Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor first surfaced in the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro last year. It then made its way into the Honor View 10, the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, and most recently, the Honor 10. I guess it is safe to say the processor has had a good run and should make way for its successor – the Kirin 980.
The Kirin 980 is expected to first appear in the Huawei Mate 20 series following its announcement later this year. While we already know what the processor is capable of thanks to an early AnTuTu listing of the Mate 20, there is still a lot we don’t know about the chipset yet. Thankfully, more information has surfaced from an insider from the Taiwanese industrial chain.
The source confirms that the Kirin 980 will be manufactured by TSMC and it will be made using the same 7nm process used for Apple’s A12 processor. The Kirin 980 will also feature a new Cambrian NPU from Cambricon Technologies.
For those who don’t know Cambricon, it is a Chinese company that makes smart chips for AI and cloud computing. Its Cambrian 1A AI processor is the NPU present in the Kirin 970.
The new Cambrian AI processor is said to provide 5 trillion calculations per watt and will be available in dual, quad, and octa-core variants depending on the level of AI processing required.
The Kirin 980 will also have ARM’s core A75 CPU cores but will feature Huawei’s own GPU, a first for the company.
We most likely won’t see the Kirin 980 launch until late Q3/early Q4 2018. Nevertheless, it already looks promising.