For the past year or so now, when it comes to the systems-on-a-chip that power our smartphones, it’s been a story of Qualcomm, Qualcomm, Qualcomm. Yeah, there’s the odd Exynos now and then, and Apple’s off doing things Apple’s own way, but anybody who’s anybody has been outfitting their phones with Snapdragon chips. And that’s fine – Qualcomm makes a fine SoC – but a little competition’s always nice to help keep things fresh, and recently we’ve seen signs that once-dormant forces in the SoC game may still have some life in them yet: look no further than yesterday’s news that Google’s Tegra tablet dev kit will run NVIDIA’s latest Tegra design. There’s also some fresh blood from Huawei on the way, with the company formally announcing the HiSilicon Kirin 920.
That’s a name that should sound familiar to you if you’ve been following our Huawei coverage, as we’ve known about the 920 for a while now, and have been speculating about its presence in upcoming Huawei smartphones. With those finally about to start arriving, it’s only fitting to see Huawei give the SoC a proper introduction.
The 920 is an octa-core big.LITTLE arrangement with four A15s and four A7s, all capable of being used simultaneously. There’s a Mali-T628MP4 GPU with support for 2K displays and 4K video recording, and the chip is compatible with high-speed LTE Cat 6.
Huawei’s quite boastful of the Kirin 920, talking about Snapdragon 805-besting performance, but we’ll believe it when we see it – you can quote benchmarks until you’re blue in the face, but it’s the user experience that’s ultimately going to matter. As such, we’ll be waiting to get our hands on a 920-powered phone before making up our minds about this guy.