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Huawei’s Kirin 970 Processor Rumored to Use TSMC’s 10nm Process



Huawei had announced its latest flagship processor Kirin 960 last month in China. It is the successor to Kirin 950/955 SoC and comes with decent upgrades. The recently launched Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro are powered by the new Kirin 960 SoC. As seen with its predecessor, the new Kirin 960 also scored low on benchmarks. With the announcements of Snapdragon 835 and Helio X30 processors, we can expect some serious power from the flagship smartphones from 2017. Even though the Kirin 960 SoC is pretty new to the market, it can’t be compared with the upcoming processor from Qualcomm and MediaTek. Instead, we might see a completely new processor from the third largest smartphone maker.

If the rumors are to be believed, the Kirin 970 processor might use the TSMC’s 10nm processor for production. As of now, both TSMC and Samsung had perfected their 10nm manufacturing process. While the Qualcomm is working with Samsung, MediaTek and Huawei will be using TSMC’s process. The Kirin 970 might use the similar octa-core architecture as Kirin 960 with four Cortex A73 cores and another four Cortex A53 cores. While the Kirin 960 came with the most advanced mobile GPU, Mali G71. It is mentioned to bring 180% better performance when compared to the Mali T880 GPU used in the earlier high-end Kirin chipsets.

We can expect much better performance with the 10nm Kirin 970 SoC than the 16nm Kirin 960 SoC. One more information known about the Kirin 970 is that it support Cat.12 LTE. The Kirin 960 SoC is built on big.LITTLE architecture with four Cortex A73 cores clocked at 2.4GHz and four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz.  In comparison, the Cortex A73 cores are clocked at 2.5GHz on Kirin 955 SoC and 2.3GHz on Kirin 950 SoC. Even Apple might introduce 10nm chipset with the Apple A11 that will be launched next year. Though the initial leaks suggested the Apple A10 SoC to use the 10nm process, later the Cupertino giant postponed its plan to next year as its suppliers aren’t yet ready for mass production.

The upcoming Huawei P10 smartphone will be the first device to use the new Kirin 970 SoC. Just like its predecessor, the P10 also sports the dual camera setup on the rear with Leica branded lens. The Huawei Mate 9 Pro came with the dual curved display that looks similar to Galaxy S7 Edge. With the Huawei P10, we also expect Huawei to introduce the same curved display for the P-series as well. Huawei might launch the P10 at an exclusive event that will be held next to the MWC where the Samsung and LG are expected to launch Galaxy S8 and G6 respectively.

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