Huawei has disclosed the world’s first 7nm system-on-chip (SoC) to go commercial, namely HiSilicon Kirin 980. The new HiSilicon Kirin 980 chipset is also equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Richard Yu, who is the Chief Executive Office of Huawei Consumer Business Group announced the new SoC and mentioned this SoC to be based on the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer Company’s 7nm processor, on the IFA 2018 opening day in Berlin.
This new 7nm processor is said to deliver 20% improved performance and 40% more efficiency over Huawei’s previous generation 10nm processor according to the company itself.
Richard Yu stated, “Last year, we showed the world the potential of on-device AI with the Kirin 970 and this year, we’ve designed an all-around powerhouse that not only features outstanding AI capabilities but also brings cutting-edge raw performance to consumers.” He added that the new SoC is equipped with the dual Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Yu also commented,”The Kirin 980 is the ultimate engine to power the next-generation productivity and entertainment applications.”
This TSMC based HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC comprises 6.9 billion transistors within 1 square cm die size which is 1.6 times more compared to the previous generation SoC. Similarly, the chipset is also the first SoC to have embedded Cortex-A76 cores in it and are 75% more powerful and 58% more efficient than the previous generation one.
The Kirin 980 CPU comprises two high performing Cortex -A76 cores, two highly efficient Cortex-A76 cores, as well as two extremely efficient Cortex-A55 cores. The higher clock-speed in Kirin 980 SoC enables it to perform quick app launches: improved multi-tasking and smooth usability.
Huawei has also integrated the Mali-G76 graphics processing unit (GPU) in Kirin 980 in order to boost the graphical performance for improved gaming and graphics in the devices.
Huawei said that the Mali-G76 will offer 46% better graphics processing power at 178% greater power efficiency over previous generation SoC. Mali-G76 is also said to utilize the AI in order to identify gaming workloads as well as adjust the resource allocation for enhanced gaming.
The HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC also supports common AI frameworks including Caffee, Tensorflow, Tensorflow lite etc. and offers tools to simplify on-device AI engineering. This helps the developers to tap leading processing capability of dual NPU pretty easily. The company also said that the Kirin 980 ratify a new pipeline which is dedicating to processing video captures and this allows camera module shoot videos with 33% shorter delay.