Huawei has finally announced its latest flagship mobile SoC, the Kirin 970. The successor to the Kirin 960 from last year, Kirin 970 not only brings significant improvements in performance but also offers a new mobile AI computing platform that Huawei claims is “beyond the competition”.
First, let’s discuss the core specifications of the new chipset. The Kirin 970 SoC is manufactured on a 10nm FinFET process, a significant over the Kirin 960 that was manufactured on a 16nm FinFET process by TSMC. It features an octa-core CPU configuration with four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.4 GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz. Powering the graphics is the powerful Mali-G72MP12 GPU. The chipset features Huawei’s first mobile AI computing platform powered by a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that is claimed to boast 1.92 TFLOPs of FP16 compute performance. Some of the other highlights include Dual ISP for motion detection and low light enhancement, LTE Cat 18 modem supporting download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps, and HDR10 video support. Going by the specs on paper, it does seem likely that the Kirin 970 will outperform Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and Samsung’s Exynos 9 8895 in benchmarks. It also supports higher maximum LTE download speeds compared to its rivals.
The first device to be powered by the Kirin 970 is expected to be Huawei’s Mate 10, which is set to be officially unveiled on October 16th at a media event in Munich.
“As we look to the future of smartphones, we’re at the threshold of an exciting new era,” said Richard Yu, CEO of HUAWEI Consumer Business Group. “Mobile AI = On-Device AI + Cloud AI. HUAWEI is committed to developing smart devices into intelligent devices by building end-to-end capabilities that support coordinated development of chips, devices, and the cloud. The ultimate goal is to provide a significantly better user experience. The Kirin 970 is the first in a series of new advances that will bring powerful AI features to our devices and take them beyond the competition.”