The Insightrr - A Blog For Mobile Processors | System-On-Chips For Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops

Simple! Snapdragon 855 Vs Kirin 980 – Benchmarks

Snapdragon 855 Vs Kirin 980 comparison is an interesting piece as they are designed to serve Android flagships of 2019 and 2020. It’s Qualcomm Tech Summit 2018 time where the company unveiled it’s most awaited high-end chipset for mobiles – Snapdragon 855. Of course, the key USP is the 5G NR (New Radio) technology.

Snapdragon 855 Vs Kirin 980
Source: Qualcomm

Before deep diving into each component of the SoC, let’s take a look at the detailed specifications of both chipsets.

Snapdragon 855 Vs Kirin 980 Vs Apple A12

SpecificationsSnapdragon 855Kirin 980Apple A12 Bionic
SegmentHigh-EndHigh-EndHigh-End
YearQ4 2018Q3 2018Q3 2018
Process Node7nm FinFET LPE7nm TSMC FinFET7nm TSMC FinFET
Transistors / Die Size~More than 5 Billion6.9 Billion6.9 Billion, 83.27 mm²
CPU Cluster 1 (Performance)1 x Kryo 485 Gold @ 2.84 GHz2 x Cortex-A76 @ 2.60 GHz2 x Vortex @ 2.49 GHz
CPU Cluster 2 (Efficiency)3 x Kryo 485 Gold @ 2.42 GHz2 x Cortex-A76 @ 1.92 GHz4 x Tempest
Tri-Cluster4 x Kryo 485 Silver @ 1.80 GHz4 x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80 GHzNo (only 2 + 4)
GPUAdreno 640 @ 850 MHz?Mali-G76MP10 @ 720 MHzCustom Designed GPU
GPU ALUs/Cores/Clusters256?104
FP32 Perf. (GFlops)865 - 880?490-
RAM Interface @ ClockLPDDR4X @ 2133 MHzLPDDR4X @ 2133 MHzLPDDR4X
RAM Channel, Bandwidth64-bit, 34.12 GB/s64-bit, 34.12 GB/s-
Celluar ModemX24 LTE (Cat. 20/20)Integrated LTE (Cat. 21/18)X16 LTE
UpLink (Mbps)316200-
DownLink (Mbps)19481400-
5G Support5G Ready (X50 Optional)Entry-level (4.5G)-
Latest WiFi Support802.11 ax/ay (2.4/5GHz Dual Band)802.11 ac (2.4/5GHz Dual Band)802.11 ad (2.4/5GHz Dual Band)
Bluetooth | NFC5.0 | Yes5 + BLE | Yes4.2 | Yes
USB3.1--
Max. Display Support3840x2160 @ 60 fps--
Camera ISP, Max. MPDual ISP, Spectra 380 (Up to 32 MP)Integrated Dual ISP, (Up to 24MP)Custom Designed ISP
Video Capture4K/30fps.FHD/120fpsAVC/HEVC, 30 fps-
Video Playback4K/60fps-10bit.FHD/240fpsAVC/HEVC, 60 fps-
DSPHexagon 690Dedicated DSP-
Dedicated NPU/APU/Neural IPNPU (6x Speed)Yes (Dual NPU)Yes 8-Core (5 TOPs 8bit)
Flash Storage SupportSD 3.0/eMMC 5.1/UFS 2.1UFS 2.1-
Fast ChargingQuick Charge 4.0+ / WiPowerHisilicon Fast Charge-
Geekbench 4.1 (Single-Core)369733334821
Geekbench 4.1 (Multi-Core)1046998079367
CPU Performance (Points)119650115296133561
GPU Performance (Points)142048112516150931
UX Performance (Points)721626945666474
Memory Performance (Points)91911629312559
AnTuTu v7 (Total) Points343051313561363525
AI Score14295

Snapdragon 855 Has Better CPU Design

Historically, custom-designed ARM CPUs have had the edge, so does Qualcomm’s 485 CPUs go duel with Kirin 980’s stock ARM Cortex-A76 CPU Cores. Both chipsets are adopting Tri-cluster CPU arrangement. Customized CPUs in Snapdragon 855 looks to have the edge with higher clock rates and a unique asymmetrical CPU core arrangement. The Maximum clock rate of the Kryo CPU is 2.84 GHz, on the other hand, the stock Cortex-A76 is capped at 2.60 GHz.

Snapdragon 855 Vs Kirin 980 – Geekbench & AnTuTu & AI-Benchmark

Though both are manufactured on the 7nm process node, the clock rate is not solely a factor to determine performance. AI Engine based on the vector approach (using on-chip CPU, GPU, DSP, etc.) have retained higher AI benchmark scores as compared to the Kirin 980 which integrates a dedicated NPU (AI Accelerator).

Snapdragon 855 Vs Kirin 980 – AnTuTu

Collectively, The Insightrr judges the Snapdragon 855 as a better choice as it is 5G ready, has better Wi-Fi standards, etc.

Detailed specs below.

Kirin 980 specifications and key features:

  • CPU (DynamIQ clusters)
    • 2x Cortex A76 cores @ up to 2.60 GHz with 512KB L2 cache
    • 2x Cortex A76 cores @ up to 1.92 GHz with 512KB L2 cache
    • 4x Cortex A55 cores  @ 1.80 GHz with 128KB L2 cache
    • 4MB shared L3 cache
  • GPU – ARM Mali-G76MP10 @ 720 MHz
  • NPU – Dual NPU (Neural Processing Unit) with twice the performance compared to Kirin 970
  • Memory I/F – 4x 16-bit LPDDR4X @ 2133MHz 34.1GB/s
  • Storage I/F – UFS 2.1
  • Camera I/F – Dual ISP with10-bit pipeline
  • VPU – 4K60 video decoding, 4K30 video encoding
  • Modem – LTE Cat 21/18 modem with 1.4 Gbps download, 200 Mbps upload
  • i8 Sensor Hub to handle sensors
  • Processor – TSMC 7nm

Snapdragon 855 specifications:

  • CPU – 8x Qualcomm Kryo 485 64-bit cores @ up to 2.84 GHz; 7nm Process Technology; based on leaks, tri-cluster configuration: 1+3+4
  • Visual Subsystem
    • Adreno 640 GPU
    • OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 FP, Vulkan 1.1 API support
    • HDR gaming
    • Hardware-accelerated H.265 and VP9 decoder.  HDR Playback Codec support for HDR10+, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision
    • Volumetric VR video playback
    • 8K 360 VR video playback
  • Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine
    • Qualcomm Hexagon 690 Processor
    • Qualcomm Hexagon Vector Accelerator
    • Qualcomm Hexagon Tensor Accelerator
    • Qualcomm Hexagon Voice Assistant
    • Qualcomm All-Ways Aware Hub
    • Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU
    • Qualcomm Kryo 485 CPU
  • System Memory – 4×16-bit, LPDDR4x, up to 16GB @ 2133 MHz
  • Display
    • Maximum On-Device Display Support: Up to 4K HDR
    • Maximum External Display Support  Up to two 4K HDR displays
    • 10-bit color depth, Rec. 2020 color gamut
  • Audio
    • Low-power Audio Subsystem with AI
    • Hexagon Voice Assistant Accelerator for advanced voice use cases
    • Qualcomm Aqstic Audio Technology
      • Native DSD support, PCM up to 384 kHz/32-bit
      • Supports two wake words simultaneously (Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Baidu, Cortana)
    • Always-on echo cancellation and noise suppression; up to 4 mic far-field mic support for better voice recognition in tough conditions
    • Qualcomm aptX Adaptive audio technology
    • Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Plus technology
  • Camera
    • Qualcomm Spectra 380 Image Sensor Processor
    • Dual 14-bit ISPs
    • Hardware accelerator for computer vision (CV-ISP)
    • Up to 20 MP dual camera
    • Up to 32 MP single camera
    • Rec. 2020 color gamut video capture
    • Up to 10-bit color depth video capture
    • Slow motion video capture at 720p HDR, 480fps
    • HEIF photo capture, HEVC video capture
    • Video Capture Formats: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
    • 4K HDR Video Capture with Portrait Mode (Bokeh)
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • 5G Modem
      • Snapdragon X50 5G Modem
      • Supported Technologies: 5G NR
      • Support for sub-6 GHz and mmWave
      • Supported Spectrum:
        • mmWave: 800 MHz bandwidth, 2×2 MIMO
        • Sub-6 GHz: 100 MHz bandwidth, 4×4 MIMO
    • 4G Modem
      • Snapdragon X24 LTE modem
      • Cellular Technologies – LTE FDD, LTE TDDincluding CBRS support, LAA, LTE Broadcast, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM/EDGE
      • Downlink – LTE Cat 20 up to 2.0 Gbps, 7x20MHz carrier aggregation, 256-QAM, 4×4 MIMO on five carriers
      • Uplink – LTE Cat 13 up to 318 Mbps, 3×20 MHz carrier aggregation, 256-QAM, Uplink Data Compression
      • Multi SIM with support for Dual SIM Dual VoLTE (DSDV) and LTE Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) +LAA
      • Next-generation Calling Services including VoLTE with SRVCC to 3G and 2G, HD and Ultra HD Voice (EVS), and CSFB to 3G and 2G
    • RF Front-End
      • QTM052 5G mmWave antenna module
      • Qualcomm Adaptive Antenna Tuning & Envelope Tracking
      • High-power transmit (HPUE)
  • WiFi
    • Qualcomm WiFi 6-ready mobile platform
      • WiFi Standards: 802.11ax-ready, 802.11ac Wave 2, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11n
      • WiFi Spectral Bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
      • Channel Utilization: 20/40/80 MHz
      • MIMO Configuration: 2×2 (2-stream) MU-MIMO
      • Dual-band simultaneous (DBS)
      • WPA3 security
    • Qualcomm 60 GHz Wi-Fi mobile platform
      • Wi-Fi Standards: 802.11ad802.11ay
      • Wi-Fi Spectral Band: 60 GHz
      • Peak speed: 10 Gbps
      • Key Features: multi-gigabit speeds, wire-equivalent latency, always-on ambient WiFi sensing
  • Other Wireless Connectivity
    • Bluetooth 5.0 up to 2 Mbps
    • Satellite Systems Support – Dual frequency GNSS, GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS, SBAS
    • Near Field Communications (NFC)
  • USB – USB Version 3.1; USB Type-C Support
  • Security
    • Secure Processing Unit featuring mobile payments and Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor
    • Biometric Authentication: Fingerprint, Iris, Voice, Face
    • On-Device Qualcomm  Mobile Security, Key Provisioning Security, Qualcomm Processor Security, Qualcomm Content Protection, Qualcomm
      Trusted Execution Environment, Camera Security, Crypto Engine, Malware
      Protection, Secure Boot, Secure Token
  • Charging – Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology