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Huawei Mate 10’s Kirin 970 chipset aims to deliver 5G speeds on 4G

Kirin 970 IFA 2017 Huawei

Huawei’s next flagship, the Mate 10, will be revealed only next month at a separate event in Munich. While other brands have launched their devices at IFA 2017, Huawei has decided to showcase its new Kirin 970 chipset that will be powering their upcoming flagship devices.

The Kirin 970 will be their new high-end chipset that will go head on with other 10nm based processors such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and Samsung’s Exynos 8895. The new chipset was supposed to be revealed tonight but details are already made public at the IFA 2017 show floor.

As expected, the Kirin 970 will be based on TSMC’s 10nm process and it packs 5.5 billion transistors in a single square cm. It is more efficient than its current Kirin 960 chipset that is based on TSMC’s 16nm FFC process. In theory, this should offer better performance with lower power consumption. The CPU has eight cores consisting of 4x A73 @ 2.4GHz and another 4x A53 @ 1.80GHz.

In the graphics department, the Kirin 970 will feature a 12-core ARM Mali-G72 GPU and it will also get dual ISP for motion detection and low light enhancement.

During our meet up with Huawei’s VP of Handset Business, we are told that AI will be a huge focus on the Huawei Mate 10. On the Kirin 970, it will get a dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit) which would offer faster and more power efficient AI. According to Huawei, the NPU on the Kirin 970 is rated to do 1.92TFLOPs of FP16, which is 3X more than Kirin 960’s GPU (0.6TFLOPs of FP16). They also added that the NPU has 25x the performance of a CPU while boasting 50x energy efficiency.

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In real world situation, that’s powerful enough to recognise 2005 images per minute versus 97 images without an NPU. They have a video to demonstrate its 20x faster advantage below:

While commercial 5G is still years away, the Mate 10 promises to raise the bar of connectivity with even faster speeds on today’s networks. The Kirin 970 is listed with an LTE Cat 18 modem that boasts 1.2Gbps downloads using 4x carrier aggregation with 128 QAM.

Earlier this year, Huawei claims to have launched the world’s first 4.5G phone with the Huawei P10 Plus. It supports LTE-Advanced Pro which can deliver up to 600Mbps with 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM and 3CC carrier aggregation. In Malaysia, U Mobile claims to be the first to launch 4.5G while Celcom is boasting over 400Mbps connectivity with its new LTE Advanced network with 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM.


Alexander Wong