Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 970 system-on-chip outscored the Qualcomm-made Snapdragon 845 in some synthetic benchmarks by approximately seven percent, according to the screenshots seen below which recently started circulating on Chinese social media platform Weibo. The difference between the two isn’t massive and is possibly even smaller than the newly uncovered results suggest seeing how they only show a couple of individual tests and not the average of a larger number of results. Likewise, synthetic benchmark scores are hardly indicative of real-world performance, especially in the context of such small margins.
With hardware only being part of the equation, it’s up to original equipment manufacturers to optimize their smartphones and the software running on them in a manner that takes maximum advantage of their silicon of choice. Still, the spotted benchmark results indicate that Huawei’s semiconductor subsidiary is now at the very least on par with Qualcomm in regards to the pure computational power of their flagship chips. The Kirin 970 is described by the Chinese tech giant as the world’s first artificial intelligence SoC, being equipped with a Neural Processing Unit solely dedicated to machine learning and general AI applications. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 also places a large focus on AI and will undoubtedly enjoy a much wider adoption than the Kirin 970 that’s only expected to power mobile devices from Huawei and its subsidiary Honor. Several such offerings like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Honor V10 have already been announced and more should be introduced come 2018, starting with the P11 lineup. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 845 should power the vast majority of Android flagships released over the course of the next year, including premium products from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Xiaomi. In overall, the Snapdragon 845 should be at least as popular as its direct predecessor which already powers well over 100 devices.
The semiconductor industry still won’t be moving away from the 10nm process node in 2018 but a jump to the 7nm technology is expected in early 2019, being pioneered by TSMC that’s also said to be the manufacturer of the Snapdragon 855 and replace Samsung as Qualcomm’s chip partner. Samsung’s foundry business is skipping the commercialization of the regular 7nm standard and is instead focusing on delivering one that takes advantage of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, industry sources said earlier this month, suggesting that Qualcomm will return to Samsung for the Snapdragon 865 that’s expected to be commercialized in 2020.