Huawei has chosen their keynote event here at IFA 2018 to Launch their new Kirin 980 SOC which features the first 7nm chip construction.
The key stand out features of the chipset are to enable better facilitation of the On Device AI that was introduced last year with the Kirin 970.
We now have a new CPU that is based on a Cortex A-76 platform using an octa-core architecture of “2 Big, 2 Middle and 4 Small. These are 2 High-performance Cortex A-76 cores, “High-efficiency Cortex A-76 cores and then 4 Cortex A-55 cores. This unique configuration is manipulated by using an innovative Kirin CPU subsystem with Flex Scheduling technology to allow the right core to be assigned to the right tasks as per the needs being demanded by the user.
Essentially this is meaning that if you are just using the phone to send a text to someone then it will only utilise one of the smaller cores and then as you demand more such as streaming media more cores will come online to handle the load. It is not until you are using the device for high-end gaming that you will really start to push the load on the CPU that it will need to engage the high power and performing chips.
This allows the device to be very efficient and lean on battery life whilst also having the reserve power for multitasking and associated tasks.
Another area where there has been an improvement is in the areas concerning Graphics The SOC has now got a Mali-G76 GPU onboard allowing for a massive step up in graphics processing power of 46% whilst maintaining a 178% improvement in efficiency over the previous generation. In addition to this, Mali -G76 features innovative clock boosting technology that works with AI to identify gaming workloads and then allocate further resources as and when needed. So this will make your games work better and give higher framerates allowing for better fragging!
The other thing that Huawei wanted to shout about was the fact that the onboard AI system has now been doubled to allow much better facilitation of the chipsets new enhanced capabilities. So now we got double the amount of AI oomph. One of the areas were this can easily be seen and also understood by us mere mortals is when it comes to image recognition. Now we saw the real world capabilities of this in the form of the Kirin 970 and their self-guided car back at MWC earlier this year however that will now pale in comparison to what can now be done. The Kirin 980 with its Dual NPU set up will now be able to recognize 4500 images per minute up 120% over the previous gen. This I just a staggering number and I am excited to see how they utilize this on future devices.
Imaging has always been a big part of Huawei devices and it is whyI really like using my P20 Pro whenever I am travelling so to see some more improvements to the ISP on the chip s really exciting. They have continued the support for multi-camera setups and are also implementing an all-new HDR colour reproduction technology to manipulate contrast levels. This will improve the effectiveness of the shadowing effects that are found in the camera UI Improved motion tracking is also now on board to allow for much better recognition of moving objects allowing capture of those fleeting moments.
Last but by no means least is connectivity. The Kirin 980 will now support the worlds first LTE Cat.21 modem with a peak download speed of 1.4Gbps allowing for more seamless connectivity when on the go.
The device is also compatible with the Balong 5000 5G modem
All of these things have culminated in the Kirin 980 is a chipset that is setting the bar for others to be compared against for the rest of the year and I am genuinely excited by what is coming next from Huawei in the form of their Handsets.
Huawei Launches Kirin 980, the World’s First Commercial 7nm SoC
BERLIN, Germany—August 31, 2018—In his IFA 2018 keynote titled “The Ultimate Power of Mobile AI”, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Mr. Richard Yu introduced the Kirin 980, the system on a chip (SoC) that will bring about the next evolution of mobile AI. As the world’s first commercial SoC manufactured with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer Company’s (TSMC) 7nm process, Kirin 980 combines best-in-class performance, efficiency, connectivity features, and Dual NPU AI processing power.
“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,” said Mr. Yu. “Equipped with all-new CPU, GPU and Dual NPU, the Kirin 980 is the ultimate engine to power next-generation productivity and entertainment applications.”
The cutting edge TSMC 7nm process technology enables Kirin 980 to pack 6.9 billion transistors within a 1cm2 die size, up 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 power efficiency.
The Kirin 980 is also the first SoC to embed Cortex-A76 cores, which are 75 percent more powerful and 58 percent more efficient compared to their previous generation. In an octa-core configuration, the CPU in Kirin 980 is comprised of two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores; two high-efficiency Cortex-A76 cores; and four extreme efficiency Cortex-A55 cores. To take full advantage of this unique configuration, Huawei developed an innovative Kirin CPU subsystem with Flex-Scheduling technology that flexibly allocates the right cores to the right tasks. This solution designates the large high-performance cores to handle immediate, intensive workloads; the large, high-efficiency cores to provide sustained performance; and ultra-efficiency cores to tackle everyday, light activities with extreme power efficiency. Running at higher clock speeds compared to the prior generation, Kirin 980 enables quicker app launch times, better multi-tasking and a generally smoother user experience.
As graphics in mobile games have become more and more sophisticated in recent years, Huawei has integrated the Mali-G76 GPU into the Kirin 980 to deliver unparalleled gaming experiences. Debuting with the Kirin 980, Mali-G76 offers 46 percent greater graphics processing power at 178 percent improved power efficiency over the previous generation. Mali-G76 also features an innovative clock boosting technology that utilizes AI to intelligently identify gaming workloads and adjust resource allocation for optimal gaming performance.
Industry’s First “Dual-Brain” Power
The latest Kirin SoC represents a new era of On-Device AI. The Dual NPU Kirin 980 elevates the On-Device AI experience with greater processing power and intelligence. The synergy between the Dual NPU results in an image recognition capability that is greater than the sum of two—the Kirin 980 can recognize up to 4,500 images per minute, up 120 percent compared to Kirin 970, further demonstrating Huawei’s industry leadership in the On-Device AI space. Additionally, Kirin 980 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.
In pursuit of the best smartphone photography experience, Huawei integrated its proprietary fourth-generation ISP into the SoC. In addition to a 46 percent increase in data throughput compared to its predecessor, the new ISP also provides better support for multi-camera configurations, as well as an all-new HDR color reproduction technology that can manipulate picture contrast to highlight objects on various parts of an image. In addition, Kirin 980 utilizes the Multi-pass noise reduction solution that accurately removes artifacts without scrubbing away image details, resulting in better quality on images taken in low-light scenarios. Another new feature of the ISP is improved motion tracking. When a user attempts to snap a photo of a moving person, the ISP can still recognize the subject with 97.4 percent accuracy, so any user can capture fleeting moments with ease.
The rise of video-centric social media platforms brought together with it a surge of demand for video capture features. Kirin 980 adopts a new pipeline dedicated to processing video captures, allowing the camera module to shoot videos with 33 percent shorter delay.
To deliver the best connectivity to users of Kirin 980-powered devices, Huawei integrated the world’s first modem supporting LTE Cat.21 with a peak download speed of 1.4Gbps. Additionally, the Kirin 980 supports carrier aggregation, even across frequency bands, so users are free to choose their mobile operators and still enjoy the same premium connectivity experience, regardless of where they are.
Inspired by Nature
At IFA 2018, Huawei also announced the launch of two new gradient variants for the HUAWEI P20 Series: Morpho Aurora and Pearl White , expanding its range of gradient colors to four. When creating these two unique hues, Huawei once again turned to nature for inspiration. The Morpho Aurora was inspired by the Morpho butterfly, while the Pearl White exudes the same elegance as the iridescent mother-of-pearl.
The next-generation AI experience is around the corner. Stay tuned for the launch of the first Kirin 980-powered Mate Series device, which is scheduled to arrive in October*.