Huawei's latest Kirin 980 SoC could give the Snapdragon 845 a run for its money

The Kirin 980 is the first mobile chipset to be made using the 7 nm manufacturing process.

At IFA 2018, Huawei announced the Kirin 980 SoC, which is its latest flagship chipset and will be used in all of its upcoming flagships as well as Honor flagships of this year. As it so happens, the Kirin 980 has been under development for the past 3 years and if Huawei's claims are correct, it could very well spell trouble for its rival Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845.

Huaweis latest Kirin 980 SoC could give the Snapdragon 845 a run for its money

Kirin 980.

The Kirin 980 is the first mobile chipset to be made using the 7 nm manufacturing process. It is also the very first SoC made around ARM's Cortex-A76 CPU and the Mali-G76 GPU, which are brand new designs. The Kirin 980 may not be larger than a fingernail, but it boasts of more than 6.9 billion transistors running on it. The Snapdragon 845 in comparison has about 4.3 billion, as does Apple's A11 Bionic chip.

Competing chips are built on a 10 nm process, which means that in theory, they're relatively more power hungry and generate more heat.

The Kirin 980 is an octa-core chipset where two cores are for so-called turbo performance, two are for long-term performance, and the last four are used to maximize power efficiency. This is a departure from traditional CPU design where you will usually find a combination of high-performance and high-efficiency cores only.

The Kirin 980 is also the first chipset with a Cat.21 smartphone modem supporting speeds up to 1.4 Gbps and is also 5G ready. It will also be offering the "world's fastest" smartphone Wi-Fi speed, apparently clocking in at 1,732 Mbps. The Snapdragon 845 in comparison maxes out at 866 Mbps.

That really is a lot of firsts and it is no wonder that Huawei was very keen on comparing its chipset with its arch-rival, the Snapdragon 845. Keep in mind though, the Snapdragon 845 SoC is more than 7 months old while the Kirin 980 has not even started shipping as of now. Qualcomm's new chips are also expected in the next few months.

Huawei claims that the Kirin 980 has 20 percent better bandwidth and 22 percent lower latency than the Snapdragon 845. While gaming, the 980 will be producing a 22 percent higher frame rate than the 845 while consuming 32 percent less power, claims Huawei.

The Kirin 980 also has a dual NPU which is said to accomplish AI-assisted image recognition tasks at a rate of 4,500 images per minute. The A11 Bionic and Snapdragon 845 identified 2,371 and 1,458 respectively, as per Huawei. Added to this is the fact that the Kirin 980 is 46 percent faster at camera processing than its predecessor, the Kirin 970.

The Mate 20 series and the Honor Magic 2 are going to using the Kirin 980 chipset in the coming months.

We've got boots on the ground at the IFA 2018 show floor in Berlin and will be giving you LIVE updates from the event. To follow everything IFA, simply head here.

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