Kirin 980 core cluster and GPU details get leaked
The Kirin 980 has already been rumored to feature eight cores and most likely launching in late 2018. It will also get eight cores manufactured on the 7 nm FinFET tech from TSMC, so it should theoretically perform 20% faster plus it may draw up to 40% less energy, and now, thanks to the latest leak from ITHome, the core cluster configuration and included GPU are known as well.
As with all next gen flagship SoCs, the Kirin will integrate at least some high-end ARM Cortex cores. ITHome claims that HiSilicon is aiming for a quad Cortex-A77 core cluster running at 2.8 GHz plus a quad Cortex-A55 core cluster that has unknown frequencies. Apparently, the Cortex-A77 will be ARM’s answer to Samsung’s Mongoose M4 cores, even though the latter ones are rumored to run at 3.0+ GHz frequencies.
Regarding the integrated GPU, HiSilicon is said to be including an in-house chip that is 50% faster than the Adreno 630 accelerator integrated in the Snapdragon 845. The new GPU will be compatible with Huawei’s GPU Turbo tech, which is supposed to further boost the performance and reduce energy requirements in the upcoming Mate 20 (Pro) smartphones.
HiSilicon is apparently more interested in AI applications instead of 5G, at least for the Kirin 980. The leak mentions that the upcoming SoC will not feature any 5G support, however, it will come with a new NPU that performs 5 trillion calculations per watt.
It remains to be seen how the Kirin 980 fairs against Samsung’s Exynos 9820, Apple’s A12 or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, as all of these SoCs should launch in late 2018 / early 2019.