We are quite fond of Huawei here at Coolsmartphone. We also have a soft spot for Honor. Now what is these companies have in common? Well, there are several things. One is the daddy brand and the other the offspring, they use the same design language etc.
The one I want to focus on here though is the fact that the both use HiSilicon chips.
These chips are normally branded with the Kirin brand and although they are not as powerful as those found in Qualcomm’s back yard they are by no means slouches.
I recently tested the Kirin 935 in my Huawei Mate S and Leigh also used the same chip in the Honor 7. We both found the experience to be largely lag free and battery friendly.
The Kirin 935 is ranked similarly to the Snapdragon 801, which is incendentally the same chip being used be OnePlus in their new “design” phone.
So it was exciting to see that HiSilicon are gearing up to announce their new flagship SOC (system on chip) – the Kirin 950. Rumours have it that the chip will be unvieled on the 5th and we can then expect to see it in a new device before the end of the month.
For those of you who found that the Mate S was lacking in screen real estate, worry not. The Mate 8 is on the horizon and rumoured to be arriving on the 28th. Here are some leaked pictures of it..
The specs look pretty good from what we have garnered so far, with 3/4GB RAM and 32/64GB storage sitting behind a 2k screen. All of this is wrapped up in an aluminium unibody. Expect to see the usual camera specs as they seem to be sticking to 13mp rear facing and 8mp up front, we’re not sure if we will see the photo light this time around. Lastly, although there has been no mention of it having a fingerprint reader, it would not surprise me in the slightest to see one here.
So, if you have not been tempted by Honor’s staggeringly cheap prices or by Huawei’s brilliant build quality and Force Touch screen tech, then you may want to pay attention to what Huawei have up their sleeve in the coming weeks.
This is now official and it is smoking hot it has blasted benchmarks wide open with a result of 82,945 on Antutu
The next fastet chip is the yet to be announced Tegra X1 at 74,977. Their is an unverified score from the Snapdragon 820 at 83,774 but as I said this is unverified and that chipset is not available yet. We may see a phone with the Kirin 950 onboard later this month as I indicated in the above article.
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Key Messages of Kirin950 Press Briefing
On November 5, 2015, Huawei showcased its latest smartphone SoC, the Kirin950, at
a press briefing in Beijing.
1. Kirin SoCs powers 4G+ commercialization around the world
In June 2014, Huawei released the world’s first 4G+ SoC, the Kirin920, and the first
LTE+ smartphone, the Honor 6. Today, all Kirin 900 series chips can support 4G+,
including the Kirin920, Kirin930, Kirin950. More than 50 percent of smartphones in
China are powered by Kirin SoCs today.
2. Kirin950 supports VoLTE, delivering a better HD voice experience
With the debut of the Kirin 930, Kirin SoCs continued to enhance the user experience
on 4G+ networks. The Kirin 930 further optimized 4G+ Internet browsing and the Kirin
950 now delivers an HD voice experience to users via 4G+ networks.
Upgraded 4G+ networks and increased bandwidth have created more opportunities
for HD voice applications. Voices can be transmitted with higher integrity, making
them sound more realistic. Kirin 9xx SoCs support VoLTE technology, which has
doubled the voice sampling rate, increased the spectral range by 100 percent,
improved video call quality by 10 times, and enabled users to make calls while surfing
the Internet. Compared with legacy voice technologies, Kirin 950 VoLTE delivers a
much higher call quality and much lower network latency, to better meet the needs for
multi-party calls and ensure call quality.
To provide users with a better voice experience, the Kirin SoC team worked with
leading mobile operators in China, Europe and Korea to complete a two-year VoLTE
test. CMCC’s VoLTE commercialization pace is the fastest in China. Kirin950 received
the earliest VoLTE verification from CMCC. China Mobile has announced that VoLTE
will be put into commercial operation across its entire network by the end of 2015, and
Kirin 920/930/950 SoCs support VoLTE. Among VoLTE devices put into commercial use
lately across various provinces, the Kirin 920-based Mate 7 is a benchmark model.
3. Kirin 950 achieves a breakthrough in energy efficiency.
Managing power consumption is one of the smart phone industry’s biggest challenges.
Kirin SoCs take a balanced approach to managing performance and power
consumption, and the Kirin 950 has achieved breakthroughs both in performance and
user experience compared with its predecessors.
3.1 16nm FinFET plus process technology
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The process technology is the foundation for user experience. The Kirin 950 is among
the first SoCs to employ the 16nm FinFET plus process node, and is the first SoC in the
industry to commercialize the TSMC 16nm FinFET plus technology. The
commercialization of the 16nm FinFET plus technology faced major challenges:
? The number of transistors on a single chip has increased from 2 billion to 3
billion, thus doubling the difficulty of metal interconnection
? The 3D transistor structure makes the process much more complex
? The photolithography limitation entails the dismantling of the mask, thus
increasing the mask layers by nearly 30 percent
? The number of design constraints has increased from 10000+ to 40000.
The decision to move to a cutting-edge process means overcoming many engineering
challenges before commercialization. At the end of 2013, the Kirin SoC team started to
work closely with TSMC to solve the mass production issues for the advanced process.
The process taped out in April, 2014 and entered mass production in January, 2015.
3.2 Outstanding performance
To achieve a breakthrough in performance, Kirin 950 features the industry’s first ARM
4*A72+4*A53 big.LITTLE architecture and its new MaliT880 GPU. Compared with A57,
the performance of the new ARM Cortex A72 core has improved by 11 percent, and its
power consumption has decreased by 20 percent. The graphic rendering capacity of
Kirin 950’s new GPU ARM MaliT880 is 100 percent higher than its predecessor, and its
GFLOPS is also 100 percent higher than its predecessor. In addition, the Kirin 950’s
new architecture also includes a new LPDDR4, a new GIC500, and a new bus and FBC
applications, providing the Kirin 950 with a more powerful hardware performance
3.3 Fine tuning
Kirin 950 focuses on the user’s actual performance experience. A study shows that
quick responses and smooth operations are two key factors that affect user experience.
Quick responses depend on an SoC’s boost performance, while smooth operations
depend on its continuous performance. The Kirin SoC team optimized boost and
continuous performance. When the user triggers an operation, the SoC can respond to
it within 100ms, thus enabling a quick-response experience to the user. In active mode,
each frame can be rendered within 1/60 second to deliver a smooth-operation
In addition to its powerful hardware performance, the Kirin 950 employs Heuristic
Scheduling Algorithm (shortened for HSA) to fine-tune the system to address
Android’s native issues and two performance requirements: when the boost
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performance is required, it can make an accurate prediction and recover quickly; and
in normal scenarios, it can make most accurate performance predictions without
generating additional heat. Compared with its predecessor, the Kirin 950’s boost
performance has improved by 100 percent, and its continuous performance has
improved by 56 percent.
4 i5, the co-processor, enable chip-level intelligent positioning
The Kirin 950 contains a newly upgraded i5 co-processor which is based on the latest
M7 cores. Compared with M3, the performance of M7 has improved by 4 times, making
it the most powerful co-processor in the industry. As the tiny core of the Kirin 950’s
innovative big.LITTLE plus tiny core architecture, i5 can collaborate with big A72 cores
and little A53 cores to share resources. Under the intelligent scheduling by the main
system, when the master CPU is required, i5 in always-sensing mode can quickly wake
up the main CPU, thus greatly reducing the CPU start-up time. The i5 can put the
phone in always-sensing mode with an ultra-low power, and can receive data from
sensors continuously even if the phone is in sleep mode. Its power consumption is
much lower than that of the main CPU.
The algorithmic strength of a location service is much higher than that of a calculator
application. Specifically, its real-time requirements for floating point arithmetic cannot
be fulfilled by the previous M4/M3-based solutions. The M7-based i5 processor is
highly scalable in terms of architecture, making the Kirin 950 the first SoC that can
provide real-time location services for combined GPS, base station, WiFi and sensor
positioning in indoor environments, on viaducts and among buildings. It is a
hardware-based solution, reducing the power by 90 percent from 90mA to 6.5mA.
5 The self-developed ISP enhances Kirin 950’s camera feature.
With the Kirin 950, Huawei has introduced its own ISP technology to achieve a
premium level of performance. It supports 14bit dual ISPs, increasing the throughput
by 4 times to 960MPixel/s for quicker focusing. It also supports online dual 13M Pixel
Sensors, up to a 32MPixel Sensor, and can collect more complete image information.
The dedicated image post-processing DSP can deliver the best image quality and
effects. It integrates a high-end FD for fast and accurate face scanning, which can
identify up to 35 faces continuously in automatic face-scanning mode.
6 A new in-house RF chip supports more bands for global roaming.
Huawei’s new in-house RF chip provides features that could only be delivered by two
previous-generation chips. A single chip can support carrier aggregation with higher
integration and lower power. Compared with its predecessor, the new RF chip
supports more bands from 450MHz to 3.5G which satisfies roaming demands in more
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It is reported that Huawei’s latest flagship deviced based on Kirin 950 will be launched