Kirin 985 chipset benchmarked - faster than the 820, slower than Dimensity 1000

Peter, 08 April 2020

The Kirin 985 is an upcoming chipset from HiSilicon that will feature a 5G modem and may be at the heart of the Honor 30 instead of the Kirin 990 5G. Little was known about the chip, but newly surfaced results from AI Benchmark show the composition of the CPU and NPU.

The 985 will be similar to the Kirin 820 in that it will have only one prime core, plus three big and four small cores. For comparison, the flagship Kirin 990 (4G and 5G) have a 2+2+4 configuration.

All three chips use the same CPU cores, though, Cortex-A76 and A55. Check the table below for a more detailed look.

Kirin 820 Kirin 985 Kirin 990 4G Kirin 990 5G
Prime cores 1x A76, 2.36GHz 1x A76, 2.58GHz 2x A76, 2.86GHz 2x A76, 2.86GHz
Big cores 3x A76, 2.22GHz 3x A76, 2.40GHz 2x A76, 2.09GHz 2x A76, 2.36GHz
Small cores 4x A55, 1.84GHz 4x A55, 1.84GHz 4x A55, 1.86GHz 4x A55, 1.95GHz

Next up is the NPU, which uses the Huawei-designed Da Vinci cores. The Kirin 985 will have a dual-core NPU, doubling its AI computational resources compared to the 820 chip.

Note the higher clock speeds of the CPU, they may hint at newer process – 7nm+ EUV, just like the Kirin 990 5G. The 820 chip and 990 4G are manufactured using the older 7nm DUV process.

AI Benchmark scores for Kirin 985 and other chipsets, click for a better look
AI Benchmark scores for Kirin 985 and other chipsets, click for a better look

Whatever the process and clock speeds, the Kirin 985 was outperformed by the MediaTek Dimensity 1000 in the AI Benchmark (which also has four Cortex-A77 cores, thus faster CPU performance).

This benchmark doesn't use the GPU, which remains shrouded in mystery for now.



Reader comments

Its most likely time. As qualcomm 865 has demonstrated a77 cores even at the same frequency are more efficient, but they had a few more months to work on it.

Not to mention that very likely an A77 arrangement wouldve been more expensive to manufacture. Speculation of course, but the rumour mill expects Huawei's yet to be announced Kirin 1020 to be built by TSMC on the latest 5nm process using Cortex ...

With many of the comments, I'm unsure many have done research and have not truly understand why Huawei used A76 cores. Richard Yu has said previously that A77 cores were considered but an A76@2.86GHz vs an A77@2.86GHz, the A77 is more power hun...

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