Kirin 970 and Apple A11 both are AI-centric chipsets to offer flagship performance in their high-end device. As per the research, Kirin 970 has high-performance NPU, however, it loses to the Apple A11 due to the custom-designed CPU & GPUs. Read the story below…
In the last post, Qualcomm’s commercial chipset, Snapdragon 845 lost to the OEM designed Apple A11 due to an integrated Neural Engine and custom designed GPU. Kirin 970 and Apple A11 both are OEM designed chipset for their smartphone line-up. The OEM is open at throttling the performance characteristics of the chipset, as the efficiency part is done at the software (OS) level. In view of the above, we are pitting Kirin 970 Vs Apple A11 processors to understand the performance prospects of each chipset.
Table of Contents
1. Apple A11 Has Better CPU & GPU
As per the CPU, GPU configuration, Kirin 970 integrates the stock ARM Cortex-A73 and Cortex-A53 CPU cores. On the other hand, Apple A11 integrates the 6 custom-designed CPUs (2x Monsoon, 4x Mistral). Also, the A11 Bionic chip integrates a custom-designed GPU after ditching the Imagination VR Power GPUs. This configuration of CPU and GPU gives the Apple A11 an edge in terms of overall performance.
2. Kirin 970 Has Better Connectivity Features
In terms of the cellular connectivity, the Apple A11 integrates the X16 LTE modem providing download speeds up to 1 Gbps (theoretically). On the other hand, the Kirin 970 integrates Category 18 LTE with speeds to 1.2 Gbps (theoretically). This doesn’t make any difference overall, however, it affects the user experience.
3. Kirin 970 Has Better Neural Engine (NPU)
Neural Engines (NE/NPU) in both the SoCs is the key difference. As per the research, the NPU in the Apple A11 is weaker than the Kirin 970’s NPU. Public data shows that Apple A11 is only 0.6 TOPs in NPU computing performance, while the Huawei Kirin 970 is 2.4 TOPs.
Kirin 970 Vs Apple A11 Key Takeaways
The Hexa-core custom-designed CPUs in the Apple A11 ensures more computing power than the Kirin 970
With the new in-house designed GPU in Apple A11 achieves performances more than Kirin 970
Kirin 970 is powerful for AI applications such as image recognition, speech processing, etc. due to the NPU
Overall, the Apple A11 is a power house for gaming, photography, etc.
DC works as a technology analyst in a research and advisory firm specializing in automotive, energy, electronics, and semiconductors domain. When he's not working, he loves gaming on his modest pc build, loves sci-fi films, and big pop culture geek!