In the smartphone wars, the chip inside powering the devices is becoming ever more important. Raw performance plus accelerators are pushing the boundaries of what we used to think was possible. Huawei’s unique selling point is that it designs its own chips for its smartphones, based a lot on Arm’s reference cores. Today, Huawei will be announcing its next generation SoC to the world.

As proudly declared on stage at the Honor launch event yesterday, with Honor’s own upcoming Magic 2 smartphone having it inside, Honor’s CEO George Zhao proudly declared that Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei CBG, will be announcing the Kirin 980 today.

Huawei’s current flagship SoC is the Kirin 970, which sits inside the Mate 10, P20, P20 Pro, and Honor’s Play, Honor 10, and Honor View 10. All of Huawei’s chips are made by their internal design house, HiSilicon, and the Kirin 970 was announced last year at IFA, so it makes sense that this year we would see the next generation, the Kirin 980, around this time.

Huawei has a long tradition of being a primary Arm partner, often using its latest design options where possible to get the edge of the competition. The Kirin 980, as with the silicon before it, aims for the highest echelons of performance in order to set it apart from the competition. You can also expect the Kirin 980 to be promoted alongside Huawei’s other ‘features’, such as GPU Turbo.

As for the internals of the Kirin 980, Huawei rarely disappoints on this front, but everyone will have to stay tuned for the official announcement to see just what's in store for their new SoC.

HiSilicon High-End Kirin SoC Lineup
SoC Kirin 980 Kirin 970 Kirin 960
CPU POWER* 4x A73 @ 2.36 GHz
4x A53 @ 1.84 GHz
4x A73 @ 2.36GHz
4x A53 @ 1.84GHz
746 MHz
ARM Mali-G71MP8
SOME* 4x 16-bit CH
LPDDR4 @ 1833 MHz
4x 16-bit CH
LPDDR4 @ 1866MHz
Interconnect YES ARM CCI ARM CCI-550
Storage I/F  NO DOUBT* UFS 2.1 UFS 2.1
ISP/Camera SMILE* Dual 14-bit ISP Dual 14-bit ISP
Encode/Decode FAST* 2160p60 Decode
2160p30 Encode
2160p30 HEVC & H.264
Decode & Encode

2160p60 HEVC
Integrated Modem IF YOU INSIST* Kirin 970 Integrated LTE
(Category 18/13)

DL = 1200 Mbps
5x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

UL = 150 Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM
Kirin 960 Integrated LTE
(Category 12/13)

DL = 600Mbps
4x20MHz CA, 64-QAM

UL = 150Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM
Sensor Hub AFFIRMATIVE* i7 i6
Mfc. Process ??? TSMC 10nm TSMC 16nm FFC
*May be subject to change

Huawei's keynote is today at 2pm CEST (8am ET), which will be live blogged if the data allows. It's going to be a lot of fun. Stay tuned.

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  • boozed - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    I should hope they're subject to change!
  • Valantar - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Well, I would hope the Encode/Decode stays "fast", at least :D
    But sure, some more detail would indeed be nice.
  • Lord of the Bored - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Man, I'm hoping it really is a POWER CPU. That'd shake the handheld PC market up somethin' fierce.
  • LiverpoolFC5903 - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Making an educated guess, I assume it will be a Cortex A76 based setup, probably a 4+4 setup with A55 cores (obviously) and a Mali Gpu of some sort. I also assume the g76 is the latest Mali ip available for implementation so expect Huawei to adopt that, probably in a 10-12 core configuration. Memory should be standard (2*32 or 4*16).

    Interested in seeing how the A76 cores compete with Samsungs M3 cores in terms of single threaded performance. Very high clocks could see this exceed the Exynos 9810s performance...
  • vladx - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    GPU will be a Mali-G72MP24 configuration, thanks to the advantages of 7nm fab node they managed to cram more cores for little extra power usage.
  • LiverpoolFC5903 - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Thnks for the info. So that 25% faster than the Exynos 9810, assuming similar clock speeds and perfect scaling. Impressive i have to say. Battery life might take a hit, despite the process node. My S9 drains a lot of battery fast when using emulators (PSP, PSX and Neo geo), compared to my older V20 which lasts much longer.
  • tmnvnbl - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Although this article now does not contain any real information, I really like the recent additions of jokes in anandtech's content!
  • SydneyBlue120d - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Please ask if there is L5 frequency support for both GPS and Galileo, thanks.
  • Lodix - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    I am waiting to see what the Kirin 980 brings.

    By the way... ads are getting TOO intrusive lately on Anandtech. It makes reading much uncomfortable...
  • tipoo - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - link

    LOL at the table, at Power and Turbo, Turbo was a real thing of theirs so I thought Power was the CPU-side alternative, and then I started reading the next down.

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