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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Kirin 650 - What we know so far

Huawei have officially launch the new Honor 5C smartphone today in China but the one that intrigue us the most isnt the phone but what is under the hood. In side the latest Honor 5C device and also the earlier Huawei P9 Lite is a new Kirin 650 that was build and launch under the radar without any official specification release by Huawei.

Kirin 650 is essentially an update of the earlier Kirin 620 that would compete in the mid tier level with almost similar named Snapdragon 600 series. We will try to look at Kirin 650 as detail as we could with limited information available and hopefully we get the detail as correct as possible.

Kirin 650 is an 8 core SoC that consist of (4 + 4) A53 chips running on big.LITTLE configuration. Its is somewhat similar to last year Kirin own flagship in the mold of Kirin 930 that also utilized 8 core of A53 in big.LITTLE configuration with 4 x 1.7GHz and 4 x 2.0GHz. The biggest difference is in 16nm fabrication by TSMC while Kirin 930 are running on 28nmm, Kirin 650's 16nm fabrication bring higher power efficiency and could run cooler with similar or higher performance.

On the graphic side, Mali T830 made an appearance here that brings performance even if it is only using MP2 setup with 2 core.

This is in a nutshell a much better chipset than last year Kirin 930/935 flagship device and that show how much difference a year could make in technology

Name Kirin 650 (Honor 5C) Kirin 930 (Honor 7)
Fab 16nm 28nm
Instruction set ARMv8-A ARMv8-A
microarchitecture A53 A53
Core 4+4 big.LITTLE (1.7Ghz + 2.0 GHz) 4+4 big.LITTLE (1.5GHz + 2.0 GHz)
Memory type DDR3 DDR3
Storage support eMMC 5.1 eMMC 4.5
SD support SD4.1 (UHS-II) SD3.0 (USH-I)
GPU Mali T830 MP2 Mali T628 MP4

Kirin 650 might be a better SoC than Kirin 930 that powered last year Honor 7 but it is still lagged behind Qualcomm with their A72 offering (Snapdragon 650 / 652) and also the low power consumption of Snapdragon 625 that build on smaller 14nm fabrication.

While it lack in the raw performance to Qualcomm offering it also showcase how Huawei / Hisilicon is moving in the right direction with a huge leap in performance within a year and we could only imagine what Huawei would bring next year.

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