Huawei has announced the world’s first 7nm SOC, the HiSilicon Kirin 980 chipset, at IFA 2018, in Berlin. The new Silicon has been manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The Kirin 980 chipset is an octa-core processor which will offer a 20% increase in performance while consuming 40% less power than the outgoing Kirin 970 chipset.

Apart from being the first to announce a 7 nm SOC, Huawei is also first to implement the ARM Cortex A76 architecture, with the ARM Cortex-A76 CPU cores and Mali-G76 GPU cores, 1.4 Gbps Cat 21 modem, and support 2133 MHz fast RAM, on the Kirin 980 SOC. The Kirin 980 SOC is also the first to utilize the Dual Neural Processing Units (NPUs).

Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 980

The eight processing cores of the HiSilicon Kirin 980 consists of three sets of cores, which utilize ARM’s Cortex-A76 and Cortex-A55 architecture. The first set of dual processing cores are clocked up to 2.6 GHz and utilize ARM Cortex A76, while the second set of ARM Cortex-A76 dual cores are clocked up to 1.9 GHz. The third set of cores have four ARM Cortex A55 low-powered cores which are clocked up to 1.8 GHz. There’s also an i8 Co-processor.

Alongside the 8-ARM Cortex cores, lies the 10-core Mali-G76 GPU and the Dual NPU. The Mali G-76 GPU comes with clock boost technology, which identifies gaming workloads and intelligently allocates resources to the game for a smoother gaming experience. The Dual NPUs can help the Kirin 980 to recognize up to 4,500 images per minute on the Resnet 50 model. In contrast, the Snapdragon 845 and Apple’s A11 chipset recognizes up to 2,371 and 1458 images, respectively, according to Huawei’s tests.

Thanks to the Dual ISP, the SOC can record HDR 10 videos as well as 4K 60 fps videos, which wasn’t possible with the Kirin 970. The dual ISP’s offer up to 46% improvement over its predecessor. The Dual ISPs will be used for AI photography and will work in conjunction with the aforementioned Dual NPUs, to actively recognize scenes and subjects.

The Kirin 980 chipset supports LPDDR4X RAM with clock speeds up to 2133 MHz, which should offer faster multi-tasking speeds. The Cat 21 LTE modem on the SOC will also offer faster cellular data speeds. The Kirin 980 is also 5G ready and is compatible with Huawei’s Balong 5000 5G modem.

Commenting on the launch,Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said,

“Last year, we showed the world the potential of On-Device AI with the Kirin 970, and this year, we’ve designed an all-round powerhouse that not only features outstanding AI capabilities but also brings cutting-edge raw performance to consumers. Equipped with all-new CPU, GPU, and Dual NPU, the Kirin 980 is the ultimate engine to power the next-generation productivity and entertainment applications.”


The HiSilicon Kirin 980 SOC will be available in the upcoming Huawei and Honor flagship devices. The Huawei Mate 20 will be the first device to utilize the Kirin 980 SOC, which will be announced at an event in London, on October 12, 2018. The 980 SOC will also be used on Honor devices, with the Honor Magic 2 being the first Honor device to use it.

Huawei Locator

Alongside the Kirin 980 SOC, Huawei also unveiled their latest Location tracker named Locator, to keep track of your precious items. The new Smart Tracker tag from Huawei works on 2G networks, across the world and is claimed to last up to 60 days on low power standby mode. The device is both Bluetooth and GPS compatible and is IP68 Certified for dust and water resistance.

Availability of the Locator

The Locator will be available in Europe, later this year. However, Huawei hasn’t revealed it’s pricing yet.