HiSilicon Kirin series HiSilicon

  • Huawei has confirmed that its Kirin 980 smartphone chipset will feature a 7nm design.
  • The company also revealed that the chipset will land in the Mate 20 series.
  • The Chinese brand confirmed that the Mate 20 series will launch in October.


Huawei has announced that its Kirin 980 chipset will power the Mate 20 series of flagship phablets. The processor will be the first commercially available 7nm smartphone chipset as well.

“According to Mr. Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei CBG [consumer business group – ed], Huawei will unveil the Kirin 980 at IFA, which will be the first commercially available 7nm chip in the world,” read an official press release sent to South African media (h/t: Gearburn) and obtained by Android Authority. “The Kirin 980 will power the Mate 20 series.”

Furthermore, the press release also gives us a launch window for the Mate 20 family.

“Huawei Mate 20 will launch with the world’s first 7nm chipset this October,” reads another excerpt of the release.

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A move to a smaller manufacturing process usually yields a more powerful and efficient chip. So we can reasonably expect better-sustained performance, improved performance in general, and longer endurance from the new Huawei processor.

It’s widely expected that Qualcomm and Apple will join Huawei in offering a 7nm smartphone chip. Qualcomm traditionally reveals its latest flagship chip at the end of the year, with commercially available phones in the new year. Meanwhile, both Apple and Huawei tend to reveal their new chips in the second half of the year, with commercially available phones before the year’s end. So it seems like a race between Huawei and Apple to be first to market with 7nm chips.

Huawei discusses rumored specs (?)

The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro.

Oddly, the latest press release also discusses rumors surrounding the Kirin 980’s specifications, noting claims of an octa-core Cortex-A76 and Cortex-A55 design and a proprietary GPU.

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We wouldn’t put much faith in these rumored specs (particularly the in-house GPU claim), even if the Chinese manufacturer is itself discussing them. The company issued a similar release for the Mate 10 series last year, and some information didn’t exactly pan out…

“According to industry insiders, the Mate 10 may come with a dual-lens 20MP rear camera and a dual f/1.7 large aperture lens,” read an official release sent ahead of the Mate 10’s launch last year. Of course, the Mate 10 series has a 20MP+12MP dual camera setup with f/1.6 apertures.

What we can take away from Huawei’s latest communique for sure is that the Kirin 980 will be built on a 7nm manufacturing process, and that it’ll land in the Mate 20 series in October.