We are receiving news about Huawei’s upcoming smartphone Ascend D3 and its own processor HiSilicon Kirin 920 since a long time. http://huaweinews.com/?s=Kirin+920. Reports were evident that Kirin 920/K3V3 marks a major shift in HiSilicon processors because for the first time it has moved to ARM Big.LITTLE processor architecture from traditional 4 cores. Samsung has tried this before with their Exynos processor lineup and the results weren’t so impressive to made up a buzz like Samsung’s previous Exynos and Hummingbird chips.

kirin-920-vs-801

However Huawei seems to be done magic and according to all leaked documents and benchmarks, Kirin 920 easily beats the upcoming Snapdragon 805 processor made by Qualcomm according to leaked benchmarks. Speaking about Snapdragon 805, its a beast of a chipset because its Adreno 420 GPU is 40% faster than the Snapdragon 801’s Adreno 330 GPU. No one including Apple comes close to the raw processing power of Adreno 420 GPU at the moment. However leaked Antutu benchmarks shows that Kirin 920 with ARM Mali-T628MP4 GPU is faster than the Snapdragon 805 in overall benchmarks. Kirin 920 achieves these amazing results because it uses the newest Global Task Scheduling feature of Big.LITTLE architecture which lets the device to use all 8 cores for workloads unlike previous generation (used in Galaxy S4) which only has the ability to use only 4 cores at once.

kirin-920-features

Don’t get too excited just yet. Just because Kirin 920 is faster than Snapdragon 801 it doesn’t mean that it will be better. Qualcomm announced that Snapdragon 805 uses 20% less power compared to Snapdragon 801.We can’t expect the same for Huawei’s production devices if you remember the K3V2 days. Huawei’s test devices may run a lot faster but when it comes to real world production devices we cant expect the same. There should be a reason for Samsung to switch to Snapdragon from its trusty Exynos and lets hope Huawei should get everything right this time.

Kirin 920 equips 4 Cortex-A15 cores and 4 Cortex-A7 cores and its built on the 28nm process. Cat6 LTE support is built in and Mali-T628MP4 supports screens up to 2560 x 1600 pixels. Video recording is supported up to 4K in 30fps. Here is the spec sheet

  • 1.7 GHz to 2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A15 + 1.3 GHz to 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex A7
  • Mali T628 MP4 quad-core GPU
  • Tensilica HiFi 3 DSP Core
  • Supports display resolution of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Up to 20MP camera image signal processor (ISP), 480 Mpixels/s capture rate
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording at 30fps, H.265 codec
  • IntelliSense I3 for low-power operation when gathering data from accelerometer, gyroscope, compass etc.
  • Integrated Multi-mode 4G LTE Modem – Category 6 FDD / TDD
  • TD-LTE/LTE FDD / TD-SCDMA / WCDMA / GSM
  • SGLTE/CSFB/VoLTE

Here is the Huawei’s test platform running Kirin 920 processor, Could this be the upcoming Ascend D3 in a disguise?

kirin-920-bench