Last year, Huawei started making their own chips, which was a competitor for Tegra 3. Unfortunately, either because of lack of optimizations or not very good drivers, the chip seemed to have lower performance than Tegra 3, even though on paper it was supposed to be about as powerful. But now Huawei is going to give it another try, this time with both a next-gen CPU (Cortex A15) and a next-gen GPU (Mali T604).
The Cortex A15 CPU is rumored to be clocked at 1.8 Ghz, and we also know from earlier announcements from Huawei that they are going to make an octo-core chip, which means it will use Cortex A7 for lower average power consumption, too. This should be as powerful as Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa, unless the drivers are not very good again, or the chips aren’t very well made.
The GPU seems to be a Mali T604, the same one used by Samsung in Exynos 5 Dual, which is found inside the Nexus 10 and Samsung’s ARM-based Chromebook. This part is a little disappointing, as by now there should be plenty of next-gen Mali options that are more powerful than that. They should’ve been able to use Mali 624 or Mali T658 by now. But my guess is Huawei doesn’t think the GPU is that big of a priority, which is unfortunate, because I think it is, and it should be a priority for Huawei, too.
While I don’t think the GPU is the most important part of a chip (the CPU is), as many seem to think when Apple’s chips get named as the “fastest” (in GPU only), I do think it plays a very important role in a device. We’re now using very high resolution displays, and we’re using hardware acceleration for the user interface, too, and both are a big part of the user’s experience with the device, and define how “good” or how “fast” their device looks and feels.
Huawei intends to use this chip, called K3V3, to power a next-gen flagship phone of theirs, that will be only 6.3mm thick, will have 2 GB of RAM, a 4.9″ 1080p display, 2,600 mAh battery and a 13 MP camera. On paper, the device looks competitive with other devices out there, or launching soon, but how well will sell will depend on how good it looks, what’s its retail price, and on Huawei’s branding, which isn’t as good as Samsung’s or even HTC’s branding.