Huawei Kirin 990 SoC with Built-in 5G Modem Unveiled at IFA 2019

Kirin 990 chipset is the most powerful, other 5G chips are low-end, says Honor President

At the IFA 2019 in Berlin on Friday, Huawei unveiled its latest flagship mobile processor, the HiSilicon Kirin 990, with an embedded 5G modem. Built on the 7nm+ EUV process node, the SoC is being described by the company as the ‘world’s first 5G SoC’ that will not just save on space but will also be more power efficient than current solutions. According to Huawei, the integrated modem chip will offer download speeds of up to 2.3Gbps and upload speeds of up to 1.25Gbps.

As for its tech specs, it comes with an octa-core CPU with four powerful Cortex-A76 cores and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores. While two of the A76 cores are clocked at 2.86GHz, the other two have clock speeds of up to 2.36Ghz. The A55 cores, meanwhile, are clocked at up to 1.95GHz. The chipset also comes with a 16-core Mali G76 GPU for gaming and other graphics processing needs.

The Kirin 990 also comes with a dedicated quad-core NPU (neural processing unit) that will be used for voice and face recognition tasks. Built on the new Da Vinci Architecture, the chip will not only support Huawei’s own HiAI platform, but also Facebook’s Tensorflow and Google’s Android NN technologies.

The Kirin 990 will be first seen in action in the Mate 30 lineup later this year before making its way to other Huawei and Honor devices, including possibly, the Mate X. However, given that the company’s fate still hangs in the balance pending a resolution of the escalating trade war between the US and China, it will be interesting to see how that will affect the company’s plans going forward.

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