Kirin 985 tipped to be Kirin 980 successor, use 7nm EUV design

HiSilicon Kirin series HiSilicon

The HiSilicon Kirin 980 represents a cutting-edge chipset design for Huawei, delivering a tri-cluster arrangement, 7nm design, and dual NPU silicon for machine learning. Huawei isn’t standing still though, as details supposedly emerge regarding a successor design.

According to the China Times (via XDA-Developers), the new chipset is called the Kirin 985 and offers a 7nm EUV design (reportedly marketed as 7nm+). Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) is a key manufacturing method that’s expected to be the foundation for future, smaller chip designs.

The Kirin 985 name has also been corroborated by XDA, finding references to the new chip in the Kirin 980’s kernel source code. Huawei usually debuts its new chip in the Mate series first, so we can certainly expect the Mate 30 series to offer this silicon.

But the firm hasn’t launched a Kirin 9X5 chip since 2016’s Kirin 955, which essentially saw clock speed upgrades over the Kirin 950. Previous Kirin 9X5 chips have also largely offered clock speed bumps, but hopefully the company bucks the trend and introduces more meaningful upgrades here. After all, there’s little doubt that the Snapdragon 855 and Exynos 9820 successors will offer substantial upgrades.

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The China Times also reports that phones using Huawei’s HiSilicon hardware account for 45 percent of all the company’s current phones. But it’s believed that Huawei is aiming for 60 percent by the second half of the year. The firm currently relies on the likes of MediaTek and Qualcomm for its low-end silicon, so we can reasonably expect new Kirin chips to address this segment.

What would you like to see in the Kirin 985 chipset? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.

NEXT: Did the Celeron version of the Google Pixel Slate go to tablet purgatory?

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