Right on schedule, Huawei took the wraps off its next generation mobile processor at an event in Beijing this morning. The Kirin 950 packs in some impressive specs and looks set to give Qualcomm’s already-troubled Snapdragon 820 chip some stiff competition…

The octa-core processor ties together a 2.3GHz quad-core Cortex A72 chip and a 1.8GHz Cortex A53 using big.LITTLE architecture and is built using TSMC’s 16nm FinFet process. Huawei says this structure should provide fantastic performance without draining battery heavily.

Huawei’s Kirin 950 also supports Category 6 LTE with maximum download speeds of 300Mbps, and is compatible with VoLTE network calls as standard. There’s an i5 low-power coprocessor built specifically to monitor all the various motion sensors in the device. Because of this, it can keep track of all movements without drawing power from the main central processing unit, again, saving battery. There’s also an integrated ARM Mali T880MP4 graphics chip to deliver market-leading graphics performance.

What’s really impressive here is how well the processor benchmarks in early tests. From initial AnTuTu results, it seems Huawei may have built the most powerful, and fastest mobile chip so far. The Kirin 950 managed a score of 82,945 using the benchmarking tool, besting the current highest performer, the Tegra X1, which managed a score of just under 75,000.

With results like this, Huawei’s Kirin 950 could end up being Qualcomm’s biggest competitor over the coming year. The Snapdragon 820 hasn’t been officially unveiled yet, but, early unverified scores indicate a score of 83,774 using the same benchmarking tool. Qualcomm‘s next flagship chip is set to be announced shortly, and will more than likely feature in Samsung’s next high-end Galaxy S smartphones. If rumors are to be believed, Samsung hasn’t just been testing the Snapdragon 820, but has also had a hand in designing and building them.

As for the Kirin 950, we’re expecting it to be the processor built in to the Mate 8 which Huawei is due to announce at the end of this month.

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