Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960

Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960 Specifications and Feature Comparison


In this article, we compare the Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960. Both of these processors are flagship SOCs from the Chinese Telecommunications giant. The real competitor to this SOC is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SOC which is currently the kind of mobile processors.

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Also Read: Top Phones From Huawei with Kirin 960 SOC

From past few years, the battle of flagships phones is at its peak. Every smartphone manufacturer is in the race of providing their best offerings at an affordable price. To keep up with times, Huawei, a Chinese MNC giant, doesn’t want to stay back. Huawei has launched its flagship phones that comes with in-house SoC Kirin 970.

But this post is not directly related to the flagship phones. But here, we will compare the processors that power up the premium smartphones. Here, we are going to compare the Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960

Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960

Let us begin with a quick comparison chart, which you can see below. From the initial impressions, it looks like the Kirin 970 packs all the punch that the rival Snapdragon 935 has to offer. See below:

Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960
FeaturesHuawei Kirin 970Huawei Kirin 960
 CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
 Core Configuration4x Cortex-A73 @ 2.4GHz
4x Cortex A53 @ 1.8GHz
4x Cortex-A73 @ 2.4GHz
4x Cortex A53 @ 1.8GHz
 GPU Mali-G72 MP12 (12 Core GPU) Mali-G71 MP8 @900MHz
Manufacturing Technology TSMC 10nm16nm FinFET
 LTE Modem LTE Cat 18 LTE Cat 12
 Flash interface UFS 2.1 UFS 2.1
Media Processing2160p60 HEVC & H.264 Decode
2160p30 Encode
 2160p30 HEVC & H.264 Decode & Encode
2160p60 HEVC Decode
Neural Processing Unit
Yes No

Huawei Kirin 970 was unveiled recently. Kirin 970 features built-in AI computing capabilities. The AI platform runs on a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that is a piece of hardware which is very good at running neural networks (For example, Image Processing, Text Analysis, Speech Engine, etc.). The Kirin 970 NPU can perform AI computing tasks faster with less power usage. Let’s take an example of an image recognition test benchmark, the Kirin 970 processes 2000 images per minute which are about 20% faster than the 960’s CPU.

Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960

Source: Huawei

While the Huawei 960 was launched at the end of 2016, at that time, Kirin 960 was the top-end processor of Huawei for their flagship smartphones. Kirin 960 comes with the latest generation Mali GPU, fastest ARM CPU cores and upgraded networking technology that delivers amazingly fast downstream and upstream speeds.

Talking about the CPU architecture of both the SoCs, Kirin 970 is being manufactured by TSMC using the 10nm process. It is an octa-core processor, with a 12-core GPU. The CPU is similar to the Kirin 960 CPU. Both have four ARM Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.4 GHz and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz.

Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960

Kirin 960 is built using the 16 nm FinFET manufacturing process. So regarding efficiency and performance, Kirin 970 is better than the Kirin 960. Kirin  970 is the first commercial SoC to use the Mali-G72, the latest GPU from ARM. According to Huawei, the new GPU will make Kirin 970 20% faster than the Kirin 960 and 50 percent more power efficient. Kirin 960 uses the new Mali-G71 MP8 GPU.

Rest of the features are almost the same among between the two SoCs. So, Kirin 970 is the new flagship processor from Huawei that will take the smartphone performance to the new level.


We will have to wait until the final real-world performance numbers are out. On paper, the Kirin 970 is an impressive SOC. However, we will have to wait until we find a phone with the 970 in it.

We hope you like our comparison of the Huawei Kirin 970 vs Kirin 960 in our article. For any questions or feedback, do drop us a line below in the comments section.

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