Apple's A12 won't be the first 7nm chipset

Apple's A12 won't be the first 7nm chipset
We won't have to wait for the Galaxy S10 in 2019, or even for the 2018 iPhones to see the first mobile chipset made with the next-gen 7nm process take the stage, it seems. A leaked benchmark of Huawei's upcoming Kirin 980 processor indicates it will be first out of the TSMC foundry's gate with the next die shrink. 

The first-gen 7nm processors will bring a whopping 40% reduction in chip size for the same number of transistors, and be up to 40% more power efficient than the current 10nm generation that is in phones like the Galaxy S9 or iPhone X.

That's not all there is to the Kirin 980 that is widely expected to power Huawei's Mate 20 Pro, though. As you can see from the screenshots, it will also have an LTE Cat. 19 modem attached to it, allowing the phone to reach up to 1.6 Gbps download speeds if your carrier can provide those. The Mate 10 Pro was the first with a 1.2Gbps modem last year, and its successor will again be LTE speed pioneer, it seems. Qualcomm's X24, for instance, was announced as a Cat. 20 modem made with a 7nm process, but it likely land in the Snapdragon 855 chipset in Galaxy S10.

The rest of the specs of Kirin 980 are nothing to sniff at, either. It will be an octa-core 2.8GHz endeavor that supports the latest Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-fi/ac standards. Moreover, it is listed as able to power 4K displays, and three image signal processors, indicating that the Mate 20 Pro might land the triple camera of the P20 Pro or thereabouts. Huawei's next-gen neural processing unit (a fancy name for dedicated AI subsystem) will also be present, with greatly improved capabilities compared to last year's edition.

Last but not least, Kirin's heretofore Achilles heel - the graphics subsystem - will be receiving a huge boost with a 24-core Mali-G72 graphics processor that brings about higher performance and an increase in battery draw efficiency should do wonders for your game sessions. We can't wait to benchmark this beast, in whatever phone it ends up being.

source: CNbeta (translated)



1. kotan24

Posts: 319; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

I hope the P20 pro successor comes with this beauty in it.

11. adecvat

Posts: 658; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

And with notch.

14. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

And Can’t wait for y’all to say “oh this phone ships with an old 2018 chip” by then.

2. Joosty

Posts: 490; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

I'm glad they have been able to keep the device under wraps.

3. Ghost04

Posts: 522; Member since: May 03, 2014

What is a A77 core ??? Never heard of it.

5. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

A typo of A75, or just a totally fake screenshot.

4. AbhiD

Posts: 856; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

This screams fake. A77 cores do not exist. Also let's hope their 24 core GPU is able to hold it's performance without heavy throttling. Mali G72 GPU isn't exactly efficient. This may turn out to be a case like this year's Exynos. Extreme benchmark numbers, yet poor performance in real life with very heavy throttling.

6. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

More GPU cores = lower clock. It won't throttle but, power efficiency won't be that great, and performance will not far better than MP8 or MP12

13. may_czos

Posts: 956; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

Thing is - ARM already has Mali-G76 which is newer and better.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5748; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

It should hopefully mean it will only throttle 20-30%, instead of throttling 40-60% like the 970 Power efficiency will improve big time Lower clock speeds means lower power consumption e.g. Exynos 9810 Mali G72 MP18 @ 546MHz, 46.04 fps, 4.08W, 11.28 fps/W Kirin 970 Mali G72 MP12 @ 746 MHz , 37.66 fps, 6.33W, 5.94 fps/W The 980 looks like it might be the first Kirin with a GPU better/competitive with Qualcomm previous flagship GPU

7. c.m.s

Posts: 239; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

Like they were "first" with "3D touch" and a dedicated ML hardware in their SoC? Only on paper that is, not when it comes to actual products you can buy. Will any phone with Kirin 980 actually be on the market before the new iPhones?

9. w1000i

Posts: 251; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

I'm sure it will be before iphone

12. may_czos

Posts: 956; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

Nope. Mate 20 will be the first around November.

8. Zylam

Posts: 1822; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Hopefully the Mail upgrade is significant enough for this chip to be a true beast. It's always held them back, specially with the throttling. Wonder if they will update the MediaPad line this year too?

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31597; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It’ll probably be the most powerful based on benchmarks. Apple needs to fix the RAM management issues though, my X reloads apps way too often.

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