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Huawei Intros Kirin 980, a 7nm SoC for Next-Gen Smartphones

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Aug 31, 2018, 7:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Huawei today announced the Kirin 980, its premiere system-on-a-chip for mobile devices. The chip adopts a 7nm process, allowing for a 20% boost in power output and a 40% jump in efficiency when compared to Huawei's 10nm process. The chip employs eight cores in a unique configuration. It includes two high-performance ARM Cortex A76 cores, two high-efficiency A76 cores, and four extreme-efficiency Cortex A55 cores. Huawei says a flex-scheduling subsystem assigns tasks to the appropriate cores as needed. The 980 adopts the Mail G76 GPU, which offers 46% greater graphics processing power and 178% improved efficiency. Clock boosting technology allows the G76 identify games and adjust accordingly. Huawei has given the Kirin 980 two NPUs (neural processing units) to improve on-device AI. The chip can identify 4,500 images per minute. The new image signal processor improves data throughput by 46% and better supports multi-camera configurations. It handles multi-pass noise reduction for better low-light results, and improves motion tracking for sharper focus. On the connectivity side of things, the Kirin 980 supports Cat 21 LTE with carrier aggregation, delivering download speeds up to 1.4 Gbps. Huawei says the Kirin 980 will make its debut in a new Mate series phone in October.

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