Huawei's New HiSilicon Kirin 820 Brings 5G To The Masses

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Back in December 2019, reports emerged that Huawei is working on a mid-range chipset with a built-in 5G modem. Now, during the HONOR 30S launch event in China, the company finally announced the new Kirin 820 5G SoC.

Huawei also has a flagship 5G mobile SoC in the works. The successor to Kirin 990 5G, the new chipset will reportedly be called Kirin 1020.

Kirin 820 5G specifications

The successor to last year's Kirin 810, the Kirin 820 is aimed at mid-range 5G smartphones. It features an octa-core CPU and is based on a 7nm architecture, much like its predecessor. It also consists of four ARM Cortex A76 cores and four ARM Cortex A55 cores.

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However, unlike the Kirin 810, which features a dual cluster arrangement with two Cortex A76 cores operating at up to 2.27 GHz and six Cortex A55 cores operating at up to 1.88 GHz, the Kirin 820 features a triple CPU core configuration.

The new SoC has one Cortex A76 core clocked at 2.36GB, while the other three are clocked at 2.22GHz. The four power-efficient Cortex A55 cores are clocked at 1.84GHz. Huawei says this triple cluster arrangement results in up to 27-percent performance improvement over Kirin 810.

ARM's Mali-G57 hexa-core GPU handles the graphics on the Kirin 820, which is again a big improvement over the Mali-G52 GPU on Kirin 810. The updated GPU reportedly offers 38-percent performance improvement. The new GPU also supports GPU Turbo and Kirin Gaming+ 2.0 technology.

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The Kirin 820 5G also packs a new NPU (neural processing unit) with 1.33 TFLOPS computing power. It improves AI performance by 73-percent over the Kirin 810.

The new chipset uses the same Kirin ISP 5.0 as the flagship Kirin 990 SoC which supports BM3D SLR image noise reduction and video dual-domain noise reduction. It also supports 4K video recording at 60fps.

For 5G connectivity, the Kirin 820 5G packs Huawei's Balong 5000 5G modem, the same modem as the Kirin 990. It supports dual-mode standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) 5G. The Kirin 820 5G SoC also supports dual SIM.

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HONOR 30S launched with Kirin 820 5G

The all-new Kirin 820 5G SoC makes its debut on the HONOR 30S, the latest offering from the Huawei sub-brand. The handset was announced earlier this week.

The HONOR 30S comes with 8GB of RAM and will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage variants. It gets a 6.5-inch fullHD+ display, a side-mounted physical fingerprint sensor, a 4,000mAh battery with 40W fast charging, four rear cameras, and the Android 10-based Magic UI 3.1.1 software.

This mid-range smartphone will go on sale in China on April 7 starting at CNY2,399 (~$338) for the 128GB variant. The 256GB model costs CNY2,699 ($380) in China.

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