In his IFA 2018 keynote titled “The Ultimate Power of Mobile AI”, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Mr. Richard Yu introduced the Kirin 980, the system on a chip (SoC) that will bring about the next evolution of mobileAI. As the world’s first commercial SoC manufactured with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer Company’s(TSMC) 7nm process, Kirin 980 combines best-in-class performance, efficiency, connectivity features, and DualNPU AI processing power.
“Last year, we showed the world the potential of On-Device AI with the Kirin 970, and this year, we’ve designed anall-round powerhouse that not only features outstanding AI capabilities, but also brings cutting-edge rawperformance to consumers,” said Mr. Yu. “Equipped with all-new CPU, GPU and Dual NPU, the Kirin 980 is theultimate engine to power next-generation productivity and entertainment applications.”
The cutting edge TSMC 7nm process technology enables Kirin 980 to pack 6.9 billion transistors within a 1cm2 diesize, 1.6 times of the previous generation. Compared to the 10nm process, the 7nm process delivers 20 percentimproved SoC performance and 40 percent improved SoC power efficiency.
The Kirin 980 is also the first SoC to embed Cortex-A76 based cores, which are 75 percent more powerful and 58percent more efficient compared to their previous generation. The Kirin CPU subsystem uses an intelligent Flex-scheduling mechanism that creates a 3-level energy efficiency architecture consisting of two super-big cores basedon Cortex-A76, two big cores based on Cortex-A76, and four little cores Cortex-A55. Compared with the traditionaldesign, this solution designates the large high-performance cores to handle immediate, intensive workloads; thelarge, high-efficiency cores to provide sustained performance; and ultra-efficiency cores to tackle everyday, lightactivities with extreme power efficiency. Running at higher clock speeds compared to the prior generation, Kirin980 enables quicker app launch times, better multi-tasking and a generally smoother user experience.
As graphics in mobile games have become more and more sophisticated in recent years, Huawei has integrated theMali-G76 GPU into the Kirin 980 to deliver unparalleled gaming experiences. Debuting with the Kirin 980, Mali-G76 offers 46 percent greater graphics processing power at 178 percent improved power efficiency over theprevious generation. Mali-G76 also features an innovative clock boosting technology that utilizes AI to intelligentlyidentify gaming workloads and adjust resource allocation for optimal gaming performance.
The latest Kirin SoC represents a new era of On-Device AI. The Dual NPU Kirin 980 elevates the On-Device AIexperience with greater processing power and intelligence. The synergy between the Dual NPU results in an imagerecognition capability that is greater than the sum of two—the Kirin 980 can recognize up to 4,500 images perminute, up 120 percent compared to Kirin 970, further demonstrating Huawei’s industry leadership in the On-Device AI space.
Additionally, Kirin 980 supports common AI frameworks such as Caffee, Tensorflow andTensorflow Lite, and provides a suite of tools that simplifies the difficulty of engineering On-Device AI, allowingdevelopers to easily tap into the leading processing power of the Dual NPU.The Kirin 980-powered Mate Series devices is scheduled to arrive in Nigeria early 2019.