10 September 2019
Huawei's newest flagship processor named Kirin 990 5G has now been made official. It comes with integrated 5G modem and is being marketed as the "industry's first 5G SoC". This particular claim could be up for a debate as Samsung has already announced Exynos 980 which also comes with in-built 5G modem.
If you are wondering what exactly 5G SoC means, then it is a chipset that has both the processor and 5G modem held on a single chip. It means smartphone makers will not have to add a 5G modem separately which happens with the likes of Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and Samsung Exynos 9850 processors. This method helps OEMs save space inside the smartphone and as claimed by Huawei, its chipset will help save 36% board space.
The Kirin 990 5G is a 7nm octa-core processor with two Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.86GHz, two Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.36GHz, and four Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.95GHz. Huawei is referring to them as big, medium, and little cores on the basis of their purposes. As for handling graphics-intensive tasks, it has been packed with Mali-G76 graphics card which is a 16-core GPU and should deliver improved graphics performance over the predecessor. It is said to offer download speeds up to 2.3Gbps and upload speeds up to 1.25Gbps when connected to 5G.
It is worth noting that Kirin 990 5G does not feature support for mmWave 5G as it is used only in the United States. Huawei wants to focus on the sub-6GHz bands which are used more widely around the world. Another reason for ditching mmWave 5G technology seems to be the U.S. ban which prohibits Huawei from selling phones in the country.
As it happened in the past, Kirin 990 5G will remain exclusive to Huawei and Honor smartphones. It will be making its commercial debut with the release of Mate 30 series that is set to get unveiled on September 19th in Munich.