In the mobile chipset ranking, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 is outrun by the powerful Huawei Kirin 970. Find out why!
This post highlights the results of the Snapdragon 636 Vs Kirin 970 showdown. The comparative assessment evaluates the differences between Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 and Huawei’s Hisilicon Kirin 970. Firstly, let’s understand the background of these two mobile processors.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 is a mid-range processor released last year. It is designed to replace the powerful mid-range, the Snapdragon 625. Snapdragon 625 enables powerful yet cost-effective smartphones. On the other hand, Hisilicon (Huawei’s chip manufacturing subsidiary) Kirin 970 is a high-end processor released by Huawei to replace the Kirin 960 built on previous generation process technology. Before talking about the key differences let’s take a look at the key specifications of the chips.
Snapdragon 636 Vs Kirin 970
Snapdragon 636 Vs Kirin 970
4 x A73 + 4 x A53 @ 1.8 GHz (Max.)
4 x A73 @ 2.4 GHz + 4 x A53 @ 1.8 GHz + NPU
Mali-G72 MP12 (12 Core)
LTE Cat. 12
LTE Cat. 18
Memory & Storage
LPDDR4X & UFS 2.1 Support
In terms of the processor segment, Kirin 970 is largely powerful which is very obvious. The Snapdragon 636 targets mid-range smartphones, while the Kirin 970 serves the Huawei flagships. From the perspective of positioning, obviously, Kirin 970 is significantly stronger than the Snapdragon 636 processor.
Now we will understand, how much is the difference gap between the Snapdragon 636 and the Kirin 970? In view of the above, let’s take a comprehensive understanding of the key differences through the specifications (parameters).
Kirin 970 Is Built On 10nm
The Snapdragon 636 is manufactured using the 14nm process, while the Kirin 970 is a 10nm processor. The lower the “nm” value, the more advanced the process is. Also, lower process node ensures less power consumption and heating of the processor.
Kirin 970 CPU Have Higher Computing Speed
CPU clock rate refers to the processor computing speed (operating frequency). From the comparison of specifications, both have eight-core CPU (processor), but Kirin 970 has the highest operating frequency of 2.4 GHz and lowest 1.8 GHz, and blessed with a dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit) for advance AI applications. The highest operating frequency of the Snapdragon 636 is capped at 1.8 GHz.
Kirin 970 Has High-End GPU Core
The SD636 has built-in Adreno 509, while the Kirin 970 has a built-in Mali-G72 MP12 (12 core) GPU. From the name perspective, it is tricky to determine which is stronger or weaker. However, as per the mobile processor positioning and AnTuTu benchmark points, we can see the GPU performance gap.
The Snapdragon 636 is positioned at the mid-end segment and secured 110,000 points in the AnTuTu GPU test. On the other hand, Kirin 970 is positioned at a high end, and the AnTuTu GPU test returned points around 200,000.
Kirin 970 Has Better LTE Modem Specifications
The baseband version of the Snapdragon 636 is LTE Cat.12, which belongs to the mid-range level, while the Kirin 970 baseband version reaches LTE Cat.18, which belongs to the current high-end level. Both processors support mobile 4G network, however, the Kirin 970 baseband version is higher equivalent to supporting a 4.5G network. It means, theoretically the Kirin 970 powered smartphones can achieve higher download speeds.
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!