Huawei confirms Kirin 980 will be world’s first commercially available 7nm chipset

Huawei is expected to announce its next-generation high-end Kirin 980 processor at IFA 2018 on August 31. Ahead of launch, CEO Richard Yu has confirmed that the Kirin 980 will be the world’s first commercially available 7nm chipset, and that devices being powered it will be launched sometime in October this year. The devices in question will belong to Huawei’s upcoming Mate 20 line-up with at least two phones, the Mate 20 and the Mate 20 Pro, expected to cram in the latest mobile processor. The third device of the lot, the Mate 20 Lite, is likely to come with a different chipset.

Core specifics of the Kirin 980 processor recently leaked online suggesting Huawei’s next-generation mobile SoC will pack a Mali-G72 MP24 GPU and second-generation NPU. The Kirin 980 will apparently run an octa-core CPU in 4x Cortex-A77 + 4x Cortex-A55 configuration while RAM has been listed as LPDDR4X. This, particularly the GPU, would be a big upgrade over the Kirin 970 and its Mali-G72 MP12 GPU. Huawei has confirmed that the Kirin 980 will be up to 20 per cent faster and up to 40 per cent more power efficient that the Kirin 970.

Rumours that Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor will be based on TSMC’s 7nm FinFET fabrication process have been doing the rounds for sometime now. There have also been reports that Huawei has been working on its own dedicated GPU, but the recent leak seemingly refutes that report. The Kirin 980 is also expected to cram an all new Neural Processing Unit called the Cambrian NPU that should give Huawei’s push for artificial intelligence and machine learning some added boost.

Note that it is not yet confirmed that Huawei will actually launch the Kirin 980 processor at IFA but it has history in its favour. The Kirin 970 processor, to recall, was launched at IFA 2017 and also Huawei is known to launch its premier high-end phones towards the end of the year. Subsidiary Honor is meanwhile hosting its own IFA keynote where it would likely announce the Honor Note 10 for the global markets.

The Kirin 980 would be a high-end processor that would power Huawei’s upcoming flagship phones like the Mate 20 Pro. The upcoming Mate 20 Pro is expected to be high on specs, and if a string of leaked specs doing the rounds are to be believed, the phone in question could be pushing the boundaries some more. In comparison to both Huawei’s top-end phones as well as other high-end phones in the market right now. The leaked specs seem to suggest that the Mate 20 Pro would follow the Porsche Design Mate RS more than the Mate 10 Pro.


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