Published in Mobiles

Huawei's new Kirin 960 SoC is the first with Cortex-A73 cores

by on03 November 2016

Powering Huawei's newest 5.9-inch phone

Huawei’s new Mate 9 is a 5.9-inch phablet that comes with with a Full HD screen and Kirin 960 SoC, featuring 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, micro SD card and the Mali-G71 MP8 GPU.

As we already wrote many details about the phone itself, we will provide a few more details about the new Kirin 960 SoC, which is the world’s first 16nm Cortex-A73 based chip.

Huawei Kirin 960 is an octa-core design with 4 x 2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 and four 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 cores. The SoC also has the i6 co-processors. The new SoC is a 16nm FinFET design and it should bring a 15 percent reduction in power. Another unique feature is the new Mali-G71 MP8 GPU that delivers 180 percent better performance than  last years' Kirin 950 powered by Mali-T880 MP4 GPU at 900 MHz. At the same time, the new GPU has 40 percent better energy efficiency.

Huawei claims that it is faster in at least one benchmark than the Snapdragon 821 with Adreno 530, but we will be able to check this claim rather soon. Even if Kirin 960 wins against the Snapdragon 821, there is a new Snapdragon that will be announced this year and ship in the first quarter of next year. The EVP of Qualcomm has already mentioned the 10nm next-generation Snapdragon SoC.

The Kirin 960 comes with 4GB LPDDR4 which should also contribute the overall performance increase. The Cortex-A73 will bring even better performance increase at 10nm, but as you remember, Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 620 / 652 with Cortex-A72 at 28nm and still  gained quite a lot. 

Kirin is definitely an interesting SoC but is, unfortunately, only reserved for high-end Huawei phones. We will look into the performance of the camera too as, despite the fact that the phone comes with an impressive Leica camera, you'll still need a great DSP to make good pictures. Stay tuned for more.


Last modified on 03 November 2016
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