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Huawei's Kirin 980 pegged to use 7nm manufacturing process

Huawei's new chipset is reportedly joining Samsung in chasing the 7nm manufacturing process.

Published onApril 9, 2018

HiSilicon Kirin series
  • A new report claims HUAWEI’s Kirin 980 will have a 7nm manufacturing process.
  • It’s also claimed that the chip is set to start production soon.
  • HUAWEI traditionally uses the new chipset in its Mate series first.

Huawei’s HiSilicon chips have made brisk progress, going from the under-powered Kirin K3V2 (a quad-core A9 chipset) to the cutting-edge Kirin 970 in less than five years. It seems like the first details for the Kirin 980 have dropped.

ITHome (via GizmoChina) reports that the new chipset is being built on TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing process. HUAWEI’s current top-end chip, the Kirin 970, is built on a slightly larger 10nm process. The publication adds that mass production of the Kirin 980 is expected to start this quarter.

The publication has a decent track record with chipset reports, having nailed down some Kirin 970 details before its release. It didn’t quite get all of the Snapdragon 845 info (erroneously claiming that it would feature A53 cores), but the outlet correctly called the chipset as having a 10nm process, for one.

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Huawei’s flagship chips are traditionally launched in the second half of the year, in time for the newest Mate phablet. The chipset then gets used in the following year’s P-series handset.

What else should we expect from the Kirin 980 though? The time seems right for core upgrades (to A55 and A75), while HUAWEI’s Neural Processing Unit (NPU) would probably get a tune-up as well.

If confirmed, HUAWEI wouldn’t be the only chipset manufacturer using the 7nm process. Samsung has reportedly completed development of the process six months ahead of schedule, with Qualcomm tipped to be a major customer.

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