Huawei Kirin 980 7nm SoC with Dual NPU announced

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Huawei took to IFA 2018 where it has announced Kirin 970 successor called Kirin 980. It is world’ manufactured with TSMC’s 7nm process technology and is world’s first chipset to feature in dedicated Dual Neural Processing Unit (NPU).

Its Dual NPU can recognize up to 4600 images per minute which is a solid 120% increase from Kirin 970. Further more, it also supports major AI frameworks like Caffee, Tensoflow and Tensorflow Lite. Huawei will also provide a suite of tools to allow developers the leverage dual NPU capabilities.

It has 6.9 billion transistors on a 1cm2 die size, which is up by 1.6 times from its predecessor. Huawei states that when comparing to 10nm process, the 7nm process delivers 20% improved SoC performance and 40% improved SoC Efficiency. Company further adds that Kirin 980 offers 75% improved performance and 58% better energy efficiency when compared to Kirin 970’s statistics.

The Huawei Kirin 980 SoC features in deca-cores which consists of up to 2.6GHz ARM Cortex-A76 x 2 (Turbo Performance) + up to 1.9GHz ARM Cortex-A76 x 2 (Long lasting performance) + up to 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A55 cores (Power Efficiency). Along with there is i8 co-processor. The chipset also bundles in ARM Mali-G76 MP10 GPU clocked at 720MHz.

The Chipset also integrates multi-mode 4G LTE mode which is capable of delivering Cat.12 FDD / TDD downloads of up to 1.4Gbps. It is also 5G ready thanks to Balong 5000 Modem. Other connectivity features include 4 x 4 MIMO, 2 x 2 MIMO, 5CC CA, 256QAM (200Mbps download), 1 x 20MHz CA and 256-QAM.

Other specifications of Kirin 980 SoC include support for 4 x 16-bit LPDDR4X (2133MHz) memory, Dual ISP with 46% improved performance and support for HDR10, 4K at 60Fps (decoding) and 4K at 30Fps (encoding). There is a special security engine built-in as well.

For those who are hoping to get smartphones with Kirin 980 SoC, the Huawei Mate 20 series will be announced on October 16 at an event in London. It will come with this new chipset.

Richard Yu, CEO of HUAWEI Consumer Business Group, said:

Last year, we showed the world the potential of On-Device AI with the Kirin 970, and this year, we’ve designed an all-round powerhouse that not only features outstanding AI capabilities, but also brings cutting-edge raw performance to consumers.Equipped with all-new CPU, GPU and Dual NPU, the Kirin 980 is the ultimate engine to power the next-generation productivity and entertainment applications.
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