HiSilicon 7nm SoC coming soon for Huawei flagship smartphone
Cindy Yu, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES
Friday 24 August 2018
HiSilicon's Kirin 980 SoC series built using 7nm process technology is set to get ready for commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2018, and will power Huawei's next-generation flagship model dubbed the Mate 20 Pro, according to Digitimes Research.
Other SoC developers are also set to enter volume shipments of their 7nm products for smartphones in the fourth quarter. Shipments of 7nm handset application processors will account for over 18% of the overall handset AP shipments in the fourth quarter, with the proportion exceeding that for 10nm ones, Digitimes Research indicated.
The HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC is reportedly manufactured by TSMC using the foundry's 7nm FinFET process. The SoC features four Cortex-A77 cores along with four Cortex-A55, and 24-core Mali-G72 GPU. It comes with LPDDR4X DRAM memory.
The Kirin 980 SoC also employs a second-generation NPU to deliver AI and machine learning capabilities. According to Digitimes Research analyst Osiris Hu, HiSilicon along with Apple are among the companies developing AI solutions through hardware acceleration, while there is another camp focusing on the development of AI chips through software acceleration.
AI for smartphones is currently being used mainly for optimizing camera settings, Hu commented. Hu continued there is still no killer app of AI for use in smartphones. The development of AI for more attractive features will play a key role in stimulating the overall handset AP shipments, Hu said.