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Snapdragon 845 vs Kirin 980: Top of the line SoC

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  • 3 min read

Huawei went all-out announcing their new SoC, the Kirin 980. The launch event was quite aggressive, and with its 7nm architecture, the Kirin 980 projected to be significantly better than the SnapDragon 845.

Since all but a handful of phones — Huawei’s Mate 20 series — released with the Kirin 980, all we have to hold is the numbers provided by Huawei. We decided to run these against the more concrete SnapDragon 845 benchmarks we have.

Snapdragon 845 vs Kirin 980

Here’s a side by side comparison of the two SoCs.

CatagorySnapdragon 845Kirin 980
NodeTSMC 10nm FinFETTSMC 7nm FinFET
CPU“4x Kryo 835 (Cortex-A75) @ 2.8GHz. 4x Kryo 835 (Cortex-A55) @ 1.7GHz.
Comes with 2 MB shared L3 cache”
“2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.6GHz. 2x Cortex-A76 @ 1.92GHz. 4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz.
Comes with a 4 MB L3 Cache”
GPUAdreno 630Mali-G76 MP10
ModemLTE Cat 18LTE Cat 21
Peak Download/Upload Speed1.2 Gbps/ 150 Mbps1.4 Gbps\ 200 Mbps
MemoryLPDDR4X up to 1866MHzLPDDR4X up to 2133MHz
DSPHexagon 685 DSP with HVX2x NPU

As the on paper hardware indicates, the Kirin 980 is a substantial upgrade over the Snapdragon 845. The memory is faster, and the processor has more cores clocked higher than the 845.

The Kirin 980 also claims a lot of firsts. As claimed by the company, it is the world’s first 7nm SoC. It is the world’s first Cortex-A76 based CPU. World’s first Dual-NPU. World’s first SoC supporting 2133 MHz LPDDR4x.

The modem on the Kirin is fast, like 1.4 Gbps fast. Expect blazing fast downloads and a super smooth experience with the ten core CPU. Huawei claims that the Mali-G76 will render graphics with 22% higher frame rates. There’s also a 33% power reduction as compared to the Snapdragon 845.

Kirin also wins in the memory department. It has a much faster memory at 2133 MHz than the 845’s 1866 MHz, which can give you up to a 22% reduction in latency and a 20% improvement in bandwidth.

Overall, the Kirin 980 seems a powerful and power-efficient CPU, a step up from the Snapdragon 845.

Keep in mind, though, that these are only numbers released by Huawei. We’ll have to wait for the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, the first phones featuring the Kirin 980, to see how it performs in the real world.

Also read: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 vs Snapdragon 835 Processors

Snapdragon 845

  • Node: TSMC 10nm FinFET
  • CPU: 4x Kryo 835 (Cortex-A75) @ 2.8GHz. 4x Kryo 835 (Cortex-A55) @ 1.7GHz.
    It comes with a 2 MB shared L3 cache
  • GPU: Adreno 630
  • Modem: LTE Cat 18
  • Peak download/upload speed: 1.2 Gbps/ 150 Mbps
  • Memory: LPDDR4X up to 1866MHz
  • DSP: Hexagon 685 DSP with HVX

Kirin 980

  • Node: TSMC 7nm FinFET
  • CPU: 2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.6GHz. 2x Cortex-A76 @ 1.92GHz. 4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz.
    It comes with a 4 MB L3 Cache
  • GPU: Mali-G76 MP10
  • Modem: LTE Cat 21
  • Peak download/upload speed: 1.4 Gbps\ 200 Mbps
  • Memory: LPDDR4X up to 2133MHz
  • DSP: 2x NPU

Also read: Snapdragon 855 vs Apple A12 Bionic vs Exynos 9820 vs Kirin 980

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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