Tech UPTechnologyThe value of a square centimeter in a smart...

The value of a square centimeter in a smart phone

Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, … They are all committed to getting the best smartphone, with the most powerful and efficient chip, and with the smallest possible size.

The nail of the middle finger of an average person has a surface area of about one square centimeter. In that space, smartphone chip and processor makers are hell-bent on housing billions of transistors. So that? More transistors in a smaller footprint means more performance per watt, and even less power. And when chipmakers say they have used an X nanometer manufacturing process, it means they have used photolithographic techniques to reduce the sizes of the silicon into which the billions of transistors are going to be inserted.

That a silicon processor of just one square centimeter houses 6.9 billion transistors, in a 7-nanometer manufacturing process, which experts say will be difficult to reduce further, is a real feat. And Huawei has achieved it and announced it at the recently concluded IFA in Berlin. There the Chinese manufacturer has shown Kirin 980, the engine of what will be its next flagship terminal, the Mate 20 Pro, which will be unveiled in London in mid-October.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Unit, said in Berlin at the Kirin 980 presentation that it “will mark the evolution of the next advances in mobile artificial intelligence, by combining the best performance, efficiency, connectivity features and dual processing power thanks to the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) with artificial intelligence (AI) ”.

The new processor will have a capacity 1.6 times greater than the previous generation Kirin 970 , introduced a year ago and built with a 10-nanometer process.



The union of Kirin 980 and the Dual NPU with artificial intelligence will be able to offer a greater capacity of recognition of images, that will arrive until the 4,600 images per minute, 120% more than with Kirin 970. In addition, Kirin 980 supports intelligence frames common artificial intelligence such as Caffee, Tensorflow and Tensorflow Lite, and provides a set of tools that simplify the difficulty of designing AI applications on the device, allowing developers to easily access the processing power of the neural processing unit.


Better photography experience

For a better smartphone photography experience, Huawei has integrated its 4th generation ISP into the new processor, providing a 46% increase in data throughput compared to its predecessor. The new ISP also offers better support for multi-camera setups, as well as new HDR color reproduction technology, which allows you to manipulate the contrast of images to highlight objects in different parts of the image. Kirin 980 also uses the Multi-pass noise reduction solution, which precisely removes noise without erasing image details, offering better quality in low-light scenarios.

Another new feature of the ISP is the improved motion tracking. When a user tries to capture a photo of a person in motion, the ISP allows to recognize the subject with an accuracy of 97.4%, making it easy for any user to capture fleeting moments with ease. Kirin 980 also incorporates dedicated video capture processing functionality, allowing the camera module to record videos with 33% less lag.


We will see all this in October in the new Mate 20 Pro, but we will also check whether, thanks to better, highly integrated software and hardware, the photographs you take will be able to approach the quality and characteristics of the images captured by much larger traditional cameras , heavy and bulky. Or if the photographic “bokeh” effect improves thanks to the Mate 20 Pro’s machine learning (ML) allowing more refined algorithms that become more accurate in the foreground starting from the background. Or if optical image stabilization, which integrates hardware (the lens), sensors (the gyroscope) and processors to mitigate the impact of the device shaking when a photo is being taken , comes close to perfect. We´ll see.

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