The Kirin 970 is official and Huawei has set a record with the new flagship chip. The 10nm chip is the first mobile computing unit with a built-in AI computing Neural Processing Unit NPU.
Before we dive into the configuration of the Kirin 970, lets talk about its AI NPU. Instead of letting the CPU carry out AI computing tasks, the NPU is assigned the tasks and it does it better and faster. According to the figures provided, the Kirin 970’s NPU delivers performance that is 25 times more than the CPU’s, and efficiency that is 50 times greater. That means lesser time and power required for AI tasks.
The TSMC-built Kirin 970 is an 8-core CPU with a clockspeed of uP to 2.4GHz i.e. 4 x Cortex A73 at 2.4GHz + 4 x Cortex 53 at 1.8GHz. It has a 12-core Mali G72MP12 GPU, making it the first commercially available chip to use ARM’s latest GPU. The GPU provides a 20% performance increase over the previous generation as well as a 50% increase in efficiency. Its Kirin NPU can perform 1.92 Teraflops when using 16-bit floating point numbers.
The Kirin 970 has 4.5G Cat.18 LTE and offers gigabit LTE speeds of 1.2Gbps. It also features an advanced dual ISP with face and motion detection, 4-hybrid focus, low-light and motion shooting. Since the Kirin 970 will be appearing in the Huawei Mate 10 series first, expect them to have an impressive camera performance.
The chip also has HDR10 support and 4K video encode and decode. It supports LPPDR 4X RAM (1883MHz) and UFS 2.1 storage. It also features an i7 sensor processor, iNSE and TEE security engines and support for HiFi audio.
Huawei says it has built an open AI ecosystem so apps can access NPU capabilities directly and via 3rd party AI frameworks. The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro are the first two devices that will be powered by the new chipset and they will be announced in Munich on October 16.