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Kirin 650 Vs Snapdragon 820 Processor

Smartphone components manufacturers are at war, not just for the specifications but also for how does their hardware fair out in the real world. The most important component we are talking about is the chipset. Does it help in improving the user experience and makes device power efficient? Can a graphic intense task be performed on that chipset enabled smartphone without any sweat? Is it optimized for the swift software performance? These all question comes when one tries to find out the best-in-class chipset for their handset.

You’ll hear a lot of processor manufacturer claim that their SoC is the best in the range; affordable, mid and high-end. But what matters is that can that chipset, when installed in a device, will offer an overall great performance and efficiency as it claimed? That can only be tested when we put together certain sets of chipsets under a microscope for a comparison.

Today we are comparing the Kirin 650 against the Snapdragon 820. Below you can see a comparison of these two chipsets based on certain points such as manufacturing node, CPU cores, GPU and LTE connectivity. Let’s dive in shall we.

Manufacturing Node: Kirin 650 Vs Snapdragon 820

To briefly explain this terminology if you don’t know what it is, the manufacturing node defines the fabrication process through which the chipset has been gone to be manufactured. The semiconductor manufacturing process, which started with 10 µm in 1971 has come a long way to the nm (nanometer) scale. Note that the smaller the manufacturing size of the node, the better it is for the chipset. In 2014, 14nm sale devices started to ship by Intel, which was announced under Core M family of processor. Now the same process was applied for manufacturing smartphones chipsets. Samsung was the first to introduce 14nm Exynos chipsets in 2015. Later the trend was started, and companies like Qualcomm were seen manufacturing under a 14nm process. This year many smartphone companies are using Snapdragon 820 processor based on Samsung’s 14nm FinFET technology. Since it was the best technology, even the chipset maker Qualcomm had to resort to Samsung for using its 14nm process.

But little did they knew that Honor has brewed up a 16nm FinFET Plus technology based Kirin chipset. This 16nm process is developed by TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It allowed Kirin processors to be much faster and efficient than 14nm based chipsets. Technically, 14nm should be faster and efficient than 16nm manufacturing node. However, it can’t always be the same case every time. You may have heard Apple’s latest iPhones are equipped with desktop class A9 chipsets fabricated in both Samsung’s 14 nm and TSMC’s 16nm process nodes. The iPhone powered by 16nm chip outperformed the one with Samsung’s manufacturing node. That is why Kirin 650, the processor on this suspected upcoming handset from Honor turned out to be quite powerful and efficient. Everything can’t be measured on Antutu, Vellamo or any other benchmark apps. The end user experience matters a lot.

Why Kirin 650 better than Snapdragon 820? – CPU, GPU & LTE Features

The CPU cores setup on Kirin 650 is quite advanced; it uses more and more powerful smart core i5 setup rather than conventional i3. This means you’ll see four high power cores clocking at 2.0GHz and four low-powered cores clocking at 1.7GHz. On top of that the big.LITTLE architecture allows it to deliver best of both worlds; high performance and high efficiency. Using high efficiency cores allowed Kirin 650 to deliver 65% increase in performance and 40% decrease in consumption of power.

Note the percentage comparison is not against Snapdragon 820. Though looking at this Qualcomm chipset, it has just quad cores setup where 2 are high power, and 2 are low powered cores in Kryo setup, which their custom setup, instead of going with standard ARM cores. Talking about the co-processor, the Kirin 650’s i5 is claimed to be ultra-power saving and thus translates into a better battery life. While Hexagon 680 DSP ensures efficiency and faster process times in Snapdragon 820.

Coming to the GPU, Kirin uses Mali-T830 graphical processing unit, which is claimed to be 100% faster than the Kirn 620. Moreover, with the combination of 16nm process based chipset, it can reportedly play graphic intense games. Thus, ensuring seamless gaming experience. While talking about the Snapdragon 820, which has Adreno 530 working as its GPU core.

When it comes to connectivity, the flagship grade dual antennas system on Kirin 650 offers better RF performance, as it automatically switches to the antenna with the best signal and thus preventing dropped calls. On the other hand, Snapdragon 820 comes with integrated with Cat. 12/ Cat 13 LTE, which claims to offer up to 600Mbps download and up to 150Mbps upload speeds. Honor hasn’t specified the category of it a modem, although, we hope it would be on par if not higher than Qualcomm’s.

The Chinese smartphone maker has come a long way as a chip maker, and we think the latest release from them is a showcase of their ability to produce fast, efficient and reliable chipsets. Moreover, it also allows them to optimize their handsets uniquely based on their in-house chipsets.

It is suspected that Honor might be coming up with the Kirin 650 chipset enabled smartphone in the coming weeks.

This is a sponsored post.

By Rahul Rathi on Wednesday 15th of Jun 2016


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