Mass production of HiSilicon’s next-gen flagship mobile SoC, the Kirin 970, has reportedly commenced. The latest info out of China contradicts some of the earlier reports that had suggested Huawei would begin mass production of the chipset in September. The first smartphone to be powered by the Kirin 970 will be the Mate 10, successor to last year’s Mate 9. Apart from the Mate 10, the chip will also power the successors to the P10 and P10 Plus smartphones, expected to debut in the first half of 2018.
Rumors suggest the Huawei Mate 10 will be introduced in October this year, in which case, it does make sense for Huawei to begin mass producing Kirin 970 chips already. Last year’s Kirin 960 proved to be a mighty impressive SoC that not only delivered fantastic CPU performance but also boasted a powerful GPU that managed to score higher points in graphics benchmarks when compared to the rival flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 820/821 and Exynos 8 8890 chips. The Kirin 970, at least according to what the rumors are suggesting, could turn out to be an even more impressive chipset than the Kirin 960.
The Kirin 970 chipset is expected to feature four ARM Cortex-A73 cores and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores. Some rumors even hint at the possibility of Huawei utilizing four ARM Cortex-A75 cores. More than the CPU performance, the Kirin 970 is rumored to impress with a powerful GPU with up to 12 cores. Similar to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and Samsung’s Exynos 9 8895, the Kirin 970 too will be built on a 10nm process. There is also talk of the Kirin 970 being the very first mobile chipset to come with AI (artificial intelligence) features.
If the rumors regarding the Mate 10 launch time frame are accurate, we might see the Kirin 970-powered Mate 10 prototypes show up in benchmark databases online soon.
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