The Chinese social network Baidu has published a diagram of the HiSilicon Kirin 9000 mobile processor. The image shows a monolithic silicon design that includes a large integrated 5G modem block, a custom image signal processor (ISP), a new neural engine NPU, and custom compute and graphics cores. Huawei uses this processor in its new Mate 60 series smartphones.
It is known that the chip will be manufactured at the facilities of the Chinese company SMIC using 7nm process technology and second-generation stacking technology.
HiSilicon Kirin 9000s is a fairly complex system on a chip (SoC) with four powerful Taishan V120 cores and two energy-efficient Arm Cortex A510 cores, which shows the decision of its developers to take a slightly different approach than, for example, Apple. The latter uses less powerful and more energy efficient cores in its A-series processors. For example, the Apple A17 Pro chip has two powerful and four energy-efficient cores on board.
The Kirin 9000s also uses a Mailiang 910 quad-cluster GPU. It reportedly operates at a maximum frequency of 750 MHz. There is no official information about the GPU architecture.
While the processing and graphics cores take up a significant area of the Kirin 9000s processor, attention is also drawn to the integrated 5G modem unit, as well as a large dedicated image signal processor (ISP) to support advanced image processing technologies in smartphone cameras. What is somewhat surprising is Huawei’s decision to integrate it directly into the SoC instead of using this area to accommodate even more computing and graphics cores.