Huawei's 7nm Kirin 980 To Have New CPU, GPU, AI Chip: Rumor

The Kirin 980 system-on-chip from Huawei's subsidiary HiSilicon will have a new CPU, GPU, and NPU, established industry insider from China known only by their social media handle "Ice Universe" said earlier today. The same source added that the company's next Android flagship will feature a triple-camera setup, likely referring to the Mate 20 lineup of high-end phablets. Huawei already commercialized three-lens imaging systems with the P20 Pro released earlier this year but it's presently unclear whether the setup found on the back of select Mate 20 models will be identical to what French image benchmarking service DxOMark claims is still the best mobile camera ever created.

The Kirin 980 will be manufactured on TSMC's 7nm process node, as per the same source, with that particular claim already being made by other industry insiders in recent months. The bit about a new GPU being part of the package likely refers to ARM's Mali-G72 MP24, a successor to the Mali-G72 MP12 found inside last year's Kirin 970 which ended up powering the Mate 10 and P20 lines. Previous reports about the chip's CPU pointed to an octa-core affair with a high-performance quad-core cluster capable of operating at up to 2.8GHz. Details about the silicon's new neural processing unit are still vague, though Huawei will almost certainly deliver a chip capable of even more demanding on-device AI computing. The 2017 NPU found inside the Kirin 970 was already powerful enough to serve as the "brain" of a self-driving car in controlled conditions.

The Kirin 980 is widely expected to be officially announced at Huawei's IFA keynote taking place on the opening day of the Berlin, Germany-based trade show - August 31. Besides the Mate 20 series, the same chip should also found itself inside the P30 series of Android flagships rumored to launch near the end of the first quarter of 2019, as well as the Honor 11 or however the company's subsidiary ends up calling the 2019 successor to the newly unveiled Honor 10. Huawei is presently also said to be working on its own GPUs but is understood to be far from completing that ambitious project and is hence expected to continue using ARM's technologies for the foreseeable future.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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