Huawei at the IFA 2017 announced Kirin 970, its next-generation processor of high-end devices and the world’s first mobile SoC with dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). It is an Octa-Core SoC with four ARM Cortex A73 Cores clocked up to 2.4GHz and four ARM Cortex A53 Cores clocked up to 1.8 GHz, similar to the Kirin 960, but this is built on 10nm TSMC process technology compared to 16nm FinFET process in the predecessor and has a faster ARM Mali-G72MP12 GPU. It has support for LTE Category 18 offering download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps.
“Compared to a quad-core Cortex-A73 CPU cluster, the Kirin 970’s new heterogeneous computing architecture delivers up to 25x the performance with 50x greater efficiency,” said Huawei.
Highlights of Huawei Kirin 970 SoC
- Up to 2.4 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A73 + up to 1.8 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A53
- ARM Mali-G72MP12 GPU
- TSMC 10nm process
- Neural Processing Unit (NPU): 1.92T FP16 OPS
- Dual ISP: Motion detection and low light enhancement, 4-hybrid focus
- Video: HDR10; 4K at 60fps decoding, 4K at 30fps encoding
- Security Engine: TEE and inSE
- Integrated Multi-mode 4G LTE Modem – Category 18 FDD / TDD for downloads (up to 1.2 Gbps)
Huawei did not reveal any other specifications of the SoC, but it said that the Kirin 970 will power the Mate 10 series that will be announced at an event in Munich, Germany on October 16.
Commenting on the announcement, Richard Yu, CEO of HUAWEI Consumer Business Group, said:
"Huawei Kirin 970 10nm SoC with dedicated neural network processing unit announced",
As we look to the future of smartphones, we’re at the threshold of an exciting new era. Mobile AI = On-Device AI + Cloud AI. HUAWEI is committed to developing smart devices into intelligent devices by building end-to-end capabilities that support coordinated development of chips, devices, and the cloud. The ultimate goal is to provide a significantly better user experience. The Kirin 970 is the first in a series of new advances that will bring powerful AI features to our devices and take them beyond the competition.