Huawei Kirin 980 world’s first 7nm SoC with Dual NPU announced


Huawei at the IFA 2018 announced Kirin 980, its next-generation processor of high-end devices and the world’s first commercial mobile SoC manufactured with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer Company’s (TSMC) 7nm proces and with dedicated Dual Neural Processing Unit (NPU). It is an Octa-Core SoC with two ARM Cortex A76 Cores clocked up to 2.6GHz for Turbo performance, two ARM Cortex A76 Cores clocked up to 1.92GHz for Long-lasting performance and four ARM Cortex A55 Cores clocked up to 1.8 GHz for power efficiency. It has support for LTE Cat.21 offering download speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps.

It packs 6.9 billion transistors within a 1cm2 die size, up by 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 efficiency,” said Huawei. Compared to Kirin 970, the Kirin 980 promises 75% improved performance and 58% better energy efficiency.

The 10-core Mali-G76 GPU has clock boosting technology that intelligently identify gaming workloads and adjust resource allocation for optimal gaming performance. It also promise 46% improved graphics and 178% improved power efficiency over the previous generation.

With Dual NPU, it can recognize up to 4,600 images per minute, up 120% compared to Kirin 970. It also supports common AI frameworks such as Caffee, Tensorflow and Tensorflow Lite, and provides a suite of tools that simplifies the difficulty of engineering On-Device AI, allowing developers to easily tap into the leading processing power of the Dual NPU.

Highlights of Huawei Kirin 980 SoC

  • Up to 2.6GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A76 + up to 1.9 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A76 + up to 1.8GHz ARM Cortex A55, i8 co processor
  •  720 MHz ARM Mali-G76MP10 GPU
  • TSMC 7nm process
  • Memory: 4x 16-bit LPDDR4X at 2133MHz
  • Dual Neural Processing Unit (NPU)
  • Dual ISP with 46% increase in performance
  • Video: HDR10; 4K at 60fps decoding, 4K at 30fps encoding
  • Security Engine
  • Integrated Multi-mode 4G LTE Modem – Category 21 FDD / TDD for downloads (up to 1.4 Gbps), 4 x 4 MIMO, 5CC CA, 256QAM;  200 Mbps downloads, 2×2 MIMO, 1x20MHz CA, 256-QAM
  • 5G ready with Balong 5000 Modem

The Huawei Kirin 980 SoC will power the Mate 20 series that will be announced at an event in London on October 16.

Commenting on the launch,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.


Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He is currently using the Motorola Moto G4 Plus. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+