Huawei HiSilicon Kirin

Although perhaps not as well-known as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or Samsung’s Exynos range of mobile SoCs, Huawei has its own line-up of Kirin processors that it uses in its mobile devices. The datasheet for a new Kirin 950 SoC has leaked online, revealing a next-generation design that rivals the major players.

The Kirin 950 is apparently a 64-bit octa-core design that makes use of four high performance ARM Cortex-A72 cores and four energy efficient Cortex-A53 CPU cores. The high performance CPUs can reach peak clock speeds of 2.4GHz, which is notable higher than the flagship A57 based designs from Samsung and Qualcomm, which typically top out at 2.0GHz.

The 20 percent higher clock is likely partially down to the rumored use of a 16nm manufacturing process. The Cortex-A72 also offers some power savings over the A57, which could be put towards a higher clock speed.

Kirin 950 spec sheet

Accompanying the latest ARM CPU cores is an ARM Mali-T880 graphics processing unit. The T-880 is ARM’s latest high performance GPU design, although we know have a number for the core count at the moment. The chip also supports dual-channel LPDDR4 memory with a bandwidth up to 25.6GB/s.

Huawei’s Kirin 950 is also said to support a dedicated Tensilica 4 DSP unit, dual cameras with up to 42MP of resolution, 4K HVEC & VP9 video decoding and encoding, and a i7 co-processor for sensor hub and security processing.

High speed UFS 2.0, eMMC 5.1 and SD 4.1 storage standards are also supported, as are USB 3.0 data transfers. As for network connectivity, the chip will support Category 10 4G LTE data speeds for up to 102Mb/s peak upload and 452Mb/s download. Dual-SIM compatibility is also listed on the spec sheet.

Although still unconfirmed, the Kirin 950 is shaping up to be a cutting edge piece of mobile silicon. It certainly looks to be able to rival SoCs from larger manufacturers and might make whatever future Huawei handset it shows up in a very compelling option for the performance enthusiast.

Robert Triggs
Lead Technical Writer at Android Authority, covering the latest trends in consumer electronics and hardware. In his spare moments, you'll probably find him tinkering with audio electronics and programming.
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