It's obviously not surprising that Huawei is currently busy working on the successor to the Mate 9 from last year. Nor is it out of the ordinary for the Chinese company to launch a new in-house chipset with a new Mate series device. What it's planned for this year, however, may be an SoC made using a 10nm process.
This rumored Kirin 970 part would thus compete on the same level with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 and Samsung's Exynos 8895. The Kirin 970's CPU is expected to have Cortex-A73 cores on the performance cluster just like the 960 featured in the Huawei P10, because apparently the company feels like a move to the recently announced Cortex-A75 would be premature at this point.
The GPU will get a slight bump though, from the Mali-G71MP8 to the G71MP12. No details have been shared regarding clock speeds, either for the CPU or the GPU. The move to 10nm should make the chip more battery friendly. The Mate 10 is expected to debut in October or November, possibly using a near-bezelless display like Samsung's and LG's recent top of the line smartphones.
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