Taiwanese media is reporting that Huawei is currently working on a new flagship mobile SoC, dubbed Kirin 970. The Kirin 970 will succeed the current Kirin 960, which powers the Mate 9, Mate 9 Porsche Design, and the Mate 9 Pro.
The report claims the Kirin 970 will be Huawei’s first mobile chipset to be manufactured on TSMC’s 10nm process node. It is expected to be an octa-core chip like the Kirin 960, but with an integrated baseband with global LTE Cat.12 network support. With a switch to 10nm, the Kirin 970 is likely to be a performance beast and could prove to be a strong rival to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 next year.
Qualcomm’s next flagship mobile SoC, the Snapdragon 835 too is going to be manufactured on a 10nm mode. However, unlike the Kirin 970, the Snapdragon 835 will be manufactured on Samsung’s 10nm process node.
While Kirin SoCs have so far only been used on Huawei’s own devices, it is rumored that Meizu could use the Kirin 960 chipset on its upcoming Pro 7 flagship smartphone. In most CPU-intensive benchmarks, the Kirin 960 manages to outperform the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 as well as the Snapdragon 821 chipsets. The strong performance is probably the main reason why Meizu may have decided to go with the Kirin 960 chipset instead of flagship SoCs from Samsung and Qualcomm. If the Kirin 970 can match or outperform its rivals in the graphics department as well, we do see Kirin chipsets powering at least a few non-Huawei flagship smartphones next year.