Huawei unveils its new Kirin 960 flagship processor


Huawei has just unveiled its latest powerhouse with the new Kirin 960 processor. This would be powering their upcoming flagships which may include their new Mate 9.


Similar to its current top of the line Kirin 955 processor, the new Kirin 960 is still based on a 16nm process and it runs on a combination of 4x high-performance Cortex-A73 cores @ 2.4GHz with another 4x low-power Cortex A53 cores @ 1.8GHz. From what they have shared, the Kirin 960 leads in GeekBench 4.0 Multi-Core benchmarks, breaching the 6,000 mark but it is still behind Apple’s new A10 Fusion chip in single core tests.



In the graphics department, the Kirin 960 is the first to feature a Mali-G71 MP8 GPU. According to Huawei, this offers an 180% improvement over its current Mail-T880MP4 unit. Based on their Geekbench Manhattan and T-Rex benchmark results, it performed better than Samsung’s Exynos 8890 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 but it is still behind Apple’s A10 Fusion chip.


Other enhancements include support for faster UFS 2.1 storage which offers twice the reading speed of UFS 2.0 at 1.5GB/s. There’s also a new ISP (Image Signal Processor) that boasts better image processing and support for new refocusing options. Of course, image quality would also depend on the actual sensors and optics.

For better power consumption, the Kirin 960 also gets a power efficient i6 smart sensing core. Huawei says in a game of Pokemon Go, this would enable a low-power GPS which helps to prolong your Pokemon Go usage from half a day to 1.2 days.


As mobile payments are getting huge traction in China, the Kirin 960 also features a inSE security design with over 1000 “anti-hacking” sensors and a 3-tier security system. It’s also certified by UnionPay and People’s Bank of China. Overall it does look promising and we can’t wait to see it in action on the upcoming Mate model.

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Alexander Wong