processor may be launched by the end of this year, with the much-awaited Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Whether it makes the Chinese company a big name in the semiconductor world remains to be seen. It’ll be interesting to see how it actually performs compared to the Snapdragon 845.

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