The market for SoC makers for mobile devices was almost completely hoarded by Qualcomm, until recently companies like Samsung and Huawei decided to manufacture their own chipset for their mobile, and there is no better way to know which is the best, and this Once we have a clash between the Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960, two processors that belong to the mid-range but are this year.
Brief introduction on Qualcomm and HiSilicon
It is sure that everyone has heard of Qualcomm processors, the company is very famous all over the world and many smartphone companies like Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus, Xiaomi and many more have used Qualcomm as SoC for their main devices . Qualcomm is an American Company located in San Diego, California and has become the leading provider of Smartphone SoCs. A SoC is an abbreviation for System on Chip in English (CPU + GPU + Modem + Board = System on Chip). The SoCs of this company use the Adreno GPU, which is one of the best GPUs in terms of graphics for a smartphone.
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Snapdragon chips provide a good battery life, make good heat management, multitasking and performance in the games is sublime, however, the company had a bad time with the horrible Snapdragon 810 and 615, chips they bring A lot of problems like overheating, performance problems and battery. No matter how good the company is, you can still escape a bad chip from the factory.
On the other hand, HiSilicon is a Chinese semiconductor company based in Guangdong and is wholly owned by Huawei. HiSilicon purchased ARM Holdingsm licenses for CPUSs based on the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore, ARM Cortex-M3, ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore, ARM Cortex-A53, ARM Cortex-A57 architectures and also for its Mali graphics cores. HiSilicon also acquired licenses from its GC4000 graphics core. This Huawei-owned company is the largest integrated circuit manufacturer in China.
The most famous SoC produced by HiSilicon is the Kirin 960, which is used by the Huawei P10 Plus, the flagship phone produced by Huawei with the Leica dual camera lens.
Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960: CPU
The Qulacomm Snapdragon 660 consists of four Kryo 260 performance cores with clock speeds of up to 2.2 GHz and four Kryo 260 efficiency cores running up to 1.8 GHz.
This type of configuration means that the tasks will be optimized for the appropriate core hoping to achieve optimized energy savings. This configuration is similar to what Qualcomm did with the Snapdragon 810 and what Apple is doing with the quad-core A10 Fusion chip.
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Here is the OPPO R11 score with the Snapdragon 660.
The HiSilicon Kirin 960 is equipped with 4 large A73 cores, the clock speed is 2.36 GHz, which is very important for the performance of a single wire, the A73 cores save a 20% more battery compared to the core A72. On the other hand, the Kirin 960 is the first SoC that uses A73 cores.
Next, a Benchmark of the Huawei P10 using the Kirin 960
Conclusion, the Kirin 960 tends to have a higher score in Multi-Core and Single-Core processing compared to the Snapdragon 660. Benchmark scores at the end of the day are just a paper reference, since the Performance will depend on the use we give it, so we can not judge the performance of a terminal just by looking at a benchmark.
Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960: SoC Size
Using a smaller size in a SoC will increase efficiency with increased performance and lower power consumption. The Snapdragon 660 is manufactured in 14nm while the Kirin 960 has a lithograph of 16nm; Offering a smaller chip size makes smartphone manufacturers more useful space within upcoming products to support larger batteries or thinner designs and also reduces battery consumption as well as the heat generated. Process improvements combined with more advanced chip design are expected to bring significant improvements in battery life.
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Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
HiSilicon Kirin 960
Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960: GPU
One of the strongest factors in Snapdragon chips is efficiency in 3D and Gaming applications, and that’s all thanks to the graphical improvements of the Adreno class. The Adreno 512 seems to be built on the previous Adreno 510 from Snapdragon 650, this 512 adreno will offer up to 30% extra efficiency compared to the previous version.
Although it is still far from the performance of the Adreno 540, it still supports the latest 3D graphics API, including Vulkan, is also capable of displaying a power of up to 2K resolution.
Meanwhile, the Kirin 960 HiSilicon powered by the Mali-G71MP8 GPU doubles the kernel counter up to eight and increases the maximum frequency to 1037MHz, 15% more than the Kirin 950’s smallest GPU, and is the first SoC using the GPU Mali-G71.
The Mali-G71 runs on ARM’s new Bifrost microarchitecture, which moves from an ISD SIMA based on ILP (Instruction Level Parallelism) to a scalar ISA designed to take advantage of TLL (Thread Level Parallelism) as modern architectures Nvidia and AMD desktop GPUs. In general trying to explain the architecture and construction is quite complicated, and simplifying it would be to subtract merits, in short, this change allows a better use of the cores, increasing performance and efficiency.
Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960: ISP Camera
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 features the Spectra ISP that supports Qualcomm’s Clear Sight technology for color combinations and a monochrome sensor for improved contrast and noise reduction. The Snapdragon optical zoom module, as the name implies, offers a 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom improved. This technology works by using a telephoto lens with a wide-angle lens. Spectra remains a dual 14-bit ISP configuration that supports dual 16MP cameras or a single 24MP sensor.
On the other hand, Huawei is famous for dual-camera smartphones, and the Kirin 960 uses a number of hardware features to improve the quality of images in certain packages. The chipset supports both the color and monochrome sensors, the electronic stabilization of 4K video. It provides smooth amplification of the “bokeh effect” in real time, equipped with hybrid approach and very effective noise reduction systems. Note that being Huawei who uses this SoC, is completely taken advantage of Leica lenses that are of very good quality.
Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960: Modem
The Snapdragon X12 LTE modem supports maximum download speeds of up to 600 Mbps and peak loads up to 150 Mbps, thanks to support for LTE Advanced carrier aggregation (3x in the downlink, Y 2x in the uplink) and modulation of (Up to 256-QAM on the downlink and 64-QAM on the uplink). It even supports the download of data in 4 antennas simultaneously with support for 4 × 4 MIMO.
The Kirin 960 uses its own communication module that supports the addition of four carrier frequency components and also 4 × 4 MIMO. The Kirin 960 has become the first Huawei chipset to support all network standards, including GSM, UMTS, CDMA, TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE, LTE FDD And 3GPP with frequencies from 330 MHz to 3.8 GHz. Unlike previous Huawei chipsets, where the second SIM only supports 2G (GSM) networks, the Kirin 960 both SIM cards operate on 3G (WCDMA) . To improve the quality of data transmission at a low signal level, it uses intelligent packet loss concealment.
Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960: DSP (Digital Signal Processor)
To begin with, a digital signal processor or (DSP) is a type of microprocessor (incredibly fast and powerful). A DSP is unique because it performs data processing in real time. This real-time operating capability makes a DSP the perfect choice for applications where we will not tolerate delays.
The Snapdragon 660 uses the Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP. It is designed to significantly improve battery performance and life, and includes the Qualcomm All-Ways Aware Sensor Hub and Hexagon Vector (HVX) extensions, which is capable of handling image and video processing tasks quickly and efficiently .
The i6 DSP that uses the Kirin 960, is capable of performing tasks while the rest of the cores are in a state of rest, this allows the device can always be in a state of alert so to speak. This DSP reduces power consumption by 75% when the tracker is turned on and by 40% when calculating the processes. In addition, the i6 gives us a 30% more efficient use of memory.
Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960: Audio Codec
The Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec, combined with the Snapdragon 660, is designed to deliver Hi-Fi audio quality for recording studios. Supports up to 192 kHz / 24-bit audiophile grade DAC, with extremely low distortion and high dynamic range.
Meanwhile, the HiSilicon Kirin 960 was powered by the Hi6403 audio chip. It uses modern noise reduction technology to reduce background noise during a conversation, provides high-quality music playback at up to -117 dB ambient noise, and also supports 32-bit / 192 high-quality playback KHz and DSD. The Hi6403 has a low power consumption, allowing you to spend 17% to 33% less load compared to its predecessor.
Snapdragon 660 vs Kirin 960: Memory and Flash Memory
In addition to the new and improved CPU, DSP and GPU cores, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 supports LPDDR4 fast access memory in a dual 32-bit configuration, with the same clock speed as 1866 MHz. In addition, flash memory support Has been improved to UFS 2.1. Even so, UFS 2.1 is not faster than UFS 2.0, both have peaks of transfer speeds of 1.2GBps, but the former reduces power consumption and provides additional data security by using on-line cryptography between the SoC and UFS storage device.
The Kirin 960 also uses 4 16-bit LPDDR4 memories. The 1866MHz memory is up to 50% more energy efficient than the previous generation LPDDR3, while offering up to 50% more performance. In addition, the Kirin 960 also supports UFS 2.1 which is equal to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660.
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