Huawei's Kirin 985 Is A Flagship SoC With Integrated 5G Modem

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Huawei's fully-owned chipmaker HiSilicon has just announced a new 5G mobile SoC. The new Kirin 985 is a flagship 5G chipset. However, as you might assume from the name, it isn't as powerful as last year's Kirin 990 5G. The latter still remains Huawei's most powerful mobile SoC.

A couple of weeks ago, Huawei announced its first mid-range 5G chipset, the Kirin 820 5G. The Chinese company also reportedly has a Kirin 990-successor in the works, tentatively called Kirin 1020.

Kirin 985 5G specifications

The Kirin 985 5G is based on TSMC's 7nm process and integrates a single-chip 5G baseband solution. It is an octa-core CPU featuring a triple cluster arrangement of one large core, three medium cores, and four small power-efficient cores.

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Huawei isn't detailing core speeds but an AI benchmark listing earlier this month had revealed that the Kirin 985 features a single Cortex-A76 core clocked at 2.58GHz, three Cortex-A76 cores operating at 2.4GHz each, and four Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.84GHz.

For reference, the Kirin 990 5G has two A76 cores operating at 2.86GHz and two more at 2.36GHz each. The four Cortex-A55 cores on Kirin 990 are clocked at 1.95GHz. So the Kirin 990 is clearly more powerful in terms of CPU performance.

The new SoC integrates an octa-core Mali-G77 GPU and features the same dual-core NPU AI unit and ISP 5.0 image unit as the Kirin 990. It supports dual-mode standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) 5G as well as 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.

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This chipset is said to offer a peak download speed of 1277Mbps and an upload speed of 173Mbps. That's significantly higher than what Qualcomm's current flagship, the Snapdragon 865, offers.

The new Kirin chipset offers 40-percent faster download speed while the upload speed is said to be about 75-percent faster than the American company's solution.

The Kirin 985 5G also tops the Snapdragon X55-integrated chipset in high-speed scenarios. At a speed of 90 km/h, this chipset can reach download and upload speeds of 589Mbps and 63Mbps respectively. Those figures are about 31-percent and 37-percent higher than Snapdragon 865's offerings respectively.

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The Kirin 985 5G is also more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 865. Huawei claims an energy efficiency ratio of about 1.5 over Qualcomm's solution. This chipset also features 5G anti-jamming capability and supports dual SIM.

Huawei's Nova 7 series may use the new chipset

HONOR, a Huawei sub-brand, launched the HONOR 30 series of flagship smartphones earlier this week. While the HONOR 30 Pro and 30 Pro+ feature the Kirin 990 5G SoC, the more affordable HONOR 30 packs the brand new Kirin 985 5G chipset.

Next up, Huawei's Nova 7 series will reportedly pack the company's new 5G chipset. The Huawei Nova 7 series of smartphones launches on April 23 in China.

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