Huawei’s latest Kirin 990 flagship chipset will consist of a version with a built-in 5G modem, along with providing a speed increment compared to its predecessor, the corporate declared onstage at IFA 2019 today. The 7-nm processor consists of a modem which Huawei says can provide a maximum download speed of 2.3Gbps, and a maximum upload speed of 1.25Gbps, along with eight ARM Cortex CPU cores.
According to Huawei, using a single chip should make its smartphones much more power-efficient compared to having both a processor and a separate modem.
The corporate declared the new processor just a few days after Samsung declared a 5G chipset of its own, the Exynos 980. Meanwhile, the release of a combined processor and 5G modem by Qualcomm is unexpected until next year. Additionally, chipmaker MediaTek possesses a 7nm 5G chipset, which it launched back in May.
The 5G version of the Kirin 990 doesn’t support mmWave 5G, similar to Samsung’s Exynos chip. The corporate said that it chose to eliminate the technology since it’s mainly used in the US, where Huawei doesn’t sell its devices currently. Instead, it will focus on the sub-6GHz variant of 5G, which is more widely used across the world.
Huawei’s new flagship relies extensively on Arm’s chip designs for both its CPU and GPU elements. However, Huawei’s relationship with the British chip designer was thrown into disarray earlier this year when the US imposed sanctions on the Chinese industry. Shortly after the decision, BBC News reported that ARM instructed its employees to eliminate communications with Huawei. For now, it’s unclear what impact this will have on Huawei’s future in-house processors.
Huawei says that the Kirin 990 will power the latest entry in the company’s Mate series of devices, which is due to be declared on September 19th.