IFA 2019: Huawei show off the 5G-enabled heart of the Mate 30 Pro

The Kirin 990 and Kirin 990 5G have been revealed

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

Huawei have launched their latest flagship chipsets at this year's IFA.

According to Huawei, the newly-announced Kirin 990 5G is the world's first commercially available 5G SoC. It's arriving alongside the standard Kirin 990. 

Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu says that "Kirin 990 (5G) is the world's first 5G SoC, and it will enable end users to access superb 5G connectivity experience one step ahead in the first year of 5G commercialisation.” 

“To meet users’ requirements for enhanced 5G experiences in the 5G era, Kirin 990 (5G) has been fully upgraded in terms of performance and power efficiency, AI computing, and ISP, extending mobile phone experiences to a new level.”

Huawei say the Kirin 990 (5G) is the first full-frequency 5G SoC to support both non-standalone and standalone 5G architectures as well as TDD/FDD full frequency bands. The new chipset builds on the Huawei's previous Balong 5000 modem. The company claim it'll deliver a peak downlink rate of 2.3 Gbps and an uplink peak rate of 1.25 Gbps.

As for the processor itself, Huawei say the Kirin 990 features two ultra-large cores, two large cores, and four small cores with a clock speed of up to 2.86 GHz. These eight cores are paired up with a 16-core Mali-G76 GPU.

The Kirin 990 also feature a dual-core neural processing unit based on what Huawei are calling Da Vinci architecture. Huawei say this design involves a combination of larger NPU cores and small NPU cores. The former are designed for high performance while the latter are focused on delivering low-power consumption applications. 

In theory, these advancements make the Kirin 990 more powerful and efficient than its predecessors. However, whether those gains are going to result in a notably different or better experience for end users remains to be seen.

Huawei say that the first device powered by the Kirin 990 and Kirin 990 5G will be the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro. Expect more news to come when both are announced on September 19th in Munich.

Disclosure - PC World Australia's coverage of this year's IFA in Berlin was sponsored by Lenovo who covered the costs of our flights and accommodation.

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Fergus Halliday
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