Huawei is taking the wraps off the processor that will most likely power the company’s next-gen flagship smartphones. Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor is an octa-core chip that should offer a modest performance boost over the Kirin 960 when it comes to single-core and multi-core CPU performance.

But the GPU is getting a bigger upgrade, and Huawei is introducing a new feature called a neural processing unit (NPU), which the company says can recognize more than 2000 images per minute (compared to 97 per minute without using the NPU).

The Kirin 970 processor features four 2.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A73 CPU cores and four 1.8 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 cores, which is pretty close to what Huawei used for its Kirin 960 chip. But the new processor is manufactured using a 10nm process rather than 16mm, which could lead to better performance and efficiency.

The GPU has been bumped up from ARM Mali-G71 MP8 graphics to Mali-G72 MP12. And the LTE radio has been upgraded from one with Cat 12/13 support that tops out at 600 Mbps download speeds to a Cat 18 model that supports top download speeds of 1.2 Gbps.

But it’s the NPU that’s really the defining feature of the new chip. Huawei says it offers 25 times the performance of a CPU with 50 times better energy efficiency for tasks including real-time image and voice recognition and “intelligent photography.”

We’ll likely learn more about that that means when Huawei holds a press event this weekend. That will likely be the Kirin 970’s official coming out party. But WinFuture shared some details about the chip yesterday, and today AnandTech spotted the chip and some basic documentation on the floor at the IFA show in Berlin.

Update: The Kirin 970 received an official unveiling at Huawei’s IFA press event, where the company also explained that the chip will power the upcoming Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro smartphones

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3 replies on “Huawei unveils Kirin 970 octa-core chip with “neural processing unit””

    1. yes, you can buy HiKey 960 development platform on Amazon which has Huawei Kirin 960 chip on it
      but other phone OEM do not want to buy Huawei chip, because high-end phone will use Qualcomm chip
      low-end phone will use MediaTek chip because MediaTek is cheaper than Huawei
      just like Samsung’s Exynos chip, not many OEM buy it, so Samsung have to use it in their own phone

      1. For the mainstream market:
        Snapdragon: for high-end, superior perception, high quantity, expensive
        MediaTek: for mid-range, cheap perception, high quantity, cheap
        RockChip: for low-end, cheap perception, high quantity, cheap

        For niche market/Low-Quantity:
        Exynos: high-end, superior perception, high quantity, very expensive
        Tegra: high-end, superior perception, low quantity, expensive
        HiSillicon: mid-range, good quality perception, high quantity, expensive
        Allwinner: low-end, very cheap perception, low quantity, very cheap
        AMLogic: low-end, very cheap perception, low quantity, very cheap
        Broadcomm: low-end, good quality perception, high quantity, cheap
        VIA chips: low-end, cheap perception, high quantity, cheap

        …I’m more excited to see other players get their hands on newer tech.
        Namely the ARM Bifrost GPU, the faster IPC Cortex A55, and more efficient 16nm lithography. I’m guessing that 2018’s mid-range SoC’s will FINALLY defeat the high-end SoC’s from 2014.

        For instance, the QSD 805 vs:
        22nm vs 16nm
        Quadcore vs Quad-Octa core
        Krait 450 vs Cortex A55 (upto 2.5GHz)
        Adreno 420 vs Mali-G72 MP8 (upto 800MHz)
        3,200mAh vs 3,200mAh
        14 hrs vs 17 hrs video playback battery life

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