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Huawei Kirin 950 chip leaks, destined for future flagships

New details have emerged about a pair of upcoming Huawei-built mobile chips, both of which are as high-end as they come.

Titled as Kirin 940 and Kirin 950, the SoCs (system-on-a-chip) appear to be poised as a successor to the current leader, the Kirin 930.

What’s more, both chips will make use of ARM’s spanking new Cortex-A72 processor designs.

This means they’ll be faster and more efficient that the previous top-tier Cortex-A57 processors that appeared on many of last year’s flagship handsets.

They’ll also bring support for dual-channel LPDDR4 memory, 4K video encoding, next-gen UFS 2.0 and eMMC 5.1 flash storage, and USB 3.0, as reported by GizmoChina.

The Kirin 940 boasts a clock speed of up to 2.2GHz and runs an ARM Mali T860 GPU. It’s also got support for a 32-megapixel image sensor and Cat.7 LTE.

The Kirin 950, meanwhile, can handle a 2.4GHz maximum clock speed, boasts a Mali T880 GPU, can handle a 42-megapixel image sensor, and supports Cat. 10 LTE.

Both chips also feature the new i7 co-processor. This always-on co-processor is listed as providing computing heft for the sensor hub, connectivity, and security. The latter could be an indication of a built-in, hardware-level kill switch.

The Kirin 940 is tipped for a Q3 release, while the more powerful Kirin 950 will enter the market in handsets in Q4 this year.

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The interesting part about all of this is that the Kirin 950 might be destined to appear on Google’s next Nexus.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen a flood of rumours suggesting Huawei is going to be the manufacturer for this year’s Nexus smartphone.

We also recently heard that the Google-powered handset would be eschewing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series for Huawei’s own Kirin chips.

When you consider that the next Nexus smartphone, like its predecessors, will likely launch in Q4, and that the Kirin 950 is also set to land in Q4, there’s a seemingly obvious connection to be made.

If that’s all true, and that’s a big if at this stage, then the next Nexus smartphone could be a seriously formidable bit of kit.

It would be a much-needed boon to the Nexus family too, as the Nexus 6 was met with a lukewarm reception.

Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure whether any of this is actually true until either Google or Huawei decides to out the Nexus for real.

Huawei declined to comment on any rumours.

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