Why Is Kirin 990 Not Using The Latest Cortex-A77 Architecture?

Kirin 990

Huawei officially released the Kirin 990 processor chip at IFA 2019 in Berlin yesterday. But the new chip is equipped with the 2018 Cortex-A76 microarchitecture instead of the latest Cortex-A77. Recently, Huawei’s consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong explained why they are not using the latter.

So Why is Kirin 990 not Using The Latest Cortex-A77 Architecture?

After the press conference, Yu Chengdong responded to the media about ‘why the Kirin-A76 uses the Cortex-A76 micro-architecture instead of the latest Cortex-A77’. Huawei executive said they did not adopt the latest Cortex-A77 considering the device life. According to Yu Chengdong, the current performance of the Kirin 990 chip is ‘beyond the user’s needs’. So using the Cortex-A77 architecture will only make the data more eye-catching. But it wouldn’t help the devices provide better performance.

Kirin 990

Yu Chengdong said that in order to achieve a nominal speed increase, they need some trade-offs in energy efficiency. They will have a negative impact on battery life and equipment life. In other words, Huawei prefers to let consumers have a longer battery life, rather than paying attention to speed up the operation.

The Huawei executive also added that the future Kirin chip can use the Cortex-A77 architecture. When fully upgraded to 5nm process production, it is likely that the new Kirin chip will adopt the Cortex-A77 architecture. The Kirin 990 is built on the 7nm process like all existing flagship chips. For the value of the Cortex-A77 processor, ARM has previously stated that the Cortex-A77 has about 20% better performance than the Cortex-A76 and the same power consumption. However, after the experiment and investigation, Huawei found that the situation is not as ARM said.

The Kirin 990 is Huawei’s top mobile processing chip. And the upcoming Huawei Mate 30 series smartphone is expected to come with it. It is worth noting that the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor currently has relevant information. So most likely these two will lead the top-echelon smartphones category.

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