The Kirin 980: Unleashing the power of Huawei devices


Modern smartphones and tablets are undoubtedly the peak of consumer technology, combining a dizzying array of functionality that more or less fits in the pocket. The figurative brain behind all the things we’ve come to take for granted – mobile photography, media consumption, real-time navigation, etc. – resides in a tiny chip inside every device called an SoC or System-on-Chip. In Huawei’s case, this chip is called the Kirin.

Welcome the Kirin 980

Unlike most mobile manufacturers who source their chips from third-party companies, Huawei’s renowned Kirin chipsets are proprietary – meaning Huawei has direct control of development and production of the chips they install on every Huawei device. 

The Kirin 980 is the latest to come out of Huawei’s critically-acclaimed hardware division, with the previous iteration, the Kirin 970, garnering heaps of praise amongst the tech community for powering the high-end P20 and P20 Pro.

Huawei believes this new generation of chipset will usher in a remarkable era in mobile computing, as the Kirin 980 is capable of tremendous performance, intelligence, efficiency and connectivity.

Where the previous generation SoC had one NPU component to power its machine learning functionality, the Kirin 980 doubles that with a dual-core Neural Processing Unit (NPU) – the first chip in the world ever to do so. With the dual NPU setup, consumers can expect faster and more accurate responses to AI-assisted features such as object recognition in photography.

Performance, naturally, gets a big bump from the Kirin 980’s world-first Cortex A76 cores and Mali G76 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). These ground-breaking features promise incredible gaming performance and faster app launches for end users, improving on the already-stellar Kirin 970. 

Moreover, the Kirin 980 is equipped with the Hi1103 Wi-Fi module, which is the world’s fastest Wi-Fi chipset as well as the world’s first to support a maximum bandwidth of 160Mb. The chipset supports a theoretical maximum download speed of 1.7Gps—which is 1.7 times the industry standard. No matter the user is at home, at work, or in a public area, the Kirin 980 delivers a better Wi-Fi experience.

Do More with Less Power

One of the more noteworthy aspects of the Kirin 980’s capabilities consumers will appreciate the most is its efficiency. Huawei pegs the Kirin 980 being 20% faster than its predecessor, while using 40% less energy at the same time. Users get to do more with their Kirin 980-powered device without worrying about their battery running out soon. Plenty of situations benefit from such improvements, with car navigation at rush hour, photographing events, or just staving off boredom during long trips as just a few examples. 

As Huawei comes closer to announcing its newest devices this year, expect the Kirin 980 to flex its considerable might to make those devices stand out even more. The chip’s technological ingenuity lays the groundwork for all the incredible potential that modern smartphones have yet to tap into.