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.
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.
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.
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.
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.