Huawei has unveiled the Kirin 990 5G – its latest high-end chipset, and of course its response to Apple’s A-series, as well as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. The announcement comes just ahead of the unveiling of the Huawei Mate 30 series which in any case would be the first smartphone series to come embedded with the SoC.
The Kirin 990 5G is manufactured using the 7nm EUV manufacturing process which is an updated version of the 7 nm manufacturing process employed for last year’s Kirin 980. The GPU and NPU have both been upgraded for improved performance in relation to the Kirin 980.
Remarkably, the new KIrin990 has a built-in 5G modem, unlike previous 5G ready chips that needed separate modems for the new standard. Huawei says the new 5G SoC is packed with well over 10 billion transistors, which promises to enable best-in-classexperience, new AI capabilities, improved energy efficiency and top performance across the board. The SoC also gets improved graphics processor up from 10 to 16 cores, and that alone gives it a major boost over its rivals and even its predecessor.
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Kirin 990 5g has a Dual image signal processor
The new Chipset also gets a dual image signal processor for a DSLR-level image noise reduction which should help the host device produce clearer, crisper photos. As well as packing an enhanced AI algorithm that helps check battery consumption, the Kirin has an embedded 5G modem with a peak download rate and a peak upload rate of 2.3Gbps and 1.25Gbps in that order. The modem is said to contain four sub-6 antennas with, but with no mmWave which is required for it to work with most of US. networks.
Kirin 990 4G variant
Beside the Kirin 990 5G with an embedded 5G mode, Huawei confirmed that a separate 4G-capable Kirin 990 model is also in the making, and that would likely power most of its upcoming budget smartphones.
- Kirin 990 5G — Up to 2.86GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A76 CPU + up to 2.36 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A76 CPU + up to 1.95GHz ARM Cortex A55 GPU
- Kirin 990 — Up to 2.86GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A76 CPU + up to 2.09 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A76 CPU + up to 1.86GHz ARM Cortex A55 GPU
- 700MHz ARM Mali-G76MP16 GPU
- TSMC 7nm process for Kirin 990 / TSMC’s 7FF+ with EUV for Kirin 990 5G
- LPDDR4X memory, UFS 3.0 and UFS 2.1 storage
- 2 + 1 Da Vinci NPU
- Video: HDR10; 4K at 60fps decoding, 4K at 30fps encoding
- Security Engine
- Integrated Multi-mode 4G LTE Modem for Kirin990 and 5G modem for Kirin990 5G
Huawei hasn’t officially confirmed when the new SoC will be employed in a smartphone. However, we expect the new SoC to feature first in the upcoming Huawei Mate 30 series. The Mate 30 series launches later this month, and from previous leaks and rumors, the lineup promises to be an exciting one. You can check out all previous leaks and rumors pertaining to the Mate 30 here.