Huawei is one of a handful of smartphone makers that uses its own chip designs for its mobile devices. And that’s a strategy that’s worked pretty well: the company’s HiSilicon Kirin 950 and 955 processors have gotten pretty strong reviews.

Now Huawei is introducing a new chip that will likely power the company’s next-gen flagship phones.

The Kirin 960 is an octa-core processor with four 2.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A73 CPU cores and four lower-power 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU cores.

Weibo: ioncannon
Weibo: ioncannon

That should give the new chip a bit of a boost over the Kirin 950 in terms of CPU performance. But the new processor also features improvements in a few other key areas:

  • Support for LPDDR4-1800 memory
  • ARM Mali-G71MP8 graphics
  • 2160p H.264/HEVC video encoding at up to 30fps and decoding at up to 60 fps
  • Support for UFS 2.1 storage

In other words, you can expect phones and tablets powered by the new chip to support faster memory and faster storage. There’s hardware-acceleration for higher-resolution video. And othe improvements include support for faster 4G LTE and better cameras.

Huawei says the new chips offer up to 10 percent better performance on single-core PCU tests, and up to 18 percent improvements in multi-core CPU benchmarks.

Graphics performance gets a much bigger boost: it’s nearly 3 times more powerful than the Mali-T880MP4 graphics included in the Kirin 950.

While Huawei didn’t officially announced any new phones that would be powered by the Kirin 960 chip, there are some reports that the company was showing off an early version of the upcoming Huawei Mat 9 at the launch event for the new processor.

Want more technical details? AnandTech has a great overview of Huawei’s newest chip.

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