IHS Markit spot some flaws in Huawei’s Balong 5000 5G chip

The development of 5G technology is getting to advance stages and very soon, 5G smartphones will flood the market. Recently, IHS Markit took a look at six 5G smartphones that are already available in the market. Apart from Samsung and Huawei that has their own 5G modems, other OEMs rely on Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem. The report reveals some important notes on the Balong 5000 which is the 5G modem on the Huawei Mate 20X 5G version.

IHS Markit  on Early 5G smartphones

IHS Markit on Balong 5000 5G Modem

According to IHS Markit, the Balong 5000 is “inefficient and too large” while the 5G experience is also questionable. Huawei Mate 20X 5G version uses both the Kirin 980 and the Balong 5000. The Balong 5000 5G modem is currently the first chip to support 5G/4G/3G/2G. However, it is worth noting that the Kirin 980 processor itself integrates a 4G/3G/2G modem chip. Thus, the exact need for Kirin 980 is not seen. Perhaps, there are some flaws with the Balong 5000 that the Kirin 980 need to cover up. Moreover, the chip size of the Balong 5000 5G modem chip is quite large. It is about 50% larger than Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem and Samsung Exynos 5100 5G modem. 

Despite these loopholes, IHS Markit admits that the Balong 5000 is efficient enough for the current 5G network. However, there is definitely room for improvement. Well, it is not a complete surprise if there are a few flaws here and there in the current 5G. Recall that it was a race to the finish line thus many minute details will be ignored for now.

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Nevertheless, IHS Markit’s expects serious improvements in next year smartphone processor. It believes that the chips will integrate 5G/4G/3G/2G multimode modem, which may gradually reduce the price of 5G mobile phone because the device will no longer need a separate 5G modem. This will also eliminate the need for storage and power management chips for 5G modem. As the price of 5G mobile phones decreases, the application of 5G is expected to be more extensive. 

The IHS Markit report also praised Huawei’s efforts for 5G commercial use. Although there is some functional duplication between the Balong 5000 5G modem chip and the integrated modem inside the Kirin 980, IHS Markit hopes that Huawei can further improve the integration of 5G chips in the future.


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  1. Andre John Cruz
    August 13, 2019

    ah, these are early times for 5G. as expected, there will be flaws and bugs in vendors’ implementations. I’m sure Huawei will soon fix whatever issues the Balong 5000 has, and they’ll eventually get to integrate the entire modem into their Kirin chips (990?)

    • Tray xMonst3rPro
      August 13, 2019

      hyped for the mid range 5G SOCs.